During 2016 the Lakeland Police Department has successfully retained two national accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®). On Saturday, July 30, 2016, Chief Larry Giddens and senior staff accepted the reaccreditations for the department’s overall standards of performance and for their Public Safety Communications operation at the summer conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The Lakeland Police Department also successfully obtained reaccreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). Chief Giddens and members of the department attended the quarterly CFA meeting in Weston on Wednesday, October 25, where they were presented with the official accreditation status.
To receive reaccreditation in the CALEA® Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation Program, the Lakeland Police Department had to comply with 484 internationally accepted standards for the operation of police organizations. The Advanced Program is a more rigorous process than the standard Accreditation Program which requires compliance with only 189 standards. In April, a team of assessors from CALEA examined all aspects of the Department’s policy and procedures, operations, management and support services to verify they met the Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. The process holds the department accountable and sets the bar for excellence among law enforcement agencies. In order to obtain the reaccreditation status from CFA, the Lakeland Police Department was required to demonstrate compliance with 54 mandatory standards. In addition to the mandatory standards, the Department also achieved compliance with 20 non-mandatory standards. Proof of compliance was determined by an assessment team, sent by the Commission, during an on-site review on July 13, 2016. During the visit, the team reviewed the department’s policies, procedures and practices. “The Lakeland Police Department is an impressive agency that holds its members to the highest standards. It was apparent during the assessment that every member of the agency is proud of the work they do for the City,” wrote Sergeant Nicole Minick, Team Leader with CFA.
To receive the reaccreditation for Public Safety Communications, the 911 Emergency Communications team proved compliance with 211 internationally accepted standards. The achievement certifies that the department meets or exceeds benchmarks and professional requirements in critical incidents, special operations including Homeland Security, organization, training, recruitment and operations. 911 Communications Manager Bill LePere said “Any agency can claim their policies and procedures are among the best, but accredited agencies are willing to go through stringent review by outside assessors who evaluate entire operations to ensure adherence to industry best practices.”
“The reaccreditation of the Lakeland Police Department reaffirms the dedication and professionalism shown everyday by men and women who work to protect and serve the citizens of Lakeland,” said Chief Larry Giddens.
Both CALEA accreditations are valid for four years, at which time the department will again actively participate in a review process for reaccreditation. For more information on CALEA® accreditation, go to www.calea.org. The CFA accreditation is valid for three years, at which time the department will again actively participate in a review process for reaccreditation. For more information on CFA accreditation, go to www.flaccreditation.org.