Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reaccredited

Department also honored with top state accreditation award for the third time

Sheriff Tom Knight (fourth from left) and members of his staff accept the latest accreditation award for the department. Photo courtesy Sheriff’s Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has been re-accredited by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA), Sheriff Tom Knight has announced.

The agency received its official notification at the Commission’s general meeting last week, a news release notes. Assessors conducted a three-day on-site visit in August to examine policies, management, operations and support services, the release explains. They found the agency in compliance with all 259 applicable standards, and in their recommendation for re-accreditation commended the agency for eight flawless on-site visits in a row, as well as for receiving the Excelsior Award for the third time, the release adds.

In 2010, the CFA created the Excelsior program to honor criminal justice agencies that “have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the Florida accreditation process,” the CFA website says. To earn the award, an agency must have achieved five successful CFA accreditation cycles.

“For us, the accreditation process is not a collection of policies,” Knight said in the release. “Compliance with professionally accepted standards and regular review by outside professionals are important elements to ensure superior agency practices.”

In addition to this CFA law enforcement accreditation, the Sarasota County Jail is accredited by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC), and the Emergency Operations Bureau’s Public Safety Communications Section is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) for law enforcement dispatch, and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) for medical and fire communications, the release points out.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office was the first agency in the state to become fully accredited in 1996, the release notes.