The goal of the Accreditation Section is to ensure two objectives:
- That the Leon County Sheriff's Office maintains its accredited status with the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) and the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC) through compliance with applicable accreditation standards.
- That the Leon County Sheriff's Office objectively reviews office facilities, property, equipment, personnel, administrative, operational and detention activities through regular inspections outside the normal supervisory and line inspection procedures.
The Accreditation Section will accomplish these two primary objectives through:
- Accreditation Management - the regular review of the over 260 CFA standards and over 240 FCAC Standards that are applicable to the Leon County Sheriff's Office, and ensuring that responsibilities of each standard are met on a timely basis, so that the Leon County Sheriff's Office will maintain its status as an accredited agency through CFA and FCAC.
- Quality Assurance - the objective review of all the Leon County Sheriff's Office facilities, personnel and procedures throughout the agency, authorized by the Sheriff, to ensure that the Sheriff's Office is operating effectively, efficiently and per agency guidelines. These reviews provide the Sheriff and command staff with valuable information that will be useful in the ongoing effort in keeping the Leon County Sheriff's Office a respected professional agency.
- Policy Revisions - periodic scheduled reviews of agency general orders and written directives, updating and amending any language necessary to reflect agency practice and ensuring compliance with accreditation standards.
In 1993 the Florida Sheriff's Association (FSA) and The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) created an independent voluntary law enforcement agency accreditation program. The movement by law enforcement professionals to create accrediting bodies is in response to a need to ensure the public that quality services are being delivered in accordance with recognized accepted standards.
Representatives from FSA and FPCA developed an accreditation program which requires compliance with more than 260 professional standards designed specifically for Florida law enforcement agencies. These standards are practical, easily understood, and achievable even for the smallest law enforcement agency. The program was designed with the following goals:
- to establish and maintain standards that represent current professional law enforcement practices;
- to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of law enforcement services;
- to establish standards that address and reduce liability for the agency and its members;
- to establish standards that make an agency and its personnel accountable to the constituency they serve; and
- to implement a Florida accreditation program that establishes standards which do not conflict with national standards.
The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation was established in December 1994 and is comprised of four (4) Sheriffs, four (4) Police Chiefs, and one (1) representative each from the Association of Counties, the League of Cities, the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, the Judiciary, and the Inspector General.
On February 18, 1997 the Leon County Sheriff's Office became the third Sheriff's Office in the state of Florida to achieve accredited status through CFA. The agency was re-accredited in 2000, 2003, 2006, and again in 2009. The Leon County Sheriff's Office continues to endeavor to meet the and professional standards set forth by both commissions.
In July, 1997 during the Florida Sheriff's Association (FSA) meeting in Naples, Florida, a sub-committee was formed by the Florida Model Jail Standards (FMJS) Committee to develop an independent, voluntary corrections accreditation program for the state. In January 1998 the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission, Inc. (FCAC) was formed as an independent, tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation. The newly formed Commission's movement to create over 240 professional standards was in response to a need to remedy deficiencies, enhance security and safety, standardize practices, increase accountability and upgrade the quality of correctional programs and services in county and municipal jail facilities. These standards are practical and achievable even in the smallest agency.
The Commission, comprised of three Sheriff's and eight corrections professionals set forth all policies and procedures for the accreditation process, overseeing staff and committee activities, such as standards creation, review and interpretation, outreach activities and budget.
On June 27, 2000 the Leon County Sheriff's Office Jail became one of only 18 jails in the state, and the first in the panhandle, to achieve accredited status through the FCAC with an overall excellent rating. The agency was re-accredited in 2003, 2006, and again in 2009. The Leon County Sheriff's Office continues to endeavor to meet the professional standards set forth by both Commissions.