Sheriff's Office Public Safety Communications to Undergo Accreditation Assessment

                                                                                                                NEWS RELEASE #: 16-199 - OCTOBER 28, 2016

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), will arrive on Monday, November 28, 2016, to examine the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Public Safety Communications Center's policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services.

Verification by the team that the Public Safety Communications Center meets the Commission's state-of-the-art standards is part of a voluntary process to gain re-accreditation, a highly prized recognition of Communications professional excellence. The sheriff's office's strategic plan incorporates this objective under the goal of "ensuring agency and individual accountability by effective and efficient use of personnel, equipment and technology".

The Public Safety Communications Center initially earned accredited status in November 2002 and was re-accredited in 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2013. The assessment team is composed of law enforcement and public safety communications practitioners from similar, but out-of-state agencies. The assessors will review written materials, interview members, and visit the 911 Center, agency offices and other locations where compliance can be measured. The assessors are Team Leader retired Deputy Chief Jack McQueeney and Dr. Angel Geoghagan.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments by telephone by calling 941.356.2778 on Wednesday, November 30; between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Comments, which are limited to 10 minutes each, will be taken by the Assessment Team and must address the Communications Center's ability to comply with CALEA standards. A copy of the standards is available at the sheriff's office front desk, located at 2071 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, and at the south county desk, located at 4531 SR. 776, Venice. Citizens wishing to submit written comments about the sheriff's office Public Safety Communications Center's ability to comply with the standards for re-accreditation may send them to CALEA, 13585 Heathcote Blvd., Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia, 20155.

Once the Commission's assessors complete their review, they report back to the full Commission, which will determine if the agency is to be re-accredited. Reaccreditation occurs every three years, during which time the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.