Sarasota Police Department Voluntarily Withdraws from Accreditation Process

SARASOTA, Fla. – July 14, 2014 – 4:30 p.m.

Since 2002, the Sarasota Police Department has held accreditation status through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. (CFA) and was scheduled for reaccreditation in February 2015. While preparing for next year’s accreditation application, it was noted by the Sarasota Police Department, several policy reviews and updates did not occur in a timely fashion dating as far back as 2012.

Therefore in late June 2014, Chief Bernadette DiPino withdrew the Sarasota Police Department voluntarily from the accreditation process and plans to begin a new application for accreditation in the near future. This is an opportunity for the Sarasota Police Department to review the 256 policies and standards included in the accreditation process.

The voluntary withdraw from the accreditation process does not change the way the Sarasota Police Department performs or functions. Accreditation is a purely voluntary process and is not mandatory. The Sarasota Police Department assures the public it will continue to meet the high standards that expected of the agency in the delivery of professional, police services to our community. Sarasota Police officers maintain high levels of professionalism, training and police certification.

Following several retirements from the Sarasota Police Department, to ensure the Sarasota Police Department continues to meet the accreditation standards in the future, a new Accreditation Manager was hired in May 2014. Cheryl Houpt is a Certified Accreditation Professional with the State of Florida and will lead the Sarasota Police Department in the accreditation process.

"The Sarasota Police Department has a strong commitment to the highest standards and full compliance with the accreditation standards set forth by the CFA. Although it is voluntary, achievement of an accredited status demonstrates our commitment to our community best practices and it is our desire to reinstate that status as quickly as possible," said Chief Bernadette DiPino, Sarasota Police Department.

The letter Chief Bernadette DiPino wrote to the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation is below.