The Seminole County Sheriff's Office is currently accredited by eight independent, accrediting bodies:
- American Correctional Association (ACA)
- American Society of Crime Lab Directors Lab Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)
- Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA)
- Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)
- Public Safety Communications Accreditation
- Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC)
- National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC)
- National Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP)
Accreditation is a voluntary process that affirms an agency’s commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and service. Each accrediting body has fixed standards that an agency must initially demonstrate compliance with, and then demonstrate continuing adherence to, in order to achieve re-accreditation.
Accreditation standards address key areas such as: organization management and administration, personnel administration, law enforcement operations, training, forensic examination, and inmate and court-related services. Accreditation typically includes an extensive review of an agency’s policies, procedures and protocols as well as an on-site inspection and interviews with key personnel.
American Correctional Association (ACA)
For more than 125 years, the American Correctional Association has championed the cause of corrections and correctional effectiveness. The John E. Polk Correctional Facility received its initial ACA “Core Jail Standards” Accreditation in 2013. Accreditation requires a stringent audit covering 141 standards which focus on facility operations, security, inmate healthcare and education. Audits are conducted by assessors chosen by ACA from outside the State of Florida.
American Society of Crime Lab Directors Lab Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)– International Program
The Sheriff’s Office Forensic Lab was originally accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board’s (ASCLAD/LAB) in June 2009 and then reaccredited in 2013. In 2015, the Lab received accreditation from the ASCLAD/LAB International Testing Program, in order to meet even more stringent performance criteria.
Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA)
In 1996, the Sheriff's Office became one of the first agencies in the state to achieve law enforcement accreditation through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). The commission was created under the auspices of the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association to address law enforcement management and community service issues relative to the State of Florida. The commission re-accredited the Sheriff's Office in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008 2011, and 2014. Additionally, the SCSO holds “Excelsior Agency” status from CFA for continued excellence.
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)
The Sheriff's Office became the first nationally accredited law enforcement agency in Seminole County when it passed a rigorous audit conducted by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc (CALEA) in 1995. CALEA is an international accreditation program created under the auspices of the National Sheriffs' Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the Police Executive Research Forum. Compliance with 460 standards is required for a law enforcement agency to obtain (and maintain) its accreditation. Audits are conducted by assessors chosen by CALEA from outside the State of Florida. The commission re-accredited the Sheriff's Office in 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015.
Public Safety Communications Accreditation
The Communications Center was initially accredited by CALEA’s Public Safety Communications Program in 2007 and was reaccredited in 2010 and 2013. Public safety accreditation is voluntary and stimulates a systematic review of an agency’s operations and processes. The standards set forth by the Public Safety Accreditation program prepares dispatchers and call takers to be ready for any type of incident.
Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC)
The John E. Polk Correctional Facility was first accredited by the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC) in 2004, and was subsequently reaccredited in 2007, 2010 and 2013. This program evaluates corrections operations against the Commission's strict standards, a process that helps agency staff identify and remedy deficiencies while upgrading the overall quality of correctional programs and services. Currently, there are 237 standards addressing all aspects of corrections services including admission, classification, housing, security and training.
National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC)
In 2006, the John E. Polk Correctional Facility's medical services were accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). Health service accreditation promotes a well-managed system of care to ensure incarcerated persons receive routine health care, treatment and disease prevention. The commission's standards were developed by experts from the health, law and corrections professions. The Facility’s medical services were reaccredited in 2009.
National Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP)
In 2014, in conjunction with Seminole County’s Office of Emergency Management, the Sheriff's Office received its first accreditation from the national Emergency Management Accreditation Program. This is a voluntary accreditation process that fosters accountability in emergency management and homeland security programs, by establishing credible standards applied in a peer review accreditation process.