SEBASTIAN – The Sebastian Police Department announced today that it was re-accredited Wednesday and awarded the prestigious Excelsior Recognition by The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA).
This was the sixth round of accreditation for Indian River County’s largest populated City, which joined the process in 1999.
The agency must meet the requirements of CFA’s program consistently throughout each cycle. An accreditation cycle is a three year period that culminates in a major inspection called an assessment.
Assessments are conducted by a three-person team consisting of professionals from outside agencies. The assessment team spends several days reviewing and inspecting all aspects of the agency’s policies and practices to ensure compliance with hundreds of CFA’s standards. The team then produces a comprehensive report on the result of the assessment and presents their findings to the Commission panel.
The Commission panel is comprised of 5 Police Chiefs and 5 Sheriffs, a Judge, County Commissioner, Florida League of Cities Representative, State Agency Inspector General and State Agency Law Enforcement Chief.
The achievement of Excelsior Recognition means the agency not only met the 263 standards required to be accredited but has repeatedly met those requirements six terms in a row; five re-accreditations without any corrections or conditions.
Essentially it requires a perfect score over the course of over 15 years. There are two key benchmarks that must be met for an agency to earn Excelsior Recognition: Commitment to Accreditation and Excellence in Accreditation. These are non-subjective requirements that must occur.
As of November 1, less than 50 out of more than 350 law enforcement agencies in the State of Florida have achieved Excelsior Recognition.
More information on CFA, the requirements and other details can be found at the Commission’s website.
“This is an agency’s accomplishment of a life-time,” said Chief Michelle Morris. “I am very proud of the collective work of both the civilian and sworn men and women of this agency. It takes the entire team working together in so many different facets of a very complex environment to make this happen. It isn’t by accident or happenchance.”
Chief Morris was the agency’s accreditation manager when initially accredited in 2002.
At that time she was the Sergeant of the Detective Division and also served as the accreditation manager.
In 2004 she became one of CFA’s certified assessors and inspecting more than 50 agencies over more than 10 years.
In 2014, Chief Morris was appointed by the Florida Police Chief’s Association as one of the Commissioners on the Commission panel.
A spokesperson for the Sebastian Police Department says they are committed to continuing to strive for excellence and are already working toward its next assessment in 2020.