Sarasota Police Department Chief Bernadette DiPino suspended the organization’s application for accreditation last month following the discovery of non-compliance with several mandatory standards, the SPD announced today.
In a June 17 letter to the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, an independent body that issues accreditation to state agencies, DiPino informed the organization of the decision to withdraw from the voluntary application process. The SPD has been accredited since 2002, and was scheduled for reaccreditation in February 2015.
In the letter, DiPino said the department recently discovered areas in which it failed to comply with mandatory standards set for accreditation. DiPino wrote that the issues occurred in 2012, under the leadership of Chief Mikel Hollaway.
“The best solution considering these circumstances is to withdraw from the reaccreditation process at this time, and immediately begin a new application for accreditation under current leadership,” DiPino wrote.
A Sarasota Police Department spokesperson was unable to list the standards the organization failed to meet.
A release from the SPD emphasizes that the accreditation process is voluntary, and that the loss of accreditation will not affect the way police operate. Still, DiPino stressed the importance of complying with the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation’s standards going forward.
“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,” DiPino said in the release.
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