As reported on Aug. 1, 2011 in the online edition of the News Press.

The Fort Myers Police Department was awarded its first official accreditation this weekend.

The department was one of 20 agencies to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).

According to agency spokeswoman Shelly Flynn, the CALEA accreditation process involved a comprehensive review of the department’s organization, management, operations and administration. The department had to meet and comply with 464 standards. The process began with a self-assessment to determine if the department complied with all standards and continued with two mock assessments, public information session and a final inspection.

“We have worked hard for this recognition. I am so proud of our department and this achievement,” said Chief Doug Baker. “CALEA holds us accountable to the highest standard possible in our profession and gives us a certified stamp of approval. It assures the community that we are who we say we are in our delivery of services, policies and procedures.”

In its 27-page report, the on-site assessment team concluded:

“The Fort Myers Police Department is a full service department that has fully embraced and implemented community policing concepts to address crime and public safety issues facing the jurisdiction. The agency is organized and managed effectively to maximize the use of its available resources to address the concerns and needs of the community.”

The CALEA accreditation is valid for three years, at which time FMPD will apply for a review and re-accreditation.