LABELLE, FL. — Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden announced that on September 27, 2012, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office received its Initial Certificate of Accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation.

Becoming accredited by the commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation is considered a significant accomplishment and this status is held in high esteem by the criminal justice community.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office entered into an agreement with CFA to allow on-site inspectors to review Sheriff’s Office policies and practices and observe agency components, equipment and programs to include ride-alongs and interviews with agency personnel.

On August 6, 2012, a three member on-site team of assessors arrived at the Sheriff’s Office to begin the required Inspection. Sheriff’s Office members coordinated a static display exhibiting equipment and showcasing special response units within the Sheriff’s Office. The on-site inspectors spent the following two days, inspecting files, policies and interviews with employees. The on-site assessors made a formal recommendation for accreditation to CFA based on their findings.

Sheriff Steve Whidden and his accreditation team members, Sgt. Michael Stevens, Deputy Bonnie Weaver and Nicki Hunt attended the CFA Business meeting in Sarasota, Florida on September 27, 2012 to be reviewed for State Accreditation. It was during this meeting that the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, officially awarded Sheriff Steve Whidden with the Certificate of Accreditation.

Undergoing the voluntary state accreditation process provides an agency with a “quality assurance review” and encourages intense self-scrutiny resulting in more efficient and effective daily operations. “We are striving to create and maintain a culture of professionalism and accountability within the agency as a way of doing business,” said Sheriff Steve Whidden.