The Punta Gorda Police Department will once again be under the scrutiny of a team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) as the department seeks to achieve the State’s highest form of recognition in the Florida law enforcement accreditation process – Excelsior status. For a Florida law enforcement agency to be awarded Excelsior status, the agency must have achieved initial accredited status through the Commission and then achieved five (5) successful reaccreditation assessments without conditions. Assessments are conducted at three (3) year intervals, so the Excelsior process takes approximately seventeen (17) years for an agency to acquire. Only twenty-two (22) law enforcement agencies in the State of Florida have achieved Excelsior status to-date.

The assessment team will conduct the 2013 reaccreditation review of the Punta Gorda Police Department from April 23rd through April 25th. During that time, assessors will examine all aspects of the department’s policies and procedures, management, operations, personnel, and equipment.

The Punta Gorda Police Department is required to comply with approximately 261 standards in order to achieve reaccredited status. The City of Punta Gorda was the 11th municipality to receive this prestigious designation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation in 1998. The agency underwent additional successful reaccreditation reviews in 2001, 2004, 2007, and 2010.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency members and the public are invited to offer comments to the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). The comments should address the agency’s ability to comply with CFA standards. A copy of the standards is available on-line at www.flaccreditation.org/standards.html or through the Accreditation Manager Gloria Sepanik at (941) 575-5563 or at gsepanik@pgorda.us. In addition, for persons wishing to offer comments about the Punta Gorda Police Department’s ability to meet the standards, please write: CFA, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida 32302, or email to info@flaccrediation.org.

Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of the agency, they will provide a comprehensive report to the full Commission for review. The full Commission will ultimately decide if the agency will be awarded reaccredited status in Bonita Springs, Florida on June 27, 2013.

“Law enforcement accreditation is the gold seal of excellence that represents a covenant to our customers that they are receiving the highest quality of public safety services possible,” stated Chief Albert (Butch) Arenal. Law enforcement accreditation is a voluntary process, and only about one-third of Florida law enforcement agencies are state accredited. Chief Arenal added, “I am very proud of the hard work and dedication that the men and women of the Punta Gorda Police Department have put into getting us to this historical juncture in our agency’s history. This critical assessment will represent the culmination of seventeen years of diligence and excellence, and we anxiously anticipate presenting our City with this highest of achievements in our discipline on behalf of our great employees and volunteers.” Preparations will continue at the agency until the arrival of the assessment team on April 22nd.

Prepared by:

Lieutenant Joe King
Administrative Services Supervisor​
Punta Gorda Police Department
(941) 575-5525