The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. (CFA) has awarded the Panama City Police Department with Excelsior Recognition, the highest level of achievement in Florida accreditation that a criminal justice agency can receive.
The Commission reviewed the Police Department on October 15, 2020 after a successful on-site assessment that was conducted between July 30, 2020 and July 2, 2020. Members unanimously agreed that the Police Department was deserving of reaccreditation and designation as an excelsior agency.
To receive accreditation, the CFA sets standards which exhibit the best practices in law enforcement and requires that the standards be reflected in department policies and practices. The review process verifies that all required standards for the agency are in place and proofs of compliance are reviewed to show agency compliance. The reviewers then conduct further assessment through interviews with agency personnel as well as review feedback from the public.
The Police Department was initially accredited in May of 2002 and reaccredited every three years in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017. Agencies that complete five successful reaccreditation cycles without any conditions after initial accreditation qualify for Excelsior Recognition. The process takes at least 18 years for an organization to accomplish once they begin the accreditation process.
The Commission members also commented that they were impressed that the Police Department not only achieved this milestone but was able to do so after experiencing the devastation and disruption caused by Hurricane Michael in October of 2018.