Of the more than 3,000 Sheriff's Offices nationwide, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is one of less than 40 to have received the Triple Crown Award for accreditation. This prestigious award recognizes agencies that have achieved accreditation from three separate accreditation agencies: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), the American Correctional Association (ACA), and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC). Additionally the agency is accredited by the Florida Model Jails (FMJ). Designed to reflect the best professional practices in each respective area, the standards deal with the "what", leaving the decision of "how" up to each agency. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was first accredited by CALEA in 1988, ACA in 1984 and NCCHC in 1987 and continues to maintain these accreditations. The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA) was established in 1979 as an independent accrediting authority by four law enforcement associations: The International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs’ Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. Its accreditation program requires agencies to comply with the highest standards in four areas: policy and procedures, administration, operation and support services. The American Correctional Association was founded in 1870 as the National Prison Association, changing to the American Correctional Association in 1954 to reflect their “expanding philosophy of corrections and its increasingly important role within the community and society.” The ACA utilizes the principles of humanity, justice, protection, opportunity, knowledge, competence and accountability to develop sound corrections practices. The National Commission on Correctional Healthcare originated in the early 1970′s as a result of a study by the American Medical Association which found healthcare in jails to be inadequate, disorganized and lacking in national standards. NCCHC was established by professionals from the health, legal and correctional arenas to provide standards for prisons, jails and juvenile confinement facilities. These standards cover care and treatment, health records, administration, personnel and medical-legal issues. Benefits to the Community The agency’s administrative and operational policies and procedures are in accordance with a body of nationally certified and recognized professional standards Assurance that every aspect of the agency’s personnel system is in accordance with professional standards International recognition of professional excellence Assures the community the agency is committed to providing the highest quality services possible and that the policies and procedures are not only effective and responsive, but are also fair and equitable Enhances community understanding, cooperation and support of the agency and its role in the community Liability litigation is deterred State-of-the-art, impartial guidelines for evaluation and change when necessary On-going evaluation of whether agency resources are being utilized in the best interest of its mission assignment Provides neutral guidelines for developing strong budget justifications, especially for personnel and their allocation across function and activities Promotes standardization of policies, increasing efficiency in handling calls for assistance, referrals and joint investigations with other agencies Promotes relationships with prosecutors, courts, correctional agencies and state and local government officials Adds to employee confidence and assures they are part of an agency which is nationally recognized as being a provider of truly professional services For more information about the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office accreditations, please contact: Lieutenant Stacey Barrentine Policy Development and Accreditation Division Manager 727-582-6391 Achieving national recognition for law enforcement professionalism is just another way the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is “Leading The Way For A Safer Pinellas”.