OBPD's reaccreditation status makes department transparent and accountable.
The Ormond Police Department was reaccredited June 21 by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation based on its success following strict guidelines.
OBPD lost its accreditation in 2012 due to some problems it faced in 2010 with its evidence room and a thieving janitor. Accreditation is up for renewal every three years; the department passed in 2014 and was successful a second consecutive time this year, at a ceremony before a panel in Champions Gate, Florida.
“It’s very strenuous, it’s arduous,” Ormond Beach Police Chief Jesse Godfrey said. “They hold you to task. If you don’t do something you’re supposed to do, you need to explain why.”
The commission’s guidelines detail how each department should function. From the department’s recruiting process to the handling of evidence, the commission inspects virtually every inch of each volunteered agency after a three-year cycle. No matter the size of each law enforcement agency, they’re all subject to the same standards.
"We volunteered for this because we want to be held accountable to a higher standard for the public, for our citizens."
Jesse Godfrey, Ormond Beach police chief
Capt. Lisa Rosenthal said applying for reaccreditation puts the department under a microscope by their own volition, since the process is optional for law enforcement agencies.
“I just think that it holds us to a higher standard,” Rosenthal said. “Not only us, but all of the officers and everybody in the agency."
Godfrey said while there are plenty of good non-accredited law enforcement agencies out there, being accredited makes the department more transparent.
“We volunteered for this because we want to be held accountable to a higher standard for the public, for our citizens,” Godfrey said.
Being accredited should give the community confidence that the OBPD is doing the right thing, he added.
Rosenthal also pointed out that reaccreditation is a team effort for the entire department, not just the captains and the police chief. From the accreditation manager to the office administration and the officers on the street, she said it would be impossible to gain reaccreditation without the help of everyone in the agency.
“It doesn’t matter who you are,” Rosenthal said. “It all takes a team to make this stuff work, and sometimes I think the other ones in the agency are forgotten.”