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Chief Bernadette DiPino decided to suspend accreditation after she found some facets of the process with which the department was not in compliance. Since then decals denoting successful accreditation have been removed from city police vehicles. When the city commissioners met on Monday, July 21, two were ready to grill DiPino over the issue, but they were forestalled by a motion to refer the issue to the police advi- sory group. The motion passed 3-2, with Commissioners Paul Caragiulo and Shannon Snyder in the minority. The Independent Police Advisory Panel will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, at the SRQ Studio in the City Hall Annex on First Street in downtown Sarasota. The public is welcome to attend the session. % The Sarasota Independent Police Advisory Panel is gearing up to investigate the reason(s) why the city Police Department decided to terminate its accreditation. The panel has scheduled a workshop for Aug. 6. The group normally meets quarterly, and it depends on individual members to study issues and recommend possible policy changes for the Police Department. This is the first time it has been handed an assignment. Panel Administrator Peter Graham said the accreditation investigation must comply with Florida's public open meetings law, and the investigation may be assigned to one of the panel members — or the panel could assign it to him, added Graham. A media dust-up ensued when a member of the department leaked a memo indicating CITY'S INDEPENDENT POLICE ADVISORY PANEL TO HOLD A MEETING NEXT WEEK ON THE POLICE DEPARTMENT ISSUE By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Bernadette DiPino is chief of the Sarasota Police Department. Photo by Norman Schimmel The Police Department reportedly last won accreditation under previous Chief Mikel Hollaway. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota Sarasota News Leader August 1, 2014 Page 52

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