Sarasota News Leader

08/08/2014 & 08/15/2014

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Page 26 of 124

The city's Independent Police Advisory Panel on Wednesday, Aug. 6, set an ambitious two- month schedule to look into accreditation of the Sarasota Police Department. The Sarasota City Commission asked the board on July 21 to examine the costs and benefits of police department accreditation and determine "what are the facts regarding the decision to abandon efforts to obtain accreditation in 2015?" The assignment was given to the panel after it was revealed that Police Chief Bernadette DiPino cancelled the department's accredi- tation with the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (known as the CFA) because of lapses in her department. Accreditation is totally voluntary and not required by law, but virtually all law enforce- ment departments in Florida — even university police forces — have CFA accreditation. The police advisory panel of five members accepted the assignment and parceled out tasks to be completed before its next meet- ing later this month. Member Curtis Shantz agreed to make a presentation on the process of accreditation and "exactly how it works within the department." The five-member Independent Police Advisory Panel discusses how to conduct its inquiry into accreditation. The fifth member, Curtiss Shantz, is participating by telephone. Photo by Stan Zimmerman SETTING SIGHTS ON THE ISSUE MEMBERS OF THE INDEPENDENT POLICE ADVISORY PANEL GET 'MARCHING' ORDERS FOR AN INVESTIGATION OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S ACCREDITATION LAPSE By Stan Zimmerman City Editor

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