FORT MYERS, Fla. The Fort Myers Police Department has withdrawn itself from re-accreditation considered among the best in law enforcement following an audit highlighting multiple issues within the agency.
While the department’s accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies expires in July, Fort Myers police says it will continue adhering to CALEA standards.
“At this time, we feel that it is appropriate to withdraw and begin the self-assessment process to get our agency to where it needs to be,” the department said in a statement on Friday. “The police department has already re-applied for accreditation and will schedule an onsite assessment when the necessary organizational changes are complete.”
The department will remain accredited by the Commission for Law Enforcement Accreditation, which expires in July 2018.
CALEA accreditation, while voluntary, is highly sought because it validates a law enforcement agency’s compliance with best practices and standards. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico are CALEA accredited, from university police departments to federal agencies.
Fort Myers police received its initial accreditation in 2011. CALEA accreditation is renewed every three years.
The department has been under fire since an audit released in February alleged cronyism, misconduct and other challenges hindering the agency’s ability to solve crimes. The report has prompted one federal investigation into alleged officer misconduct and the request for another regarding alleged civil rights violations.
This story is the latest in WINK News’ continuing series about the FMPD audit.