When Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly chairs the Florida Commission on Law Enforcement Accreditation meeting near St. Augustine in February, it will be a first for him and the sheriff’s office he heads.
Staly became the first Flagler County sheriff to chair the credentialing commission when he was elected to the post earlier this month.
âIt’s quite an honor,â Staly said in an interview. âAnd it’s an honor for our agency. This is the first time that we have had a sheriff on this commission, let alone the president.
Staly was vice-chair of the commission last year and also served as chair and vice-chair of the standards review and interpretation committee, which assesses and decides whether to forward proposed standards or revisions to the committee for a review. vote on whether or not to adopt the proposals.
Staly said he was honored to be elected on Oct. 7 by his peers to chair the commission.
âIt is also an honor for our community,â said Staly. âFor the Flagler County Sheriff to be a part of this board, it means the agency not only meets accreditation standards, but serves as a role model for other agencies so the community knows they can be proud of. his agency.
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Staly was appointed by Juan Perez, retired director of the Miami-Dade Police Department and former chairman of the commission.
“Obviously he has an exceptional record and career in law enforcement,” Perez said of Staly in a telephone interview. âAnd he did a great job with the commission and really believes in the commission process,â Perez said.
Perez, who has since left the commission, said Florida is a leader in accreditation.
“In all of my travels when I was director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Florida is way ahead of other states in law enforcement and the Florida Sheriff’s Association is way ahead of the curve. compared to other sheriffs associations, âPerez said.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was re-accredited the same day Staly was appointed president. And the day before, Sheriff Perry Hall’s Detention Center in the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office received its re-accreditation from the Florida Commission on Corrections Accreditation. Staly abstained in these votes.
Only 35 Florida prisons are accredited by the group, according to a statement from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Staly dedicated the prison re-accreditation to FCSO Detention Assistant Paul Luciano, who died after contracting COVID-19 while working at the prison, the statement said. Luciano was the first Flagler County Custodial Assistant to die in the line of duty, the statement said.
The agency’s four-diamond accreditation means that the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is accredited in four areas: law enforcement, corrections, the 911 Center and ethics accreditation.
There are 177 law enforcement agencies and 38 accredited inspector general offices in Florida, according to a press release. The state has more than 300 police departments and 67 sheriff’s offices.
Staly said that as chairman he only represents one vote out of a total committee of 15 members, but is responsible for the agenda,
One of Staly’s goals as president is for more agencies to be accredited.
âThe Florida Sheriffs Association has set a goal over the next several years to accredit every sheriff’s office in the state of Florida,â said Staly.
Staly said another goal is to keep “Florida law enforcement at the forefront of professional law enforcement and transparency.”
âAnd that’s what accreditation is all about,â Staly said. âIt forces agencies to look at themselves, to make sure they maintain and adhere to the highest standards of professional law enforcement and that we are transparent to the community. “
The Florida Commission on Law Enforcement Accreditation is committed to ensuring that agencies meet standards, Staly said.
âI can tell you that all Commissioners take this very seriously. Two years ago we revoked the Broward County Sheriff’s Office accreditation, so that’s how seriously we take it, âStaly said.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office accreditation was revoked after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on February 14, 2018, when 14 students and three staff were shot and 17 others injured. Nicholas Cruz pleaded guilty to these crimes last week.
Staly said Broward has since regained his accreditation but had to start over as a new candidate would.
âThey had to prove to us that they were complying and following their policies and procedures in practice, not just on paper,â Staly said.
The accreditation agency also approved some changes in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minnesota and controversial shootings of blacks by police.
Staly said he did not know if the agencies involved in these incidents were accredited.
But these cases have led the accreditation agency to establish a standard that law enforcement officers must have a duty to intervene if they see another officer violating someone’s constitutional rights or using a law enforcement officer. excessive force.
The commission is also demanding that agencies have a standard for the use of chokes, essentially limiting them to life and death situations.
Staly said any commission member or employee, chief sheriff of police of an accredited agency can propose a change to a standard or a new standard.
The standards are then submitted to the Standards Revision Interpretation Committee, which reviews them and decides whether to recommend the revision or the new standard to the entire 15-member committee for a vote.
Staly continues to serve as vice-chair of the Standards Revision Interpretation Committee.
He will chair his first committee meeting on February 24 at the World Golf Village near St. Augustine. Commission meetings are open to the public.
Staly was appointed to the commission in 2018 by the president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association. But he said he had been involved in accreditation since the early 1990s, when he was a deputy sheriff in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, which was accredited in 1996.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office has been accredited since 1991 by a different group: the Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Commission, according to spokesperson Andrew Gant.