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Gainesville Police hosts new accreditation process
Assessors to gauge public comments, go into field with officers
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Public info session

What: Gainesville Police to take comment from the community as part of a national re-accreditation with the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Gainesville Municipal Court, 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville
Comment: Call 770-297-5423 if you would like to comment but cannot attend

This week, the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. will send a team to assess the Gainesville Police Department, evaluating them for national re-accreditation.

The accreditation agency will spend the week assessing the department, looking at various aspects from on-duty officers to community relations to policies and procedures.

The process, according to the police department’s spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook, is fairly new and more involved than past re-accreditations.

Previously, Holbrook said, the department would just have to submit to a review of its policies, procedures and files. The process this week includes that, but assessors will look at other facets of the force, including what the community thinks of its police department.

“The assessors will spend the majority of their time out in the field,” said Holbrook. “They won’t be in an office, they won’t be reviewing files — they’ll be out spending time with officers from the bottom level up to the executive level.”

It’s a process, Holbrook said, the department volunteered for because of its history of exceeding re-accreditation standards.

“It’s a process that we chose,” he said. “We could have sat back and done it the way we’ve done it in the past.

“It’ll be a different experience for us and it’s one that gives us the opportunity to show off who GPD really is.”

The accrediting agency, which will be here through Thursday, will also provide the department feedback on its services, something Holbrook said is welcomed.

“It allows for feedback as well,” he said. “We are all about taking feedback and constructive criticism. They give us ideas on how we can maintain our current level of service or they can give us ideas on how we can exceed and excel even more to better service our community. So we are looking forward to it.”

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer their comments.

The public information session will take place 6 p.m. today at the Gainesville Municipal Court.

Phone lines will also be available for public comment from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“We do encourage the public to come out to the public session,” said Holbrook.

Those unable to attend the session but wish to voice their thoughts to the assessment team can also call 770-297-5423.

The accreditation process is a way for the department to be held accountable, and achieve greater transparency.

“We’ve always been very transparent,” said Holbrook. “We have nothing to hide and this is just a part of that.”

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