Give your two cents
The Gainesville Police Department is inviting public comment on its job performance as part of a regular reassessment by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies. A public session will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7 at the Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center at 1554 Community Way, Gainesville.
Comments will be heard by three independent assessors from out of state. Comments should be limited to 10 minutes and should address the Gainesville Police Department's ability to comply with accreditation standards.
Those unable to attend can call in their comments to the assessors between 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 8 by calling 678-989-3381.
Or comments can be written and sent to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030-2215.
A copy of the standards is available at the Gainesville Police Department. For more information, call Lt. Carol Martin at 770-531-2667 or Sgt. Johnny Ray at 770-297-5423.
In other news: Officers to present colors at Falcons game
Five of Hooper's officers will be representing the department and the city of Gainesville on Sunday in Atlanta, when members of the Gainesville Police Honor Guard take the field at the Georgia Dome for the presentation of colors prior to the Atlanta Falcons-Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game.
It's the first time the department's honor guard has taken part in pre-game events at a Falcons game.
"It's something our guys in the honor guard are honored and proud to do, and they have a lot of appreciation for the Falcons inviting them," Hooper said.
Gainesville police want the people they're sworn to serve and protect to say what kind of job they're doing.
Members of the public are invited to a public forum on Monday, Dec. 7 as part of the Gainesville Police Department's assessment by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Independent assessors from Maine, Texas and Illinois will arrive in Gainesville on Dec. 5 to begin scrutinizing every aspect of the department's operations and how well it complies with more than 400 written standards. It is the sixth time the Gainesville Police Department has been up for re-accreditation by CALEA.
"They'll be going over everything with a fine-toothed comb," Chief Frank Hooper said.
Law enforcement agencies that win national accreditation are up for re-assessments by
CALEA every three years. During its last re-accreditation, the department won "flagship designation," which is reserved for agencies that go above and beyond the required standards. Only about 10 percent of law enforcement agencies nationwide receive flagship status, Hooper said.
Hooper said turnout in the past for the public forum portion of the assessment has been strong and positive.
"Community feedback is very important," he said. "The assessors like to get a feel for the community and how the police department interacts with the public."
Accreditation, Hooper said, "is kind of the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. It lets folks know that the agency is operating by an approved set of industry standards. It tells them our officers are out there doing a pretty good job, and it's not just us telling them, it's someone independent, who takes a good look at us."