Coconut Creek Police Department Earns First State Reaccreditation Recognition

October 7, 2021

Coconut Creek, FL – The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation [CFA] voted unanimously this morning for the Coconut Creek Police Department to receive full reaccreditation by the organization. The commission found zero compliance issues in the 223 CFA standards that apply to the department, and nothing that needing corrective action.

“The support we get from our city and our employees is amazing! They own this,” Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal said. “This reaccreditation belongs to the outstanding men and women at our agency who recognize that accreditation as an ongoing process, not a once-in-while project.”

“The assessment team that visited the Coconut Creek Police Department dug deep and paid attention to every detail,” explained CFA Commissioner Robert Vincent. “The fact that Coconut Creek needed no corrective actions, and had no compliance issues, shows a level of employee buy-in that is very commendable.”

Fewer than half of all law enforcement agencies in the State of Florida are CFA accredited. Being an accredited agency ensures the people living and working in the City of Coconut Creek that their police department meets, and oftentimes exceeds, the highest standards in law enforcement.

“The police department has worked very hard to attain this reaccreditation and we are very proud of their effort,” Coconut Creek City Manager Karen Brooks said. “It represents a compact between the police department and the citizens of Coconut Creek that ensures accountability, integrity, and transparency.”

The Commission especially recognized the department’s School Safety Dog program, led by Officer Mike Leonard and K9 Taylor. They are the first Vapor-Wake trained police department K9 team in the nation to work in the schools. Instead of her handler leading her to where he wants to search, Taylor is specially trained to detect the scent of a gun, or any firearm components, in the air and then lead her handler to the source.

Working together with Broward County School Board, Officer Leonard and K9 Taylor have expanded beyond their original three pilot program schools during the 2020-21 school year to work in seven Coconut Creek schools during this school year. “Taylor is a rock star amongst the kids,” Chief Arenal said, “and shows the ongoing commitment by the City of Coconut Creek that our kids’ safety is the number one priority.”

The CFA reaccreditation is good for the next three years, meaning the department will be evaluated again in 2024.

 

 

The Coconut Creek Police Department has a diverse workforce with an authorized strength of 118 police officers and 44 civilian members, serving approximately 60,000 residents. The Coconut Creek Police Department is proud to be state accredited through the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation [CFA]. Accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority recognizing professional excellence, and is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a law enforcement agency. Being an accredited agency means the agency meets or exceeds the highest recommended levels in transparency, accountability, and professionalism. CFA outlines 240 benchmarks each agency must meet before becoming accredited. The Coconut Creek Police Department was accredited by CFA in October 2018 after completing a thorough evaluation of the agency’s policies and procedures as well as an inspection of our equipment and overall operational readiness. This initial accreditation is valid for three years and the agency will undergo reassessment in August 2021. Our commitment to accreditation assures that the residents, businesses, and visitors of our city are getting the best possible police services delivered on a daily basis.

The accreditation process provides the following benefits to the agency:

  • A thorough review of the agency’s status and readiness
  • Reinforces the agency’s ability to maintain the highest standard of professional law enforcement services
  • Ensures policies and procedures are documented in writing and are defendable
  • Assurance your agency personnel are trained and functioning according to your policies and procedures
  • Strengthens the agency’s defense against lawsuits and complaints
  • Increases community pride and employee morale through statewide recognition
  • Assures government leaders of the quality of services delivered by their local law enforcement agency
  • A quality work environment for well-trained professionals that aids in retaining and recruiting qualified personnel
  • Professional review of agency operations, personnel practices and training policies

The accreditation process provides the following benefits to the community:

  • Increased confidence in the agency’s ability to deliver quality law enforcement services
  • Improved community and agency interaction
  • Efficient use of law enforcement tax dollars
  • Better trained officers

Sanchia Williams CCPDSanchia WilliamsAccreditation Program Managerswilliams@coconutcreek.net

Sanchia Williams serves as the Accreditation Program Manager for the Coconut Creek Police Department. Sanchia joined the Department with over ten years of professional criminal justice experience and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminology from the Florida State University. She began her career with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in 2008 as a Criminal Justice Information Technician conducting background checks and determining eligibility for the sale of firearms as directed by federal statute. In 2009 she joined the Florida Department of Corrections where she remained for ten years. Sanchia rose through the ranks within the Florida Department of Corrections serving in multiple administrative and management positions from the Institutional to Regional level. She has over eight year’s supervisory and extensive knowledge of auditing and assessing practices as she ensured accreditation compliance of nine major penal facilities. Sanchia is committed to personal and professional excellence. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated devoted to servant-leadership and advocacy of social change for equality of all mankind. She has also held memberships with the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency, the Corrections Foundation, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).