At the end of last week, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) both passed their reaccreditation assessments by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA).
Additionally, FDACS OALE earned Excelsior Status, the highest form of recognition for those agencies demonstrating a commitment by attaining five consecutive re-accreditation assessments without incident.
“I am proud of the continued work of our ag law enforcement officers who daily strive to protect Florida consumers and our agriculture industry from theft, threats, and other crimes. Designation as an Excelsior Agency is a testament to their high level of service and demonstrates a long-term commitment to law enforcement standards,” said Fried.
In 1993, Florida Statute 943.125 directed the Florida Sheriffs’ Association and the Florida Police Chiefs’ Association to create a voluntary law enforcement accreditation program. Through a grassroots effort by the Chiefs and Sheriffs, law enforcement standards were developed and accepted by the Florida law enforcement community and the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, Inc. was formed. CFA is recognized as the premier state law enforcement accreditation program in the United States. In 2007, The CFA expanded the program to include standards and a process specifically to accredit inspectors general offices. The CFA is comprised of four Chiefs, four Sheriffs and one representative from the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, the Association of Counties, The League of Cities, Florida Supreme Court, and the Chief Inspector General Office. The Commission meets three times a year to oversee the accreditation program and to officially accredit agencies that have passed the rigorous review process. For more information on Law Enforcement or Inspectors General Accreditation, please go to the website at: www.flaccreditation.org.
CFA conducts re-accreditation assessments every three years to verify agencies are compliant with the vigorous standards of accreditation. The process includes an assessment of written policies and protocols, in-person interviews, and a physical inspection of facilities. Accreditation demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of law enforcement and professionalism, including a focus on greater cooperation between citizens and law enforcement. Excelsior status is awarded to any office that successfully maintains accreditation across five inspections without condition. FDACS OALE was first accredited in 2007, followed by the OIG in 2010, making the office eligible for Excelsior status in 2025.
FDACS Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE) enforces laws governing businesses regulated by FDACS, protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive trade practices, protect Florida’s agriculture industry from theft and other crimes, and safeguard the wholesomeness of food and other consumer products. FDACS OALE operates 23 agricultural inspection stations on 19 highways going into and out of Florida. Officers conduct vehicle inspections 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure the safety of Florida’s food supply. Officers are on the lookout for unsafe or unwholesome food that could make people sick, and plant and animal pests and diseases that could harm the state’s $100 billion agriculture industry. OALE also investigates crimes involving agriculture and those occurring on property owned or operated by FDACS and maintains domestic security, participating in all seven regional Domestic Security Task Forces statewide.
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