QPD denied opportunity for accreditation

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By Alice Du Pont

The Quincy Police Department was denied permission to begin the accreditation process using the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation as its monitoring agency. The commission works with police departments statewide to update policies, procedures and practices to make the departments professionally recognized agencies.

Chief Ferman Richardson admitted, however, that the commission also looks at the physical facilities where the police department is housed and that the current facility could not pass scrutiny. The Quincy Police Department has peeling walls, cracked floors and other structural problems, Richardson said.

"Why should we go into this knowing that we're not going to pass any kind of inspection?" asked Commissioner Derrick Elias, during the city commission meeting last Tuesday.

Richardson said the problems with the building can be addressed later but he hoped the commission would see the accreditation as a tool to remove and replace any discrepancy in policies, procedures and practices within the police department.

"The accomplishment of obtaining accreditation has the additional value of knowing the department is working within the boundaries and practices, and is in compliance with the Florida Law Enforcement profession and that an outside auditor has reviewed all facets of the department to ensure compliance," Richardson said.

"I don't want to dive into something and we know we're going to fail," said Mayor Andy Gay.

Richardson said if commissioners agreed to the accreditation process, the commission might be able to steer the city toward potential funding sources for a new police station.

McLean said there is no possibility that the city will be able to pay for a new police station in the near future.

In other matters, commissioners:

• Asked Richardson to provide more information before they will be able to vote on a youth protection ordinance, which provides for a curfew for youth under 16 years old.

• Asked Larry White, city attorney, to draw up an ordinance for consideration prohibiting panhandling and pinhooking.

• Voted to raise the price of Internet broadband, telephone and cable by $3, $3.50 and $8, respectively.