Largo Police receives high praise from assessors

In August, a team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation once again recommended the Largo Police Department for its highest level of achievement, Excelsior Status.

LARGO — Largo Police officials say they hold the department to a high standard, and the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation agrees. 

In August, a team of assessors from the commission once again recommended the department for its highest level of achievement, Excelsior Status.

It’s the third consecutive time the department has earned the honor, making it one of fewer than 60 in the state with the lofty status.

“The accreditation processes cause us to maintain very high standards in every area and ensure strict adherence to best practices in policy and procedure,” Major Randall Chaney wrote in an email to Tampa Bay Newspapers. “We are one of few agencies in Florida that are dual-accredited by national and state organizations. Needless to say, we are very proud of our department and its professionalism.”

Chaney said the department of 150-plus sworn officers 44 civilian employees has been nationally accredited since 1988 and state-accredited since 1999.

The team of assessors, which included three former and current members from sheriff’s offices around Florida, conducted its inspection of the department’s divisions, units and procedures in late July and agreed that it is a well-managed and professional agency.

“From top to bottom, this agency demonstrates a total commitment to the delivery of excellent services and is completely committed to the accreditation process,” the team’s report states. “Chief (Jeff) Undestad is an exceptional leader in a department of exceptional members. Every member of the agency the team encountered was professional, helpful and committed to the agency and its values. … The citizens of Largo should be very proud of the men and women of this agency who are committed to providing the best police services possible in a professional and objective manner.” 

The team also was impressed with the department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit, which focuses on community involvement and includes three specialized positions — a mental health liaison, senior services officer and crime prevention officer.

“The Largo Police Department’s POP Unit is innovative and provides an array of services that are meaningful and directly impact the lives of its citizens in a positive way,” the report states.