The newly accredited University of Central Florida Police Department today dedicated  its new Emergency Operations Center and a sculpture in commemoration of fallen officers.

Chief Richard Beary announced the accreditation following the department’s completion of a rigorous review by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation. 

The department’s policies, procedures, management and operations were measured against nearly 300 standards to earn the new designation, he said.

“We have a standard of care now and we have to continue to meet that,” Beary said at the dedication ceremonies in front of the campus police station.

This is the first time the department has sought accreditation, which can be reapplied for every three years. The purpose of achieving accreditation is to improve the ability of law-enforcement agencies to deliver professional safety services to the public.

The visiting panel checked everything from the department’s personnel standards to the uniforms to the crime-scene tape the department’s 60 sworn officers carry in their patrol cars.

“Everything we do is held to a standard that every law enforcement agency is held to,” said Lt. Jerry Emert. “Our officers really extended themselves. It’s not just about knowledge. They [accreditation commission] checked our attitude, how we feel about the department, the university and our customers.”

Deborah Moody is the CFA program manager for the UCF Police Department. The CFA assessment team leader was Lt. Mark K. Buffington from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office. Other team members were Maj. Donald Hall from the Clearwater Police Department and Carol Kersey from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

The new Emergency Operations Center is designed to serve as a headquarters in times of large-scale disasters or emergencies on campus. The center was built in the police department’s former station across the parking lot.

The department’s new Fallen Officer Sculpture in front of the current station was dedicated to all officers who have died in the line of duty, and specifically UCF officers. A plaque bearing the name of UCF Cpl. Mario R. Jenkins is on the sculpture and his parents were present for the dedication.

Police Cpl. Adam Casebolt on the bagpipes played a song in memory of fallen officers.