Get to Know Your PSO – Policy Accreditation Section

Ready for another edition of “Get to Know Your PSO?” Learn all about the Policy Accreditation Section!

Did you know that the Pasco Sheriff’s Office is an accredited agency? By being an accredited agency PSO is following the best policies and procedures for law enforcement. This is the Pasco Detention Centers first year being accredited with the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC). The PSO have two members that dedicate their time to ensuring the policies and procedures are in place: Sergeant Theresa Barmann and Policy Compliance Corporal Nicole Ojeda.

“Basically an accreditation is, basically shows that we’re following a set of rules and standards to follow,” stated Sergeant Barmann. “And there’s a lot of benefits to it, but those standards all comply with Florida Model Jail standards and Florida Law. So it’s an important process!”

Not every agency is accredited. Around 135 agencies are accredited and the PSO’s jail is one of them. It is a challenging process, but the PSO have embraced it in order to provide excellence to the agency and community. Sergeant Barmann and Corporal Ojeda see to it that the accreditation standards are met and implement any policy changes. They also make sure that the policies are accurate and review them with the staff.

“Basically it’s just keeping our policies up, making sure we’re following those standards,” said Sergeant Barmann. “Accreditation is voluntary so to me the fact that agencies become accredited is a big deal. It speaks volumes I think to show that we are trying to abide by those standards.”

The Policy Accreditation Section helps to keep law enforcement agency policies current and maximizes efficiency. By updating the agency on new policies the Policy Accreditation Section is investing in the future of the PSO. They have to keep up-to-date with all of the present policies for each section of the Detention Center. According the FCAC, their accreditation is the “gold seal of law enforcement excellence” because it eliminates doubt that the agency does not function by the book.

“There’s a lot of benefits to being accredited!” Said Sergeant Barmann. “Some of the benefits include, it helps us maintain a high level of professionalism, it reduces liability, makes us accountable for what’s going on in our facility, it give us the opportunity to review our policies and procedure just to make sure we’re following them correctly. That’s always important, but basically it holds us accountable, it allows us to keep a safe environment for staff and the inmates.”

According to Sergeant Barmann the entire agency works together in order follow these standards. With the support of the entire agency the Policy Accreditation Section has been able to maintain the policies. The members of the Detention Center know that this is more than just being accredited; it is providing the public with law enforcement excellence.

“We have to work together as a team to get it done and to be honest the accreditation process isn’t just me,” said Sergeant Barmann. “Like it takes everybody! Everybody has to have buy in; everybody has to believe in the system because it takes teamwork from everybody. So it does take the entire agency to make sure we are following those policies.”

The work the Policy Accreditation Section does make the jail a safer place for the workers and inmates. It is an ongoing process because the policies are always changing for the betterment and safety of the community. Sergeant Barmann and Corporal Ojeda are proud of what they do because they know it helps everyone!

It’s a great place to work. I know the public does not always see that we’re here for them. I think a lot of times they think we’re against them, but that’s not the case. We’re trying to make the community a safer place. Whether it’s outside in the community or inside the jail because it does affect us all.

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