On September 29, 2020, a huge milestone for the Petersburg Bureau of Police and the City of Petersburg, VA was accomplished when the agency received its initial award recognizing their accreditation through the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). More notable and challenging is that this was accomplished amid the novel COVID-19 Pandemic.
Pictured above (L to R): Capt. G. Geist, Capt. C. Walker, Capt. E. Chambliss, Chief S. Booth (VLEPSC Commission Board Member), H.R.Griffin (Accreditation Manager), Chief T. Christian, Lt. S. Johnson, Ret. Chief K. Miller, D. Mayes (VLEPSC Program Manager)
Accreditation is a voluntary program whereby an agency demonstrates compliance with best practice standards determined by the accrediting body. Less than 25% of the 400 law enforcement agencies in Virginia have attained VLEPSC accreditation.
Accreditation is a commitment to providing the community with the best in public safety services by:
• Maintaining comprehensive policies and procedures
• Enhancing service delivery
• Strengthening agency accountability and community relationships
• Establishing fair and non-discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices
In July of 2020, three certified VLEPSC assessors visited our agency for two days, thoroughly inspecting our operations from top to bottom, ensuring that the agency was in compliance with nearly 190 applicable standards and 360 requirements as mandated by the Accreditation Commission. This resulted in the assessment being completed with zero discrepancies and a flawless report from the assessors. This was a fantastic accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work and professionalism our agency displays each and every day to the citizens we serve.
The lead assessor, Lt. Tim Brown of Christiansburg Police Department stated “the Assessment Team was impressed with the Petersburg Police Department and the professionalism of both its sworn and non-sworn members. This agency continuously displayed a “can do” attitude and truly put their best foot forward leading the way by what they do, not just by what they say. The professionalism and training of the men and women of Petersburg Bureau of Police is second to none. The enthusiasm which the officers perform their jobs are highly commendable as is the leadership of the Petersburg Bureau of Police. “
Accreditation symbolizes the department’s commitment to professionalism and excellence in all aspects of public safety. Accreditation is not only important to our community to ensure professional police service, but it also provides a working environment that our employees can be proud of.
According to VLEPSC:
“Accreditation increases the law enforcement agency’s ability to prevent and control crime through more effective and efficient delivery of law enforcement services to the community it serves. Accreditation enhances community understanding of the law enforcement agency and its role in the community as well as its goals and objectives. Citizen confidence in the policies and practices of the agency is increased. Accreditation, in conjunction with the philosophy of community policing, commits the agency to a broad range of programs (such as crime prevention) that directly benefit the public. Accreditation creates a forum in which police and citizens work together to control and prevent crime. This partnership will help citizens to understand the challenges that confront law enforcement. Law enforcement will, in turn, receive clear direction from the community about its expectations. Thus, a common set of goals and objectives will be arrived at and implemented.”
The department must submit annual reports demonstrating continued compliance. Every four years, the department will be re-evaluated by a team of independent assessors to determine re-accreditation. Additionally, the Department must undergo a rigorous on-site inspection by multiple, specially trained, independent assessors. These assessors examine all areas of the agency to ensure continued and on-going compliance with the professional standards set forth by the Commission.