The process of accreditation for Virginia Law Enforcement agencies is rigorous and intensive. 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 is considered the ultimate measure of professionalism among law enforcement agencies. The Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission is governed by an executive board composed of six Sheriffs selected by the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association and six Chiefs selected by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. The program of accreditation promulgates a comprehensive set of standards that requires compliance with over 700 points of professional practice. The standards are recognized as a “best practices” protocol for any law enforcement agency. There are ongoing reviews and reaccreditation is scheduled every four years in order to retain this highly coveted status.
The Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office has been accredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) since May 2006.
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services is responsible for establishing and ensuring compliance with minimum training standards for all Virginia law enforcement personnel. The Support Services Division is responsible for ensuring all personnel meet or exceed state requirements regarding both entry-level, initial training, field training and ongoing professional development (in-service) and specialty training.
The service of civil process is one of the integral responsibilities of Virginia Sheriffs’ departments. In 2014, Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office served over 6,500 civil papers throughout the county and the towns of Montross and Colonial Beach.