On April 14, 2009, Sheriff Charles E. Jett of Stafford County and Sheriff F. W. “Wakey” Howard, Jr. of New Kent County presented the Certification of Accreditation to the Martinsville Sheriff’s Office for its commitment to law enforcement excellence as evidenced by their successful completion of the certification process for the Virginia Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. All accreditation programs are designed to measure and confirm compliance of the participating agency with the professional standards in whatever discipline or profession they are involved. It is one of the means by which citizens and government leaders can be assured that an agency is maintaining the high performance marks to which the community has a right. In Virginia, law enforcement agencies can seek and achieve accredited status, but they are not required to. Accreditation in Virginia is completely voluntary. This fact further distinguishes the Martinsville Sheriff’s Office for their commitment to professionalism and their willingness to be measured by and compared to the best in the profession.
The Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission was formed in the early 1990’s to provide law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth with an avenue for demonstrating that they meet 180 accepted standards for efficient and effective agency operation. Since then, out of the 417 eligible law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth, approximately 77 of those have become accredited under the program. Each agency that participates must meet or exceed the criteria contained in each standard by demonstrating to the Commission that they possess, utilize and follow the adopted standards that are contained within their own policies, rules and regulations.
In November, a team of VLEPSC certified assessors assessed the Martinsville Sheriff’s Office. They issued their report to the Executive Board advising that they had found this agency to be in compliance with all applicable standards as required by the Accreditation Program. On February 18th, the Executive Board met and unanimously approved the Sheriff’s Office for VLEPSC accreditation. As an agency applicant for accreditation, it is important to note that initial accreditation is not a laurel one may rest upon. Once accredited, the agency’s active participation in this program does not cease. All agencies must maintain their accreditation files on an on-going basis and submit to annual verifications of compliance as required by the Commission.
The Accreditation Manager for the Sheriff’s Office is Captain W. Bart Hampton
Submitted by: Krystal H. Davis, Office Associate