Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office earns high marks

Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall, left, and Capt. Joe Willard hold up the office’s Certificate of Accreditation. This is a first for the department, and Marshall intends to maintain the status. — STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS

ISLE OF WIGHT—Mark Marshall said that when he was campaigning to become the next sheriff of Isle of Wight County, part of his pledge was to bring the county office to full accreditation.


He recently returned from Martinsville with a certificate in hand — a first for the department.

Marshall added that the accreditation — A++ — is valid for four years.

“Now we just have to keep it,” he said with a wide smile.

But the sheriff is not worried. For one, he’s got office/accreditation manager Jimmie Minton to keep everyone on track. Then there’s the able-bodied staff that upholds the laws of the land, and they’ve evidently been doing so to the satisfaction of the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission.

Criteria for how Virginia law enforcement agencies should act in almost any case were established in the 1990s.

“Accreditation requires you to constantly keep up with these standards,” said Marshall, adding that there are 190 that can range from handling domestic abuse cases to hiring people.

“It’s everything — even how we collect, store and dispose of evidence,” he also said.

Writing reports is not enough to earn the recognition. Any law enforcement agency in Virginia that seeks that certificate has to prove training has been done, understood and followed.

Assessors from outside a department arrive to inspect and ensure. Such people came in March and spent a couple of days in Isle of Wight.

Though at one time insurance premiums were an incentive to earn accreditation, that’s apparently no longer available.

But another and more lasting benefit of following higher standards comes from improvements in service. For example, pursuits on the roads. If an incident seems to warrant chasing a suspect, a deputy must immediately report to the office of what’s going on and tell a supervisor. Questions to consider include why the pursuit is happening, what’s the speed and how are the road conditions. If anything could put people in an unsafe situation, there’s no justification or risk of a high-speed chase.

“It’s real introspective work and you make the changes if you believe in these tenets,” said Marshall.

Story courtesy of Tidewater News

Shenandoah Sheriff’s Office earns state reaccreditation

accredShenandoahSOBy Joe Beck

The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office has received its third accreditation award from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission.

The accreditation program, administered through the state’s Department of Criminal Justice Services, requires law enforcement agencies to meet hundreds of stringent standards in areas such as report writing and collection and storage of evidence to gain accreditation.

Maj. Scott Proctor said the accreditation is a source of pride for the Sheriff’s Office and an asset for the county residents.

“What this does for the public, it increases the effectiveness of our delivery of services and ensures proper training,” Proctor said. “One of the biggest benefits we see is it instills a culture of professionalism and accountability, and we believe that will be ongoing.”

Proctor said the law enforcement professional standards commission voted unanimously for the accreditation on May 15. The commission is made up of police chiefs and sheriffs from throughout the state. The Sheriff’s Office must earn a new accreditation award every four years. Shenandoah County received its first accreditation in 2006.

Proctor said an assessment team made up of law enforcement professionals from around Virginia inspected files and reviewed activities, equipment and facilities as part of a three-day accreditation assessment.

“Overall, it promotes public confidence in law enforcement as a whole,” Proctor said of the accreditation. “In our case, and any other accredited agency will tell you this, it holds deputies and staff and the agency to a higher standard.”

Story courtesy of NV Daily

Congratulations to our Accredited/Reaccredited Agencies

The Commission met on Thursday, May 15, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. The following accreditation certificates were awarded:

Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office – 4th award
Radford Police Department – 4th awardAccreditation-LogoBlue
Division of Capitol Police – 2nd award
Colonial Beach Police Department – 2nd award
Division of State Parks – 2nd award
Arlington Co. Sheriff’s Office – 5th award
Isle of Wight Co. Sheriff’s Office – Initial award
Shenandoah Co. Sheriff’s Office – 3rd award
Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office – 3rd award