Augusta Free Press

Virginia State Police seeks public input for reaccreditation assessment

The public will have an opportunity to offer comments regarding the Virginia State Police when a national accreditation team arrives in Richmond in July to assess the Department. The Virginia State Police are in the process of reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).

“Accreditation provides both the Department and the public with quality assurance that the State Police is in step with today’s policing standards and practices,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We welcome the CALEA assessment team and the public’s input concerning this process and our abilities to fulfill our mission to serve and protect the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

When the Virginia State Police achieved its initial accreditation from CALEA in 1986, the Department was the second state law enforcement agency in the nation to receive this prestigious award.  Since then, the Virginia State Police has successfully maintained an accredited status. The reaccreditation process takes place every three years.

The public is invited to share its comments with the CALEA on-site assessment team at a Public Information Session Aug. 1, 2016, at 6 p.m. at the Virginia State Police Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County, Va.

If for some reason an individual cannot speak at the public information session, but would still like to provide comments to the assessment team, he/she may do so by telephone or written correspondence.  The two-member assessment team will be available to take phone calls Aug. 1, 2016, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A toll-free telephone number has been established for those wishing to contact the team: 1-866-468-4903. Telephone comments, as well as appearances at the public information session, are limited to 10 minutes and must address the Department’s ability to comply with CALEA standards.

Those wishing to offer written comments about the Department’s ability to meet reaccreditation standards are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155.

The CALEA on-site assessment team is comprised of the following law enforcement practitioners:  Mr. Gerald Bailey, Commissioner (retired) of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Lt. Raymond Cornford, (retired) of the Rapid City, S.D., Police Department.

Through the review of written materials, interviews and site visits, the assessors will examine the Department’s policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services for compliance with CALEA standards. The assessment process ensures that the Department regularly reviews all aspects of its operations and is in compliance with law enforcement standards established by the Commission.

A copy of the CALEA standards can be viewed by the public at the State Police Administrative Headquarters at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.  For those with additional questions, please contact Ms. Vanessa Casale, Virginia State Police Accreditation Manager, at 804-674-2755.

CALEA was created in 1979 to develop a set of law enforcement standards and to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies could demonstrate voluntarily that they meet professionally-recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.