augusta free press news

Governor McAuliffe announces Virginia ABC receives law enforcement accreditation

va abcToday, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Bureau of Law Enforcement received its initial accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. The Commission, a panel of police chiefs and sheriffs from across the state, voted unanimously for the accreditation award.

“I am pleased that the Virginia ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement has taken this important step in the agency’s effort to keep Virginians safe in the most professional and credible manner,” said Governor McAuliffe. “As states across the nation grapple with the difficult issues of trust and cooperation in community law enforcement, I am proud that Virginia is leading the way.”

The accreditation program, administered through the state’s Department of Criminal Justice Services, is a thorough inspection and review of agency policies, procedures, processes and operations as defined by 190 stringent standards. Four performance areas including administration, operations, personnel and training are carefully evaluated against established criteria by an independent panel of certified assessors.

“I commend the Virginia ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement for reaching this important milestone – one that not only supports an ongoing culture of professionalism and accountability but also completes one of the significant recommendations made to the Governor by the ABC Law Enforcement Expert Review Panel,” said Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran.

Virginia ABC Special Policy Advisor for Law Enforcement Ryant Washington said the accreditation is a source of pride for the agency and an asset for residents of the commonwealth. “This accreditation process has provided an important framework for professional self-inspection,” said Washington. “It has increased the effectiveness of our policy development, the efficiency of our delivery of services and ensures that we continue to provide proper training. We are committed to maintaining this high level of professionalism and responsibility,” he said.

An assessment team made up of independent law enforcement professionals from across Virginia inspected files, collected incident reports and photos, conducted interviews and observations and reviewed activities, equipment and facilities as part of the three-day accreditation examination. ABC’s regional enforcement offices across the state underwent a thorough check to ensure policy and practice compliance in all areas. In order to maintain accreditation, the agency will be reassessed every four years.

“Overall, the accreditation process promotes public confidence in law enforcement as a whole,” said Virginia ABC Chief Operating Officer Travis Hill, who oversees the agency’s Enforcement Bureau. “Obtaining this designation indicates Virginia ABC’s continuing commitment to maintain a professional law enforcement organization that holds its agents, management and staff to a higher standard. I congratulate the agents and staff who served on the Virginia ABC accreditation team, as well as all members of the Bureau on this accomplishment.”

Approximately 92 Virginia law enforcement agencies are accredited by VLEPSC, which was founded in 1993 and is overseen by an executive board comprised of Virginia police chiefs and sheriffs who are appointed by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association. The program is managed by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.