Home Augusta County sheriff candidate Derek Almarode on accreditation issue

Augusta County sheriff candidate Derek Almarode on accreditation issue


Derek_UniformAs the Republican candidate for Sheriff of Augusta County, I would like to share with you my thoughts on the department’s accreditation standing. Last week, Sheriff Fisher made the decision to “voluntarily withdraw” from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). This race is not about Sheriff Fisher, this race is about the character, integrity, beliefs, knowledge, and experience of the four men who are seeking election on November 3rd to be the next Sheriff of Augusta County. This statement provides a vision for the Sheriff’s Office to move forward under my administration.

The decision to voluntarily withdraw comes with a mandatory 18-month waiting period to reapply. During that time, under my administration, the department will operate under the policies and procedures establish by the accreditation process. This waiting period provides an opportunity for my administration to implement departmental change, and rewrite policy where necessary so re-accreditation when eligible will be possible.

Accreditation serves a far greater purpose than to make the department “eligible for Federal and State grants” as previously stated in another article. Accreditation is proof that an agency has met standards essential to its day-to-day operations. The purpose of accreditation is to improve operations, ensure accountability, and enhance the delivery of law enforcement services to the citizens of Augusta County. Accreditation has two primary functions. The first is to assure that an agency has policies and procedures in place to help guide and direct the staff in their daily duties. These policies also provide assurance that, when agencies have adverse occurrences, they are managed appropriately. When these occurrences arise, the second function of accreditation applies, and that is to have policies and procedures in place to investigate, identify the cause, and implement best practices in order to make sure these incidents do not occur again.

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office is comprised of eighty-three men and women. Each of them has a defined role in our daily operations. No one job is more important than any other, as we rely on each other to serve the community. A true leader understands the significance of every individual’s contribution and values it. Mistakes will happen, issues will surface, and problems will arise. Simply because an agency is accredited does not prevent such incidents from happening. As Sheriff, I will expect integrity and accountably on all levels and enforce the policies and procedures set forth by accreditation.
With more than two decades of law enforcement behind me I have learned many things. I believe when we quit trying we fail, and you must own both your successes and your failures.

As Sheriff, leadership starts with tough decisions and I am prepared to make them and will make them. I know the things that need to be done to improve our agency from within. I am aware of the things I need to do as Sheriff and the things our staff need to do to improve our relationships with other agencies and our community. Our department will be different, it will respond differently, and it will function differently under my administration. Upon taking office I will address our staffing issues and divisionalize the agency, so that communication may flow from the bottom up as well as from the top down. The restructuring will allow for efficiency and empower our staff so they are engaged and involved. Leading others is a privilege, not a right. I will inspire others to work hard, learn more, do more, and become more. I know that each of you have expectations for the Sheriff and I intend not only to meet them, but exceed them. I am not running for the title of Sheriff, I am running for the job of Sheriff.

For additional information and questions please contact me at [email protected] or visit my website at www.AlmarodeForSheriff.com.



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