J Sargeant Reynolds Police Department is honored to be the first, and currently the only, Virginia Community College police department in history to achieve accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). As of August 2017 we have received a 2nd accreditation from VLEPSC.
Accreditation is a voluntary process that law enforcement agencies go through to enhance their quality of service and credibility. Agencies have outside examiners come in and review their policies and procedures against a list of best practices and industry standards. The examiners then review examples of agency performance to determine if the policies are in fact being followed.
The Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) is the accrediting agency in Virginia. It has a total of 190 standards that are further divided into over 600 specific requirements. Information about the accreditation process is available from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Accreditation Process. The program manual, which contains the standards, is available for public review Program Manual.
As of January 2017, there are only 95 VLEPSC accredited agencies. According to the Bureau of Justice Services, there are 340 Law Enforcement agencies in Virginia. That means only 28% of all agencies in the state have been accredited by VLEPSC.
Police Chief Paul Ronca has a desire to create openness, trust and transparency in police operations. However, privacy laws and investigative concerns often restrict public scrutiny of police operations. One exception to these restrictions is accreditation assessors. They can legally access information that is not available to the public. By inviting these outside assessors from the state commission to examine our policies, investigations, and practices he intends to reassure the college community that our police force meets the levels highest of professionalism.