Salem City Council members recognized the Salem Sheriff’s Office for its reaccreditation achievement during a ceremony at the Monday night Council meeting at City Hall. Salem Sheriff Ric Atkins accepted the good news and the official certificate of achievement from Gary Roche, Chief of Police for the Town of Pulaski and Chairman of the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, Derrick Mays, Program Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and Martinsville Sheriff Steve Draper who also is a commission member.
This is the fourth award for the Sheriff’s Office since 2005. Currently, only 126 law enforcement agencies out of the approximately 400 that are eligible for accreditation have achieved this distinction.
“This is a true measure of professionalism when you take the time, effort and attention to detail that it takes to achieve law enforcement accreditation in Virginia,” says Sheriff Atkins. “Our staff deserves the credit for its dedication to the process and meeting the standards of accreditation every day.
Atkins specifically praised Accreditation Manager and Salem Sheriff’s Office Major, April Staton, for leading the department through the rigorous process.
“Law enforcement accreditation is the measuring stick for determining an agency’s overall adherence to modern professional standards, as well as emerging trends in the field,” he says. “Accreditation requires meeting standards related to administration, operations, personnel and training.”
Atkins is retiring later this year after serving Salem’s citizens for 33 years, including the last 10 as Sheriff.
“Anyone who says that law enforcement accreditation is not important is out of touch with reality,” he says. “It certainly is a source of pride for the Sheriff’s Office as well as our citizens. I also know how important it is to our Police Department, as we work hand-in-hand to provide the very best in criminal justice services to our citizens. I look for a day in the future where law enforcement funding will be tied to the accreditation efforts of the state supported Virginia agencies.”
For more information on law enforcement accreditation, please visit the VLEPSC and or the CALEA websites - www.vlepsc.org and www.calea.org