Woodstock Police Department Attains State Accreditation
During the May 9th meeting of the Commission, accredited status was granted to the Woodstock Police Department for meeting each of the 190 standards required for this award. These standards were carefully developed by Virginia's law enforcement professionals to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service and the protection of individual rights. These standards cover all aspects of law enforcement operations including use of force, protection of citizen rights, vehicle pursuits, property and evidence management, and patrol and investigative operations.
This voluntary process began in 2015 and required the Department to conduct a critical self-review of policies, procedures, facilities, and operations. Proofs of compliance for each of the program standards were completed and the Department underwent a rigorous outside audit and review by other accredited law enforcement agencies from across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
This lengthy process involved every officer and offered them an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of what was required of them by the highest industry standards within their profession. As a result, the officers serving the Woodstock community are better equipped to meet these standards in every facet of their service delivery to their community.
“I would like to thank our Mayor, Town Council, and Town Administration for their vision and support during this process. I would also like to commend each and every member of the Woodstock Police Department for their commitment and dedication to this initiative. The Woodstock community can take comfort in knowing their police department has met or exceeded the highest industry standards set forth for law enforcement agencies. We will continually challenge our officers to consider ideas and proposals to increase our efficiency and effectiveness as we strive to serve and protect our community,” stated Chief Eric Reiley.
Chief Reiley specifically praised Ms. Laura Shelton, the Accreditation Manager for the Woodstock Police Department. “Ms. Shelton's leadership and guidance through this process was instrumental in our success. She conducted the self-assessment of our agency by engaging every officer in some function. As a result, our officers not only understand what they are required to do to meet an accreditation standard, but also why it is required,” Reiley added.
According to Ms. Shelton, the process utilized to achieve accreditation was a department-wide effort. All members of the Department, as well as Town Administration, provided invaluable input to the development of policies and procedures implemented and this effort was evident in the findings presented during the commission meeting. In the final report presented to the Commission on May 9th, the accreditation assessment team described the Woodstock Police Department as a department that “embodies a manifest dedication both to its mission of public safety, and to the principles of integrity, professionalism, and accountability.”
There are only 98 out of almost 400 law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia that are accredited under the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, with the Woodstock Police Department being among the smallest locality agencies to attain the honor. The Mayor, Town Council, and Police Department will be presented the accreditation certificate by the Commission Program Manager and Commission Board member(s) at the June 5 Town Council meeting in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Office. There will be a small reception to follow, with the location to be determined.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chief Eric L. Reiley, Woodstock Police Department
134 N. Muhlenberg Street, Woodstock, Virginia 22664