Smithfield police re-accredited

Published 6:05 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Smithfield’s Police Department has been re-accredited by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission.

Derrick Mays, the commission’s accreditation center program manager and Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O. Balderson presented the award at town council’s Dec. 1 meeting at the Smithfield Center.

Police Chief Alonzo Howell, Deputy Chief Chris Meier and Kristi Kincaid, the department’s accreditation manager, received the award. A handful of other officers were invited to come forward to represent the department.

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Mays said the award reflects positively not only on the department but also on the community as a whole.

“It’s not only the department’s award, it’s your award,” Mays told the council during the brief ceremony. “But what’s most important is, it’s the public’s award,” he said. “Because when you have a police department that’s out there 24 hours a day serving, protecting, this [accreditation] is what you need.” Being an accredited agency, he added, enhances the public’s trust.

The professional standards commission is composed of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. Executive board members, consisting of active police chiefs and sheriffs from across the state, set professional standards and administer the accreditation process to evaluate law enforcement agencies. The goal, according to the organization’s website, is to increase professionalism and public trust.

This is the police department’s sixth accreditation. The agency was first accredited in 2000.