Farmville Police Dept. Expects Accreditation

Published 4:24 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

FARMVILLE – The Farmville Police Department is optimistic that it has earned accreditation-for the first time ever-and that the announcement will be made Wednesday at the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission's quarterly meeting.

“We jumped through the hoops and I can't tell you what our score was, publicly yet. What I have to do is March 27 I appear before the board in Salem, Virginia…and then they should award us accreditation at that time,” Police Chief Doug Mooney told Town Council during its February monthly meeting.

“And at the April (Town Council) meeting I will be able to tell you what our score was, which they told me but publicly I can't say. Perfect scores are very rare,” he said during his monthly report to council members.

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Council member Dr. Edward I. Gordon posed the obvious question.

“Have you found out that you are getting accreditation or is it your feeling?” he asked.

“We were told that we were found to be in compliance with all the standards,” Chief Mooney told him.

“Congratulations,” said a smiling Dr. Gordon.

“So you can kind of read between the lines,” the police chief continued, providing additional clues to the answer, “but we don't get the award until March 27. It was a very good accreditation. It was supposed to take three days and they were gone by the second day. It was very long days. Gerry (Town Manager Gerald Spates) went with us the first night. We were talking about things…with the assessors until 8:30 one night. They're long days for the assessors and long days for the officers here. I can tell you we, the officers, did very well.”

The police department had its final accreditation assessment, which was slated for February 4, 5 and 6. Certified assessors from across the state converged on Farmville to evaluate the department, which has been working to achieve acreditation for three years.

The assessors, Chief Mooney explained, are from other police departments that are accredited “and we had two mock assessments leading up to this.”

The police also provided a bit of show and tell.

“And just to give you an idea of what we have to do, this crate,” he said, picking it up, “is full of folders. This (crate) and four others like it is what we have to show them and it's 187 folders like this and each folder has proofs of compliance, which is a total of 713 proofs of compliance that we had to show through office reports, photographs, that we're following the standards that are set.”

One less proof than Babe Ruth's career home run total.

Accreditation shows “we're following the best practices in law enforcement, doing the things that we should be doing, and we have to prove it,” Chief Mooney continued.

The veteran law enforcement officer described the assessment process as “brutal. It goes over administration, folders for operations, for personnel, for training.”

And the department must demonstrate it is a good steward of taxpayer money.

There was also a static display and an agency walk-through by the accreditation assessors.

“They were very complimentary of the building, of the agency. It's a new facility and you gave us a very good one and I appreciate that,” Chief Mooney said, before moving on to the static display requirements.

“For the static display we have all of our equipment that we set up at the fire department and officers had to explain the equipment,” he detailed, “but they were also asked a lot of questions on policy and why we do certain things and if our policy conforms to what it's supposed to and are we following it.”

The officers, the police chief noted, “did very well with that, with the static displays. In April I should be able to tell you good news. It's been three years and a lot of progress that the men and women have made.”