Accreditations & Awards
(L-R): Marcus Brown – CALEA, Commissioner Sergeant Megan Huston – Accreditation Manager, Sheriff W.Q. Overton, Jr, Craig Hartley, Jr. – Executive Director of CALEA
National Accreditation (CALEA)
The Office of the Sheriff, County of Franklin proudly became nationally accredited on November 19th, 2022 by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The prestigious award is granted to applicant law enforcement agencies that have proven, through policy and practice that they have met or exceeded national standards recognized by the commission, which reflect excellence in policing as well as adherence to modern management concepts. The process consists of an agencies self-assessment of policy and practices, onsite assessment by a CALEA Assessment Team, and a hearing before CALEA Commissioners. This process will occur every four (4) years, with annual reviews in between. While the process facilitates the agency’s pursuit of professional excellence, it can limit liability and risk exposure because it demonstrates that nationally recognized standards for law enforcement have been met by a team of independent outside CALEA-trained assessors.
CALEA standards apply to patrol, investigations, administration, community outreach, property and evidence, tactical teams, and all areas of the Sheriff’s Office operation. The only exception is the secure portion of the Franklin County Jail, which operates under the Virginia Department of Corrections Standards.
The Office of the Sheriff joins a small, but growing, number of agencies throughout Virginia and the United States who have earned the full accreditation award. At the date of the initial award in November 2022, the Office of the Sheriff was only the fifth (5th) Sheriff’s Office in the state of Virginia to achieve national accreditation and being only one of two that have full law enforcement services.
As part of the ongoing process, we provide an opportunity for public feedback via the CALEA Portal, which can be located here: https://cimrs2.calea.org/1068
The purpose of this public portal is to receive comments regarding our compliance with CALEA standards, engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services, and overall candidacy for accredited status. These comments can be in the form of commendations or concerns. The overall intent of the accreditation process is to provide our agency with information to support continuous improvement, as well as foster our pursuit of professional excellence. It is important to know that CALEA is not an investigatory body and subsequently the public portal should not be used to submit information for such purposes. Additionally, there will be no response other than acknowledgement to submissions; however, the information will be considered in context to its relevancy to compliance with standards and the tenets of CALEA® Accreditation.
State Accreditation (VLEPSC)
The Office of the Sheriff, County of Franklin is an accredited agency through the state organization known as the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). The office received its initial award in 2014 and has since been reaccredited two more times (in 2018 and 2022). Every four (4) years the agency has files reviewed to verify compliance with over 180 standards. This includes both a file review and an on-site review, to include interviews with both department members and the public. The next review is scheduled to take place in 2026.
Accreditation is a coveted award that symbolizes professionalism, excellence and competence. Through compliance with standards designed to meet the needs of the community and offer the utmost in effectiveness and efficiency, the Office of the Sheriff is dedicated to providing the highest level of law enforcement services available to the community and look forward to proving such acclaim through future accreditation processes.