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Sheriff’s office earns reaccreditation

It was a big deal for the late Sheriff C. W. “Buddy” Jackson and Lt. Bill England when the Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office received its initial accreditation in June 2006. The accomplishment was not diminished when current Sheriff C. O. Balderson and Lt. England celebrated the department’s reaccreitation on June 14 with the members of the Board of Supervisors.
To date the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission has only conveyed the accreditation status to 82 of Virginia’s 450 law enforcement agencies. The Colonial Beach Police Department joined those ranks earlier this year, and Lt. England was credited with providing training assistance to the Colonial Beach personnel.
According to Monday night’s discussion, the commission assessors delivered a unanimous finding of program compliance. Lt. England served as accreditation manager.
The award is conveyed at four-year intervals. A former Virginia State Trooper, Balderson was elected to the office of Westmoreland County Sheriff in November 2007.
The new sheriff immediately instituted personnel and other departmental changes. He addressed the subject of that office’s reaccreditation during the supervisors’ June 14 meeting.
“This is a very humbling experience for me,” Balderson said. “Unless you have people who carry it out, the award is nothing but words on paper.”
Balderson then gave credit for the accomplishment to “all the Sheriff’s Office employees.”
“We thank you for all of the effort and the training,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Woody Hynson told Sheriff Balderson and Lt. England. “We are very proud of you.”
Four years ago the Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office was one of 55 Virginia law enforcement agencies meriting receipt of the award. In both instances, review of the department and its performance standards was exacting.
The Sheriff’s Office became the subject of a multitude of on-site audits and reviews. In each instance, personnel had to demonstrate to peers that they possess, utilize and appropriately follow the exacting sets of standards and procedures.

Betsy Ficklin

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