The sheriff’s office first earned accreditation in 2014, according to Smith, who explained that the office must be re-assessed every four years to make sure it remains in compliance with “hundreds of standards set forth by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC).”

A team of VLEPSC assessors visited the sheriff’s office for three days in September, auditing daily operations and scouring for proof of standard compliance in categories that included operations, personnel, administration and training.

“It is an intense process, one that requires thorough preparation and attention to detail,” Smith said. Less than 25 percent of Virginia’s law enforcement agencies are accredited, according to the sheriff, adding that accreditation is extremely difficult to earn and maintain.

Amy Shelor, an administrative staff specialist with the sheriff’s office, also serves as the accreditation manager.

“Amy’s intelligence, vision and organizational skills make her perfect for the job,” Smith said, adding that the assessors were impressed with the agency as a whole and its day to day operations.

“Being accredited is critical…

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