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RUPD aces review to win reaccreditation

With a perfect score, the Radford University Police Department (RUPD) was awarded accreditation by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) on Jan. 10.

The flawless accreditation report places the RUPD among the elite law enforcement organizations in the Commonwealth. RU is one of only 86 statewide agencies or departments to be accredited by VLEPSC and is the second in the organization's history to achieve certification with a perfect score.

RUPD also has the distinction of being the first university police agency in Virginia to ace its final exam, building on its distinction of being the first university police agency in Virginia to earn the prestigious accreditation in 2000. RU is currently one of three university police departments with VLEPSC accreditation.

"I can’t express how proud I am of this department," said Chief of Police Colleen Roberts, who completed the mandated four-year process in Stafford County before a VLEPSC executive board review panel of 12 chiefs of police and sheriffs. Roberts was accompanied to the review by RU Deputy Chief David Underwood; Officer Robert Johnson, accreditation manager; and William Beverly, administrative specialist. All were instrumental in the department's accreditation effort.

Roberts called the accreditation a "university-wide achievement," saying it required commitment from the RU administration and assistance from departments across campus, including Facilities Management, which assisted by making important upgrades to the department's Allen Building headquarters. She also expressed gratitude to local and regional law enforcement agencies that provided "invaluable" assistance to the RU accreditation team by making mock assessments and giving other support.

VLEPSC review team inspecting RUPD equipment

The review team, above, that visited RUPD in December gave the department a perfect score.

Officer Johnson said accreditation means the RUPD "is going above and beyond as we provide services and programs to our community, and it means that we are holding ourselves to the highest standards when we do it." Johnson coordinated the process by which the department accommodated a comprehensive review of its administration, operations, personnel and training regimens. The assessment included a full-scale inspection in December of the 39-member department's facilities and operations by a three-person VLPSERC team.

The RUPD was judged to be flawless in compliance with the organization's 187 overall standards and hundreds of additional standards and bullet points within the organization's guidelines and standards.

"Our department accreditation is not just a goal to be achieved every four years, it’s our daily commitment," Chief Roberts said. "It is a verification that we are operating daily in accordance with and adhering to the profession's best practices."

VLEPSC is composed of active sheriffs and chiefs of police from the Virginia Sheriff Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. The commission establishes professional standards and administers the accreditation process by which Virginia law enforcement agencies can be systematically measured, evaluated and updated.

"With this important endorsement, the community can be assured that the Radford University Police Department is operating at the highest level of proficiency and professionalism," Roberts said.

Jan 15, 2013
Don Bowman
(540) 831-7523
dbowman@radford.edu