Press Release

Public Release — Warren County Becomes Certified Crime Prevention Community

Mark A. But­ler, Sheriff

Pub­lic Release — War­ren Coun­ty Becomes Cer­ti­fied Crime Pre­ven­tion Community

On June 15, 2023, the War­ren Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office was offi­cial­ly cer­ti­fied by the Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Ser­vices as the 13th law enforce­ment agency to receive the pres­ti­gious Cer­ti­fied Crime Pre­ven­tion Com­mu­ni­ty (CCPC) Pro­gram designation.

Accord­ing to Sher­iff Mark But­ler “this out­stand­ing DCJS pro­gram rec­og­nizes agen­cies whose exem­plary com­mu­ni­ty polic­ing pro­grams fos­ter the devel­op­ment of com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty ini­tia­tives at the local lev­el, in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with our stake­hold­ers.” The goal of the pro­gram is to pub­licly rec­og­nize and cer­ti­fy local­i­ties that have imple­ment­ed a defined set of com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty strate­gies as part of a com­pre­hen­sive com­mu­ni­ty safety/crime pre­ven­tion effort.

The Vir­ginia DCJS described the CCPC Pro­gram as being one of the first of its kind in the nation and encour­ages local­i­ties to devel­op and imple­ment col­lab­o­ra­tive com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty plans with­in a flex­i­ble frame­work designed by the New Part­ner­ship Com­mis­sion for Com­mu­ni­ty Safe­ty, pur­suant to a 1998 Exec­u­tive Order.

The pro­gram pro­vides an ongo­ing process by which War­ren Coun­ty can reassess and update its plans to address emerg­ing com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty issues.  To obtain this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, the War­ren Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office had to meet 12 core com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty elements/strategies aug­ment­ed by a min­i­mum of sev­en approved option­al ele­ments.  The pro­gram itself is man­aged and mon­i­tored by DCJS.

Sher­iff Mark But­ler acknowl­edged this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion has been one of his prin­ci­pal goals since being elect­ed Sher­iff in 2019.  Accord­ing to Sher­iff But­ler “this cer­ti­fi­ca­tion was due to a tremen­dous amount of hard work by a lot of ded­i­cat­ed pro­fes­sion­als in the Sheriff’s Office, with the help and sup­port of our citizenry.” 

To put this into con­text, there are only four pol­i­cy areas under accred­i­ta­tion, with sup­port­ing stan­dards beneath each that must be proven. The CCPC Pro­gram has nine­teen ele­ments, each hav­ing one to three quan­tifi­able goals, and a min­i­mum of three objec­tives sup­port­ing each goal.

Sher­iff But­ler stat­ed we “began eval­u­at­ing the entire office to ascer­tain our strengths and weak­ness­es.  This includ­ed ongo­ing dis­cus­sions and col­lab­o­ra­tion with res­i­dents, schools, both past and present Com­mu­ni­ty Advi­so­ry Coun­cil (CAC) mem­bers, elect­ed offi­cials, busi­ness own­ers, social ser­vices, non-prof­it senior and youth pro­grams, local media, oth­er law enforce­ment agen­cies such as the Vir­ginia State Police, state agen­cies such as the Office of the Attor­ney Gen­er­al, and so many more.”

The process for achiev­ing excel­lence in com­mu­ni­ty polic­ing and pub­lic safe­ty began more than three years ago. On May 11, 2023, the War­ren Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office sub­mit­ted its 146-page appli­ca­tion to the  Depart­ment of Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Ser­vices (DCJS) for an in-depth pro­fes­sion­al review, fol­lowed by its sub­mis­sion to the Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Ser­vices Board Com­mit­tee on Train­ing (COT) on June 15, 2023. The final deci­sion was ren­dered by the Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Ser­vices Board dur­ing their sched­uled meet­ing on June 15th. Sher­iff But­ler wants to express his sin­cer­est appre­ci­a­tion to Tina Sumpter, DCJS Accred­i­ta­tion Coor­di­na­tor and Mr. Todd Clin­gen­peel, VLEPSC Pro­gram Man­ag­er, for their com­mit­ment to pro­fes­sion­al­ism and their assis­tance dur­ing both this process, as well as the pur­suit of accreditation.

Sher­iff But­ler want­ed to empha­size that the CCPC Pro­gram ensures ongo­ing and mean­ing­ful coor­di­na­tion with our com­mu­ni­ty. The pro­gram presents many ben­e­fits and incen­tives to the com­mu­ni­ty at large, including:

  • The CCPC Pro­gram makes Vir­ginia a nation­al leader in com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty by estab­lish­ing a bench­mark that the Coun­ty of War­ren con­tin­u­al­ly meets in terms of pro­vid­ing for the safe­ty of their cit­i­zens. This is some­thing the entire com­mu­ni­ty should be proud of.
  • Being a rec­og­nized CCPC gives War­ren Coun­ty pref­er­ence in the state crim­i­nal jus­tice grant appli­ca­tion process.  We have already been very suc­cess­ful in this are­na, and this cre­ates even greater oppor­tu­ni­ties in the future to save our hard-work­ing tax­pay­ers mon­ey through focused ini­tia­tives.  
  • The Cer­ti­fied Crime Pre­ven­tion Com­mu­ni­ty des­ig­na­tion can be used as a mar­ket­ing tool by the coun­ty to attract fam­i­lies, tourists, busi­ness­es, con­fer­ence plan­ners, and oth­ers inter­est­ed in find­ing a safe loca­tion in which to live and work.
  • The Crime Pre­ven­tion Com­mu­ni­ty des­ig­na­tion can be used to seek pre­mi­um reduc­tions from insur­ance com­pa­nies for pol­i­cy­hold­ers liv­ing in War­ren County’s cer­ti­fied com­mu­ni­ty.  Pre­mi­um reduc­tions are already avail­able for things such as dead­bolt locks and secu­ri­ty sys­tems.  Our Com­mu­ni­ty Polic­ing Unit (CPU) is essen­tial in devel­op­ing more safe­ty ini­tia­tives that ben­e­fit both cit­i­zens and busi­ness, such as offer­ing risk assess­ments by our cer­ti­fied Crime Pre­ven­tion Specialist.
  • And last­ly, the Cer­ti­fied Crime Pre­ven­tion Com­mu­ni­ty des­ig­na­tion enhances the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of coun­ty man­age­ment and the Sheriff’s Office by show­ing that the coun­ty can meet rig­or­ous stan­dards relat­ed to com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty.  These stan­dards are dif­fi­cult to attain, and many agen­cies fell short where the WCSO achieved suc­cess. It is the Sheriff’s unwa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to main­tain this des­ig­na­tion and improve our ser­vices in all areas.

Accord­ing to Sher­iff But­ler, it took a focused, total-team effort to achieve both VLEPSC accred­i­ta­tion and the CCPC Pro­gram award in the same month, and feels it is tru­ly his­toric.  The pres­ti­gious CCPC des­ig­na­tion will improve ser­vice deliv­ery to the coun­ty and will be recer­ti­fied every three years.

In clos­ing Sher­iff But­ler wish­es to thank our elect­ed offi­cials, the many non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions and out­stand­ing indi­vid­u­als sup­port­ing our men­tor­ing pro­gram, oth­er school-based pro­grams, senior pro­grams, sub­stance abuse and men­tal health ini­tia­tives, and youth and pub­lic safe­ty programs.

Approved for release by Sher­iff Mark But­ler on June 15, 2023