Chesterfield County (VA) Police Department | Comprehensive Safety Program

Chesterfield County (VA) Police Department

State: VA

General Officer Safety Finalist

Officer Traffic Safety Finalist

Chesterfield County consists of 447 square miles and is home to 364,000 residents. The Chesterfield County Police Department (CCPD) chief, Col. Jeffrey S. Katz who was sworn in as Jan. 2, 2018, currently oversees 557 sworn officers, 132 non-sworn full-time employees and 53 part-time employees. The department achieved Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) accreditation in 1998 and Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accreditation in 2017.

CCPD administers a robust employee wellness program to successfully support department members in their personal wellness journeys. The department’s wellness program provides support, training, and education to improve members' ability to be self-aware, recognize issues affecting them, and exercise proper coping skills before issues become problems. The wellness program focuses on eight dimensions of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, occupational, and intellectual.

The CCPD has a top-down approach to wellness and has several entities to support their officers. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) peer support, EAP, financial counseling, spiritual support and programs to support spouses.

The CCPD also has a collaborative Critical Incident Team (CIT) with representatives from Mental Health Support Services, Fire and EMS, and other police agencies. In 2020, the department implemented mandatory training in “Navigating Emotional Health” and established a Wellness Coordinator. Part of their focus on wellness is to get officers to retirement.

The CCPD’s Public Safety Training Center is also home to a modern public safety gym facility that is accessible to public safety members 24/7. A part of their wellness program involves Incentives for working out, tobacco cessation, sleep wellbeing, fitness tracking, nutrition, work happiness wellbeing, financial fitness wellbeing, physical activity wellbeing, social wellbeing basics, stress, and resilience.

Another part of CCPD’s strong wellness program was a successful and stringent covid mitigation policy and is part of their officer safety initiatives. The CCPD owns and operates its own training academy, which works to meet and exceed the training requirements set by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The facility offers classroom space, staff offices, a MILO training room, a gymnasium, and a weight room with shower and locker amenities. The CCPD offers training in defensive tactics, de-escalation and are all issued Body Worn Cameras (BWC).

The CCPD provides its officers an array of tactical gear including enhanced ballistic protection, armored vehicles, and breaching tools. Officers are also equipped with Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKS), Narcan, and AEDs are distributed throughout the patrol units.

The CCPD has an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or Drone, as part of the Special Operations Division. The team is a collateral duty unit whose members are assigned throughout the department allowing for significant 24/7 availability.

They also operate a self-contained, 71-acre driving range where its members practice basic driving, skills driving, motorcycle training, skid pan driving, emergency vehicle operation (EVOC), and precision immobilization technique (PIT) training. The CCPD incorporates the tenets of Below-100 into its training.

The CCPD has a vehicle monitoring system that lets them know where their patrol units are at any given time. TO reduce crashes and injuries and they conduct regular Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) in conjunction with a struct pursuit policy. This is supported by a crash review board, a mandatory seat belt policy, and restricted use of “Stop Sticks.”

CCPD officers are required to wear their high visibility vests when working on the roadside and use the principles of TIM (Traffic Incident Management) to handle crash scenes.

The CCPD has a lot more in its programming beyond what is mentioned here in this brief summary of their comprehensive submission.

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Chesterfield County (VA) Police Department | Comprehensive Safety Program