On February 17, 2016, Chief Walter Armstrong received the Vicksburg Police Department’s first re-accreditation certificate from Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie, the Chairman of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. This marked the culmination of three years of work by members of the agency, both sworn and civilian.
Originally accredited in March, 2013, all employees of the Vicksburg Police Department pulled together to ensure the continued success of their accreditation program. Only twenty-seven of 418 law enforcement agencies in the state hold this distinction.
Once a law enforcement agency becomes accredited, it makes a commitment to maintain 142 standards of professionalism decreed by the State of Mississippi. These standards cover a wide range of law enforcement tasks, from wearing reflective vests at accident scenes to vehicle pursuits to response to resistance. In addition, officers also receive increased training on a variety of subjects such as cultural diversity, ethics, legal updates, dealing with the mentally ill and many other topics.
The department maintains records for each of these standards to prove that they are each met during annually, and every three years assessors from MSLEAC audit these files and inspect the police department facilities to ensure their continued compliance. The Vicksburg Police Department will undergo its next such assessment in December, 2018.