Achieving the gold standard

Published 10:37 am Friday, May 30, 2014

So often when people run for office, they promise the moon. You know how well that usually turns out.

Which is why it’s refreshing to learn that the Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall has kept his pledge to bring the office to a full accreditation status.

This isn’t just a pretty certificate framed on the wall. It’s a measure of how the department is visibly improving all aspects of how it conducts the business of enforcing the laws. That can range from how well deputies handle domestic abuse cases to deciding if a high-speed chase is worth the risk.

This and much more at the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office are now under the magnifying glass of the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. This organization, which established accepted methods of procedure and conduct, will continue to hold the county sheriff’s office “to a higher standard.”

But it’s not enough to reach for the gold. Now the task is to hold onto the accreditation. Recertification is required every four years, and that’s a lot of time to slip back into old habits.

Still, we feel confident that Marshall and his staff will prove their recent accreditation wasn’t a fluke, but the beginning of a long-lasting trend.

Isle of Wight residents can — and should expect a more efficient and stronger sheriff’s office.