Friday, June 14, 2024

York County Wants to be a Virginia Certified Crime Prevention Community

YORK COUNTY — The York County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution for the county to become a Certified Crime Prevention Community at its Jan. 16 meeting.

The county-wide initiative is sponsored and regulated by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

Launched in 2020, it is a comprehensive program “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.”

To obtain certification, a locality must meet 12 core community safety programs and standards augmented by a minimum of seven approved optional programs either proffered by the locality or selected from a list provided by DCJS.

According to the DCJS webpage, “the program is a tool to enhance the marketing of economic development and tourism in localities. It also strengthens the professionalism of city or county management and local law enforcement agencies by showing that the locality can meet rigorous standards related to community safety.”

In York County-Poquoson Sheriff Ron Montgomery’s letter to the board regarding the proposal, he stated that once approved, a local crime prevention/community safety
coalition must be developed and it should include representatives from the York-Poquoson
Sheriff’s Office, York County School Division, York-Poquoson Department of Social
Services, local business organizations, community groups, a youth services organization
and the York County Board of Supervisors.

“The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is already in the process of developing these
important relationships and will assume responsibility for the establishment and
management of the York County Crime Prevention Council,” according to the letter.

The benefits of the program include preference in the state criminal justice grant application process, citizens can seek premium reductions from insurance companies for policyholders living in a certified community and the designation can be used as a marketing tool to attract families, tourists, businesses, conference planners, and others interested in finding a safe location in which to live and work.

Continuing, the memorandum, Montgomery said, “As your Sheriff, I look forward to building on the relationships we have already established and to create a comprehensive, community-based collaboration in an effort to make York County a safer place to live, work, visit, shop and recreate.”

Before the unanimous approval vote, Board of Supervisors Chairman Stephen Roane said, “It (this program) is very worthwhile for the community overall.”

Learn more about the Certified Crime Prevention Community standards here.

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