Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Editorials

November 17, 2012

Highest standards: Tazewell Sheriff’s Office honored

Congratulations are in order for the hard-working deputies and staff of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office.

The agency has garnered a certificate of reaccreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, a rare honor that signifies a commitment to law enforcement excellence.

Tazewell County is one of only 85 sheriff’s departments and four Southwest Virginia law enforcement agencies to earn the distinction, according to Sheriff Brian Hieatt.

The sheriff’s department first achieved accreditation in 2008. The reaccreditation award was presented to Hieatt and his deputies by Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman at last week’s meeting of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors.

“Sheriff Hieatt has shown that his department has successfully completed the re-certification process for the Virginia Law Enforcement Accreditation Program, signifying a commitment to law enforcement excellence.” Newman said last week. “This reflects that the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is operating at the highest level of professional performance based on objective standards used to measure performance by agencies across Virginia. This department first became accredited in 2008.”

Hieatt correctly states that maintaining accreditation is a sign of the commitment displayed by the deputies and staff of the sheriff’s office.

“Being an accredited agency is a special achievement because it is something that takes the efforts of every member of the department to maintain an accredited status,” Hieatt said. “It is important for people to know that they have received this status because it is something that no law enforcement agency is required to do. I feel that the citizens of Tazewell County deserve this level of excellence from their sheriff’s office.”

We agree. And we applaud Hieatt, and the deputies and staff of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, for all of their hard working in maintaining the all-important accreditation status. It is a sign of dedication and excellence from a sheriff’s office that has a lot of territory to cover given the unique geography of Tazewell County.

From Abbs Valley and Boissevain to Raven and Jewell Ridge, ensuring adequate patrols and public safety across the scenic and at times mountainous terrain isn’t an easy job.

But the deputies in Tazewell County appear to be excelling at the job at hand — as evidenced by the department’s re-accreditation.

We are glad to see that all of their hard work is paying off.

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