On August 12, 2016, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) was pleased to announce that The Harrisonburg Police Department had been awarded 1st Place in the Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge awards for the best traffic safety programs in the state in 2015 for Municipals with 56-125 officers on their police force.
Harrisonburg currently has 106 officers on staff.
HPD Chief Stephen Monticelli acknowledged the award by saying, "It's always an honor when the men and women of the Harrisonburg Police Department are recognized."
The awards ceremony luncheon will take on September 20 at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA during the VACP's 91st Annual Training Conference.
This award recognizes and rewards the best overall traffic safety programs in the Virginia Commonwealth for the year 2015. The Harrisonburg Police Department came in first in the areas of enforcing traffic laws and in educating the general public about vehicle occupant protection, impaired driving, and excess speeding.
Now celebrating its twenty-seventh year in Virginia, the Law Enforcement Challenge program promotes professionalism in traffic safety enforcement. It also encourages police agencies to share best practices and programs with each other. The awards were judged on entries prepared by the participating police agencies that highlighted their traffic safety education programs and the enforcement activities dealing with impaired driving, excessive speed and vehicle occupant safety.
Judges awarded points to the agencies in six areas: traffic problem identification, department policies, planning, officer training, public information and education and enforcement. The overall evaluation of these safety elements determined the outcomes of each agency's efforts.
The Law Enforcement Challenge is a competition between similar sizes and types of law enforcement agencies in Virginia. The award HPD is receiving recognizes departments for their efforts to enforce laws and educate the public on vehicle occupant protection, impaired driving and speeding.
HPD takes pride in keeping members of the community safe by promoting the "Click-it-or-Ticket" program enforces the use of seat belts. They also employ an active check-point program during times of the year like the Fourth of July and New Years Eve when there's a higher likelihood of people drinking and driving.
Officer Greg Deeds of the Harrisonburg Police Department said they earned this coveted traffic safety award because of the dedication of the HPD officers ro keeping the community safe.
The Virginia Challenge is held in conjunction with the National Law Enforcement Challenge sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Thirty Virginia police departments entered the Challenge. Eleven of these were selected to receive national awards, the most of any state in the country.
The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police was also selected for recognition in the National Challenge for its commitment to highway safety and will receive the State Association/Governors Highway Safety Office Award. National awards will be presented October 18 at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in San Diego, CA.