PHOTO: The Victoria Police Department was recently recognized again under the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation’s Law Enforcement Agency Best Practices Recognition Program. Shown, from left, are Officer Jeffrey Lehnert, Police Chief Roberto Arredondo and Deputy Chief Mark Jameson.
The Victoria Police Department recently became one of 19 law enforcement agencies statewide to be recognized for a fourth four-year term under the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation’s Law Enforcement Agency Best Practices Recognition Program.
To receive the recognition, departments must adopt and enforce policies that comply with 170 best practices that govern internal policies, responses to different scenarios, accountability and other aspects of law enforcement operations.
The goal of the program is “to assist agencies in the efficient and effective delivery of service, the reduction of risk and the protection of individuals’ rights,” according to the TPCAF’s website.
Fewer than 200 agencies are currently recognized under the program.
“Our officers undergo rigorous training and evaluation to meet these high standards,” said Police Chief Roberto Arredondo. “I’m so proud of our officers, and I always tell them that they should be proud to be part of such an upstanding police department.”
As part of the re-recognition process, Officer Jeffrey Lehnert spearheaded a review of the department’s policies to ensure that they aligned with recent changes to the TPCAF’s best practices.
The review process revealed that some of TPCAF’s new policies were already in place at the Victoria Police Department. For example, the department prohibits the use of chokeholds and requires officers to intervene to prevent misconduct by another officer. When TPCAF recently added these guidelines to its best practices, the department only needed to check its own policies for consistency.
The police department is preparing to launch a new training program that will empower officers to respond if a co-worker is violating a policy or acting inappropriately.
“We want them to feel comfortable and to know that the police department will support them,” Arredondo said.
Arredondo said that the Victoria Police Department’s commitment to good conduct and protection of residents’ rights factored into his decision to apply for the job.
“I knew that I was coming into a program that had a good, solid foundation,” Arredondo said. “It’s important for officers to build and establish trust with the communities they serve, and our organization’s policies are effective in protecting officers and the public.”
To learn more about Victoria Police Department programs and policies, visit www.victoriatx.gov/police. To learn more about the TPCAF recognition program, visit www.texaspolicechiefs.org/recognition-program.