The Arlington County Police Department has experienced a significant reduction in our workforce due to normal attrition, retirements and officers seeking other opportunities. While our department’s strategic goals and our commitment to providing professional law enforcement services have not changed, we recognize that our allocation of resources must adapt to meet our current staffing challenges. In an effort to maximize available resources and continue providing high quality law enforcement services to Arlington County, the department has completed a strategic restructure to prioritize core services and ensure the services provided are effective and efficient. By reallocating positions within the department, we have developed a new organizational structure reflective of our current staffing levels.
- The prioritization of core service focuses on responding to calls for service, investigating crimes against people and serious property crimes, while continuing to engage and build community partnerships with those we serve.
- The Human Resources Management Section continues to proactively recruit qualified candidates to join upcoming academy classes with the ultimate goal of returning the department to full staffing.
- The reallocation of positions is intended to be a temporary solution and the strategic restructure will support departmental growth as staffing levels increase. However, from time of hire, it takes approximately one year of training to prepare an officer for solo patrol.
The Arlington County Police Department has an organizational structure that includes three divisions: the Operations Division, the Criminal Investigations Division and the Systems Management Division.
Office of the Chief – The Office of the Chief is composed of staff who report directly to the Police Chief, M. Jay Farr, and are responsible for a variety of administrative and community support functions for the Arlington County Police Department. Offices that report directly to the Chief of Police include the Office of Professional Responsibility, Media Relations and Public Affairs and Public Safety Information Technology.
Operations Division – The Operations Division provides the most visible police services to Arlington County and are the officers the public is most likely to come into contact with. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, these officers respond to calls for service, conduct preliminary investigations, provide traffic enforcement and use effective problem solving methods to reduce/prevent crime and improve the quality of life of Arlington’s residents, visitors and businesses. The division consist of Patrol Officers, School Resource Officers, Traffic Enforcement Officers, Outreach Officers, Canine Officers, and Tactical Operations.
Criminal Investigations Division – The Criminal Investigations Division conducts follow-up investigations of serious felonies and misdemeanors that occur within Arlington County. Examples of these investigations are homicides, death investigations, sex offenses, robberies, burglaries, financial crimes, computer crimes, domestic violence, missing persons, narcotic offenses and other serious investigations requiring intensive specialized investigation. The division is also responsible for processing major crime scenes to collect and preserve evidence.
Systems Management Division – The Systems Management Division provides a variety of services and functions that support members of the police department as they conduct their official duties. The division is responsible for receiving and disposing of inventoried property, managing records and police reports, recruiting and hiring new department personnel, coordinating all basic and in-service training, maintaining accountability of the department’s assets and overseeing the department’s finances.
Key Impacts to Service Delivery
The Arlington County Police Department is dedicated to proactively policing our neighborhoods to prevent and reduce crime and remains committed to building strong partnerships with the community and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust. It is anticipated the community will notice impacts to our service delivery in the following areas:
- Minimized ability to attend community events and meetings
- Reduced investigative efforts of some misdemeanor crimes
- Fewer traffic enforcement details will be conducted
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the strategic restructuring the result of budget cuts?
- No, the strategic restructuring is due to a significant reduction in our workforce due to normal attrition, retirements and officers seeking other opportunities. To compete in an increasingly tight labor market and to attract and retain police officers, the Arlington County Board approved increases to public safety compensation in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget. The police department continues to actively recruit qualified candidates, however; from time of hire, it takes approximately one year of training to prepare an officer for solo patrol.
- Will an officer still respond when I call the emergency and non-emergency numbers?
- Despite reduced staffing levels, the restructuring prioritizes core functions of the department, including calls for service. Where appropriate, residents will be referred to the online/telephone reporting systems to file non-emergency police reports.
- Have there been cuts to staffing of school resource officers?
- No. The School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit structure remains unchanged. There are currently 13 SROs assigned to schools across the County. With reductions to the community policing teams, ACPD will have limited involvement in many after-school related activities.
- Will the department still come to my civic association or community group’s event?
- The department remains committed to being actively engaged with the Arlington Community. We have restructured and created a Community Resources Section. This section is commanded by one Captain and includes the School Resource Officer Unit and a new Community Outreach Unit. The units will no longer attend individual community, civic and homeowner association meetings but will host quarterly meetings. The units will also conduct a reduced amount of trainings and presentations for community groups and establish a threshold regarding the number of required participants for trainings.
- Who do I contact with my public safety concerns?
- To report a crime, an immediate parking/traffic hazard or suspicious behavior, contact the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency. To address a community policing issue, contact the Community Outreach Unit. For ease of contact, the Community Outreach Unit has been divided into two teams. To contact the team in North Arlington, email ACPDOutreachNorth@artlingtonva.us. To contact the team in South Arlington, email ACPDOutreachSouth@arlingtonva.us. For traffic safety concerns throughout the County, email ACPDSOS@arlingtonva.us or call 703-228-4141.
- What about the Block Party, Operation Santa, Coffee with a Cop and other community outreach events?
- Under the new Community Outreach Unit structure, some community events will be reduced and others, such as the Block Party, will be eliminated. The outreach teams will continue to engage with the community, conduct seasonal donation drives, work proactively with businesses and commercial areas, and assist with proactive patrol and crime prevention initiatives.
- Will there be a reduction in criminal investigative efforts?
- The department will prioritize the investigations of crimes against persons and serious property crimes. There will be reduced investigative efforts for lesser misdemeanor crimes.
- Will the department still investigate my traffic complaint?
- The department remains committed to maintaining the orderly flow of traffic in the County and ensuring the safety of all travelers. We will continue to respond to in-progress traffic concerns and will conduct various traffic safety enforcement and education campaigns throughout the year. There will be a reduction in officers available to investigate traffic complaints reported by citizens.
- Are there resources to help me stay informed?
- The police department has a variety of resources to help the community stay informed about police activity, outreach events, traffic closures and safety campaigns and education. Sign up for Arlington Alert to receive emergency alerts from Arlington County. Subscribe to police news to receive important public safety information and periodic updates from the Community Outreach Unit. Visit our online crime map and our daily crime report to learn about criminal incidents reported in Arlington County. Connect with us on social media by following ACPD on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.
- What steps has the department taken to increase staffing levels?
- The Human Resources Management Section continues to proactively recruit qualified candidates to join the Arlington County Police Department. The department has made significant investment in our recruiting and outreach efforts to include regional and out of area advertising campaigns, an employee ambassador program, and adding a supervisor dedicated exclusively to our recruiting efforts. Recruiters and Ambassadors continue to build relationships with communities that are underrepresented within the department and continue to conduct outreach at career fairs, colleges, universities and military installations. It is expected that the July Police Academy will be twice the size of previous academy classes. These efforts will continue for the foreseeable future.