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October 26, 2021 · OPINION

Del. Webert a “proponent of excellent policing”

File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall) speaks at an Oct. 14 rally in Warrenton for gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin.
By Robert P. Mosier
Fauquier County Sheriff

In the recent past, many Americans and politicians have focused on the issues of policing and training by law enforcement agencies. Many have called for the police to be more professionalized or to be defunded altogether.

Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall) is a proponent of excellent policing, as is evidenced by a bill he introduced in the 2021 General Assembly. His HB-1753 was designed to establish the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission Accreditation Grant Fund and Program. The bill called for the fund and program to be overseen by the Department of Criminal Justice Services and funds would be granted to law enforcement agencies, which pursued accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission.

You may be wondering why accreditation is so important. Simply put, accreditation ensures that a sheriff or chief of police is operating with tested standards and best practices in law enforcement. There are almost 400 policing organizations in Virginia and only about one-fourth of them are accredited.

It is unfortunate that the HB-1753 failed because it was a directed opportunity to address areas of police reform that would make a difference in any community. Instead of passing the bill, it was de-funded.

When I was elected sheriff six years ago, one of my first goals was to attain accreditation for the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office. We did just that. As an accredited law enforcement agency, we are accountable for high standards, excellent training, visibility and transparency. We have created a culture in which professionalism is expected.

Throughout my law enforcement career, I have worked with many elected officials. Today, I am honored to endorse Mr. Webert for re-election to the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday, November 2. His roots run deep in the 18th District. He is a family man, a farmer, a business owner and someone I am proud to call a friend. He believes in the protection of the civil rights of everyone and is committed to public safety.

I fully expect Del. Webert to reintroduce his important legislation in the next session. By so doing, we will see which politicians are serious about improving law enforcement throughout the commonwealth. I strongly believe Del. Webert is the type of leader we need in our community, in the 18th District and in Richmond.

Please vote and I hope you will join me in voting for Michael Webert for re-election.

A Republican, the writer won election as Fauquier’s sheriff in 2015 and re-elected in 2019.
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