Chief of Police
Fairfax County’s Police Department invites your interest in Job# 13-0199, the position of
CHIEF OF POLICE, FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA
About the Police Department
About Fairfax County
Formed before the Revolutionary War, Fairfax County was home to many of America’s earliest statesmen, including George Washington of Mount Vernon and George Mason of Gunston Hall. The county’s rich history encompasses the entire existence of the United States. Fairfax County is one of the premier centers of commerce and technology in the United States. Located just west of the nation’s capital, Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia’s population, and it is a great place to live, work and do business.
Governed by a 10-member Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County government consistently achieves high praise for fiscal stability, quality service and technological sophistication. With over $3.6 billion in general fund revenues, Fairfax County maintains an exceptional AAA/AAA/Aaa bond rating. Only eight states, 37 counties (including Fairfax), and 37 cities hold this highly-coveted “Triple A” rating from the three leading rating agencies—Moody’s Investor Services, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch Investors Service.
Fairfax County has been nationally recognized as a leader in government performance measurement, garnering a Certificate of Excellence—the highest level of recognition—from the International City and County Management Association in 2009 and 2010. The County school system is a national leader in K-12 public education and is one of the highest-rated school systems in America. Fairfax County is also a leader in higher education where five major colleges and universities, including the main campus of George Mason University are located. Northern Virginia Community College – the largest community college in the Commonwealth of Virginia – has two campuses in Fairfax County.
The Police Department has a long and distinguished history of law enforcement. From its humble beginnings in 1921 when Fairfax County was a rural and agricultural area, law enforcement was carried out by the Sheriff’s Office, which consisted of the Sheriff and a handful of deputies. It was established primarily to deal with the county’s growing traffic problems. On July 1, 1940, the Chapter Acts of Assembly of Virginia, authorized and empowered the Board of Supervisors to establish a county police department, and the Virginia’s General Assembly later passed a bill allowing the transfer of the county’s Police Department from the Sheriff to the control of the Board of Supervisors.
The Sheriff’s Office would be responsible for civil tasks, managing the county jail and policing the courts, while the Police Department would be responsible for criminal police work. The first Chief of Police was appointed along with five newly sworn police officers. The department consisted of three functional areas: the Patrol Bureau, the Detective Bureau, and the Traffic Section.
These areas of operation exist today, but as the county grew, additional divisions evolved out of necessity. Specialized units such as underwater operations, bomb disposal, K-9 handling, park patrol, and administrative functions were created to meet the growing demands of the community. The department would undergo additional changes over the next couple of decades; the Chief’s rank was elevated from major to colonel. Two main divisions within the department were created, i.e., the Operations Division, and the Service Division. Among the many changes, the department welcomed two female patrol officers in 1972. Prior to 1972, female officers were assigned only to administrative services.
Fast forward to the 21st century—from what was once a small traffic enforcement office with a staff of six—to the largest local police department in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a staff of 1,359 sworn officers and 345 civilians, and 8 district stations—expansion of the Police Department kept in step with the growth of the county.
The state-of-the-art Department of Public Safety Communications (9-1-1 emergency center) receives over 2 million emergency and non-emergency calls in a single year that are seamlessly dispatched 24 hours per day. The county has one of the lowest crime rates, particularly violent crime, of any large community not only in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, but the nation. This statistic is directly related to the department’s use of enhanced intelligence-led policing and a longstanding community-policing philosophy, which is a proactive and cooperative partnership between the Fairfax County Police Department and the community residents, business owners, and other community service providers to improve the overall quality of life by:
- Fostering and maintaining mutual trust and respect
- Preventing crime and disorder
- Recognizing and solving problems
- Identifying and arresting offenders
To complement this model, the department developed a Citizens Police Academy (CPA) to give members of the community a better understanding of the operation of the Police Department and a greater awareness of the daily challenges faced by county officers. The CPA is a 10-week program.
Because of the county’s close proximity to the nation’s capital, the department is often called upon to combine its resources with other law enforcement and federal agencies to provide additional support during national alerts and for special events such as the Presidential Inauguration. The wide array of federal government facilities, headquarters of large multi-national corporations, and the residences of high-profile individuals have required the department to increase patrols and visibility as well as reposition resources to avoid disruptions.
The Fairfax County Police Department protects persons and property by providing essential law enforcement and public safety services, promoting and maintaining community involvement, stability and order through service, assistance, and visibility.
The administration and operation of the Fairfax County Police Department will be executed to provide essential law enforcement, public safety, and related services to the public while utilizing the most efficient and effective methods available, maintaining established professional standards, and optimizing community support.
The men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department value:
Looking to the Future
While the department is proud of its past accomplishments, the men and women who serve, whether sworn, civilian, or volunteer, continue to strive for excellence. Recent awards and recognition from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) National Law Enforcement Traffic Challenge programs include:
- First Place national recognition in the Large Municipal Agency Category – 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011
- Special Recognition for Youth Alcohol Prevention – 2005 and 2006
- Special Recognition for Occupant Protection – 2007 and 2008
- Special Recognition for Underage Alcohol Enforcement – 2010
- The IACP/Logon Award for Excellence in Victim Services (Large Agency Category) – 2010
The department was also recognized with the IACP/Logon Award for Excellence in Victim Services (Large Agency Category) in 2010. And in 2009, the Citizens Police Academy was recognized as the best in the nation.
In 2012, the department was chosen as one of two pilot agencies in the nation to participate in the IACP International Police Executive Training (IPET) program, in which police officials from foreign countries come to the United States for advanced training. In addition, the Safety Officer program recently received recognition from the Department of Justice as a nationwide best practice in the area of safety and personal injury prevention.
As the community continues to grow and evolve, the policing model and service delivery must also evolve. Faced with the challenges of this evolution, the department embraces both intelligence-led and community policing philosophies and strategies that include a robust crime analysis program, establishing and maintaining partnerships with the community, implementing new technology, optimizing efficiencies, and focusing on strategic planning. Innovation, such as the enhanced use of social media, will benefit robust communication with a large and diverse community.
The county will proudly host the second largest sporting event in the world, the 2015 World Police and Fire Games. These Games are an Olympic-style event held biennially throughout the world and open to active and retired law enforcement officials and firefighters. The Games promote friendly competition, fellowship and international relations among participants. It is anticipated that the 10-day gaming event will draw approximately 30,000 people to Fairfax County and the National Capital Region, coincidentally marking the 75th anniversary for the Fairfax County Police Department, with an estimated regional economic impact of up to $80 million.
The Department at a Glance
Chief of Police
The Chief of Police is the commanding officer for the department and is responsible for the delivery of effective and efficient police services to Fairfax County. Appointment of the Chief of Police is recommended by the County Executive and must be approved by the Board of Supervisors. The Chief of Police reports to the County Executive and a Deputy County Executive.
Internal Affairs Bureau
The Internal Affairs Bureau investigates allegations of misconduct and matters of civil action against the department. Detectives are responsible for conducting comprehensive investigations into complaints, violations of policy, or actions and allegations that could result in civil litigation against the county. The bureau is also responsible for tracking and overseeing all administrative and disciplinary investigations within the department.
Chief’s Office of Research and Support
The Chief’s Office of Research and Support provides direct support to the Chief of Police and senior staff for various functions including strategic planning, coordination of correspondence, the drafting and maintenance of agency-level policy and procedural manuals, coordination of legislative matters, accreditation management, surveys, and related research and analytical assistance.
The Patrol Bureau, the department’s largest bureau, is responsible for maintaining public safety, responding to emergencies, preventing crime, enforcing county and state laws, and continuously building partnerships within communities through both community policing and intelligence-led policing. It is comprised of eight district stations, Animal Services, the Community Resources Division, Crime Analysis, and Court Liaison.
Criminal Investigations Bureau
The Criminal Investigations Bureau is the primary investigative branch for serious and violent crime, and is divided into the following divisions: Major Crimes (murder, sex crimes, assault, robbery, vehicle theft, financial crimes, and crimes against children), Organized Crime and Narcotics, Criminal Intelligence, and Investigative Support (crime scene/forensics, fingerprint identification, etc.).
Operations Support Bureau
The Operations Support Bureau is responsible for multiple specialty functions, and advanced, specialized training and equipment distinguish its officers and units. The bureau includes the Special Operations Division (the SWAT Team, K9, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Marine Patrol), the Traffic Division (Motor Squad, Traffic Safety, Crash Reconstruction, DWI Coordinator, and Parking Enforcement), and the Helicopter Division.
Administrative Support Bureau
The Administrative Support Bureau is the financial and human resources branch, and is comprised of the Personnel Resources and Financial Resources Divisions.
Criminal Justice Academy
The Criminal Justice Academy serves the Fairfax County Police Department, the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office, the towns of Herndon and Vienna Police Departments, and the Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s Office. The training environment produces highly-trained, competent, capable and professional law enforcement officers and instills a culture of integrity, safety, excellence, professionalism, leadership, continual learning, and service to our community.
The Victim Services Section offers immediate and direct support and assistance to crime victims, their families and witnesses suffering emotionally, financially and physically.
Animal Services is comprised of the Animal Shelter, Animal Control, and the wildlife biologist. The Shelter provides care for lost, abandoned, abused or unwanted animals, and serves the community by seeking to reunite lost pets with owners, place other animals for rescue or adoption, and reduce the population of homeless pets. Animal Control works closely with the shelter to care for animals and also enforces the state and county animal-related laws. The wildlife biologist oversees wildlife management and education programs.
The Chief of Police oversees and directs all activities of the Fairfax County Police Department and, in certain mutual-aid circumstances, surrounding areas. The Chief works closely with the Board of Supervisors, the County Executive, the Deputy County Executive, other county departments, a variety of public and private organizations, and community groups to develop and implement programs that maximize police services and ensure that the services provide are of the highest quality.
In addition to preparing and administering the budget, the incumbent is accountable for developing and accomplishing departmental planning and operational goals and objectives within general policy guidelines and executing assignments with the highest degree of discretion.
The Chief is responsible for drafting and implementing strategic plans that meet the county’s current and long-range needs, as well as overseeing all police functions including community-oriented and intelligence-led policing, patrol, crime prevention, investigation, traffic enforcement, school services, dispatch and records.
The Chief develops and directs the implementation of policies, procedures and work standards for the department that will drive the selection, training, professional development and evaluation of department staff. In addition to administering and evaluating the work of sworn and non-sworn staff through subordinate levels of supervision, the Chief authorizes discipline as required; provides staff with policy guidance and interpretation, and ensures that laws, ordinances and policies are enforced consistently and fairly.
By appropriately prioritizing and allocating available resources, the Chief reviews and evaluates program and service delivery, makes recommendations for improvement and ensures maximum and effective service provision throughout the department and the county.
The successful candidate will be knowledgeable and professionally competent in all areas of public safety, to include:
- Proven ability to manage an operation within a large and complex organization, and to work collaboratively with other county departments
- The ability to assure the integrity of the work products, processes, and procedures that safeguard the county’s assets and its natural resources
- The ability to instill confidence and professional pride in subordinates, and the skill to recognize and use staff abilities to build successful teams
- Flexibility and the ability to work under pressure or tight deadlines
- Extensive experience collaborating with Boards, Citizen Advisory Councils/Groups, and other constituencies
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills
- The ability to research and analyze data and present clear and concise findings to appropriate audiences
- The ability to foresee and plan for emerging trends and direction in technology, safety, and regulatory requirements
Challenges and Opportunities
The incoming Chief of Police will have oversight of the following challenges and opportunities:
- Managing and maintaining department budget in constrained financial climate
- Growth and development in a diverse community population
- Managing and implementing plans to combat growing criminal trends such as financial and cybercrimes
- Identifying social media networking crime related trends
The ideal successful candidate will possess ten years of extensive, broad management experience at the senior command level or above, equivalent to Chief, or a Deputy Chief or Major directing a major division (i.e., patrol, investigations, or administration), in an urban/suburban police department comparable in size to the Fairfax County Police Department, and experience with community policing and police management in a rapidly-growing, increasingly-diverse community.
Graduation from a four-year college or university with major coursework in criminal justice, police science, public administration or a related field. Possession of a master’s degree in an appropriate field is desirable.
Certificates and Licenses Required
- Possession of a valid motor vehicle driver’s license
- Certification as a Law Enforcement Officer by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
- Certification in firearms proficiency
Necessary Special Requirements
- Must be a citizen of the United States
- Must satisfactorily complete a criminal background investigation, a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, and a physical ability test prior to appointment
- Must be able to perform essential job functions (reasonable accommodation may be made on a case-by-case-basis)
- Must never have committed, been involved in, or convicted of, a felony or serious misdemeanor
- Must be of good character and reputation
- Residency in Fairfax County is highly desirable
Compensation and Benefits
Salary is open within an established range depending on the qualifications and relevant experience of the selected candidate. The county offers an excellent benefits package, including vacation and sick leave, 12.5 paid holidays per year, retirement, health and life insurance, flexible spending accounts (medical and dependent care), dental, vision, long-term care plan, and deferred compensation.
Submit your resume online through Fairfax County's AIMS system. Refer to Job# 13-0199 when applying. Deadline for applications is May 3, 2013.
Fairfax County is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veterans' status or disabled veterans' status. Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance; TTY 703-222-7314. Minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. EEO/AA/TTY.