Safety and Security

Safety and Security

Fairfax County is a place where all people feel safe at home, school, work and in the community.

Indicators of Success:

  • Following Laws and Regulations
  • Timeliness and Quality of Emergency Response
  • Effective and Equitable Administration of Justice
  • Safety-Related Prevention and Preparedness
  • Reliable and Secure Critical Infrastructure

To meet the diverse needs of all residents, Fairfax County must ensure a comprehensive, equitable and inclusive approach to public safety and justice. Building a safe community is more than reducing and preventing injury and crime, it is about investing in strong, vibrant and engaged communities where all people are protected and supported to live lives to their fullest potential.

Residents, employees, and businesses want a community where people can go about their daily lives without fear, or risk of harm. The responsibility to ensure a safe and secure place where all people can thrive is shared across multiple county departments, and must also include the full participation of the entire Fairfax County community.

The proposed strategies in this section seek to promote fair policing and prosecution practices, strengthen the relationship between public safety and the most vulnerable members of our community, reduce reliance on use of force and incarceration, expand prevention and preparedness programs, and enhance transparency and infrastructure.

Indicator: Following Laws and Regulations

  • % of Fairfax County residents, workers and visitors who feel safe in their community
  • # of violent crimes per 1,000 residents (homicide, sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault)
  • # of bias crimes and incidents per 1,000 residents
  • # of drug and narcotic incidents per 1,000 residents
  • # of property crimes per 1,000 residents (burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson, destruction)
  • % of code compliance violations that are resolved/corrected by property owner within 30 days
  • % of county employees who pass internal information technology phishing tests

Indicator: Timeliness and Quality of Emergency Response

  • % of recipients of emergency services who feel the response to their emergency was delivered timely and effectively
  • % of emergency calls for service that are responded to within industry or county standards/benchmarks
  • % of use of force incidents that are deemed “in compliance”
  • % of public safety calls for service that result in arrest vs. no arrest
  • % of public safety personnel who feel they have the proper training and equipment to effectively perform their job
  • % of first inspections conducted within five business days after code compliance complaint is received
  • % of residents who believe Fairfax County police officers to be fair and just
  • # of total days spent in foster care by Fairfax County children ages 0-18

Indicator: Effective and Equitable Administration of Justice

  • % of released offenders from jail who do not reoffend within three years
  • Variance of enforcement efforts, arrests, prosecution, convictions and sentencing rates among different demographic populations
  • % of cases diverted from formal court process to alternative criminal justice programs
  • % of people (victims, accused and witnesses) who feel they were treated fairly during enforcement and judicial processes

Indicator: Safety-Related Prevention and Preparedness

  • % of Fairfax County Government employees who have completed emergency management training (mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery)
  • % of residents who subscribe to Fairfax County Government’s emergency notifications
  • % of residents who report they are prepared for 72 hours after an emergency

Indicator: Reliable and Secure Critical Infrastructure

  • % of critical infrastructure assets with positive performance ratings
  • # of county facilities that meet minimum security standards
  • # of legacy information technology systems identified to be retired/replaced with more secure and modern alternatives
  • % of residents who experience disruption in critical infrastructure after an event

These proposed strategies were developed based on the extensive background work completed by the Countywide Strategic Planning Teams. The Board will determine which strategies will be pursued, as well as when they might be undertaken. This process will be highly flexible and will adapt to respond to community conditions as they evolve over time.

NOTE: Strategies have been re-ordered to fit within their related Indicators of Community Success. Strategies with the * symbol have been added or revised to include recommendations from the Chairman's Task Force on Equity and Opportunity.

Timeliness and Quality of Emergency Response

  • SS 1. Ensure public safety agencies have the training, equipment and resources needed to deliver timely and effective services, and develop ways to measure and report on the quality of those services.
  • SS 2. Strengthen community relations and trust through outreach, community engagement, partnerships, and active recruiting and hiring of qualified personnel who reflect the communities they serve.
  • SS 3. Strengthen the partnership between Fairfax County schools and law enforcement in ways that focus on creating positive interactions and trust between students, families, staff and police; promote a safe learning environment from elementary grades through high school and provide readily available resources in the event of an emergency.
  • SS 4. Provide timely, quality protective services to mitigate the risk of harm and ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults.

Following Laws and Regulations

  • SS 5. Bolster programs and resources that reduce recidivism and support successful offender re-entry into the community.
  • SS 6. Partner with community and business organizations to strengthen code compliance education of property owners in order to increase their voluntary compliance and accurate reporting.
  • SS 7. Implement proactive outreach programs in areas of the county identified as having the highest volume of calls and code violations.

Safety-Related Prevention and Preparedness

  • SS 8. Develop and implement risk-reduction programs to prevent or mitigate the loss of life, property and resources associated with emergencies and other disasters within the community.
  • SS 9. Strengthen individual, family, employee, school and community capability to facilitate effective emergency preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.
  • SS 10. Leverage state, business, volunteer and community partnerships to enhance preparedness, response and recovery to disasters.
  • SS 11. Enhance continuity of operations planning and training to ensure capability and continuity of essential government services in the event of an emergency.
  • SS 12. Ensure coordinated post-incident human services and recovery assistance including case management, emergency housing, behavioral health and family reunification.
  • SS 13. Develop and implement a comprehensive action plan to strengthen physical security, associated security policies, and the training and education of staff to ensure county facilities and parks are safe for employees and visitors.

Effective and Equitable Administration of Justice

  • SS 14. Work collaboratively to increase access to services and identify alternatives to adjudication and incarceration (e.g., diversion programs, specialty dockets) while protecting victims’ and witnesses’ rights.
  • SS 15. Develop and implement recommendations to ensure that all community members are treated fairly and equitably in the enforcement of laws and their experiences with the adult and juvenile justice systems, whether they are defendants, victims of crime or witnesses.
  • * SS 16. Create meaningful opportunities for the community to be involved in defining the role of law enforcement and other public safety personnel.      
  • * SS 17. Implement trainings such as implicit bias, cultural competency, and community engagement in the public safety academies and annually for first responder personnel.
  • * SS 18. Implement policies to enable public safety personnel to live in and come from the communities they serve.
  • * SS 19. Develop and institutionalize accountability mechanisms that monitor and evaluate occurrences of racial profiling and excessive use of force by law enforcement and other public safety personnel.

Reliable and Secure Critical Infrastructure

  • SS 20. Conduct a comprehensive risk analysis of critical infrastructure and systems in the county and develop an action plan for the purpose of enhancing protection and resiliency.
  • SS 21. Proactively test and assess the county’s information technology systems to identify weaknesses and reduce the risks associated with cyber-attacks.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant