Whether it's patrolling the streets, apprehending a criminal or responding to a call, Valdosta's finest are now some of the finest in the nation.
CAPT Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department says, "We felt like we were doing the right thing, but when you have a commission come in and tell you that they think you're doing the right thing, it felt good to us."
The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies has named the Valdosta Police Department a flagship agency. That means VPD will serve as a model for other law enforcement agencies around the nation.
It’s an honor officers say was accomplished through teamwork.
CDR Steve Heaton says, "It's not just one person doing that. It's a team effort right from the chief all the way down to our patrol officers to our civilians that actually do the work."
Folks in Valdosta say they've always felt protected seeing these patrol cars out and about in their streets. Now that they know they have one of seven flagship departments at home, these residents feel safer than ever.
Celestia Williams, a Valdosta resident, says, "It's a good feeling because I know that we have someone here that's good, who will protect us from any harm or danger."
It’s a vote of confidence from the people these officers risk their lives to protect, proving this department is one of the best in the nation.
The commission bases their accreditation of police departments around nation on 447 different standards. Valdosta PD passed every one with flying colors.