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In 1998 an Executive Order created the New Partnership Commission for Community Safety, charged with the responsibility of advising the Governor on new initiatives to "promote community safety, particularly youth and family safety." The Commission worked diligently to assess the needs of localities across the Commonwealth and assist them in addressing their individual community safety issues.
The Commission asked the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to recommend programs that foster the development of community safety initiatives at the local level. DCJS proposed, and the Commission approved, the Certified Crime Prevention Community Program. Based on a study conducted by the Virginia State Crime Commission in 1993, the goal of the program is to publicly recognize and certify localities that have implemented a defined set of community safety strategies as part of a comprehensive community safety/crime prevention effort.
One of the first of its kind in the nation, the program encourages localities to develop and implement collaborative community safety plans within a flexible framework designed by the Commission. Furthermore, it provides an ongoing process by which communities can reassess and update their plans to address emerging community safety issues. To obtain certification, a locality must meet 12 core community safety elements/strategies augmented by a minimum of seven approved optional elements. DCJS runs and monitors the program. An agency must recertification every 3‑years.