The department recently announced a series of moves aimed to increase community engagement, transparency and the professionalism of its force.
Since fall 2018, UVA Police regularly conduct public roll calls across Grounds to shine a light on their work and increase their visibility in the community. Similarly, police command staff, who normally work behind desks, regularly accompany officers on command missions where they meet business owners and students, and answer calls from the community.
The department has initiated more stringent hiring requirements, to a four-year bachelor degree (or equivalency of four years in military service or as police officer elsewhere). The new requirements will ensure that candidates will already have experience working on teams and with persons of different sexual orientations and thought processes. "We seek candidates with the kind of empathy and respect that is cultivated with four years experience in the military, public safety, and higher education. These are the characteristics we want in our workforce at UVA," says Chief Tommye Sutton.
To increase transparency, UVA Police will begin a new practice of providing a receipt to every person they stop. The field receipt will include the name of the officer making the stop, where and when the encounter took place, and why it occurred. The written receipt will confirm that the encounter was legitimate and recorded. The receipt would enable members of the public to follow up with issues, or give kudos for the officer’s actions.