What are the benefits of my community to become Certified Crime Prevention
Communities Program?

  • The Certified Crime Prevention Community Program makes Virginia a national leader in community safety by establishing a benchmark that local communities can meet in terms of providing for the safety of their citizens. It sends a clear signal to criminals that criminal behavior will not be tolerated. We believe that this program is still unique in the nation.
  • Participation in the Certified Crime Prevention Community Program gives a community preference in the state criminal justice grant application process.
  • The Certified Crime Prevention Community designation can be used as a marketing tool to attract families, tourists, businesses, conference planners, and others interested in finding a safe location in which to live and work.
  • Crime Prevention Community designation can be used to seek premium reductions from insurance companies for policyholders living in a certified community. Premium reductions are already available for things such as deadbolt locks and security systems.
  • The Certified Crime Prevention Community designation can enhance the professionalism of city or county management and local law enforcement agencies by showing that the locality can meet rigorous standards related to community safety.

How was the Certified Crime Prevention Community developed?

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.