The City of Virginia Beach became the first in the commonwealth to earn this distinction when Joseph Benedetti, director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services, presented this special award to both former Mayor Meyera Oberndorf and former Chief A.M. Jacocks, Jr. during the 23rd Annual Virginia Crime Prevention Association Conference held at the Sheraton Oceanfront in March, 2001.  Since the initial certification, the City has recertified in March of 2007 and September of 2010.

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 program effort.  The strategies of the Certified Crime Prevention Community Program focus on reducing citizen fear of crime, youth violence, gang activity, and involvement in drugs.  The programs encourages localities to develop and implement collaborative community safety plans designed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Furthermore, it provides an ongoing process by which communities can re-assess and update their plans to address emerging community safety issues.

To obtain certification, Virginia Beach had to meet twelve core community safety elements/strategies and complete a minimum of seven approved optional elements in the area of crime prevention. The men and women of the Virginia Beach Police Department are proud to serve the citizens of our community.