Albemarle County Police Department

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The Albemarle County Police Department provides law-enforcement services for the government jurisdiction of Albemarle County. The department was created in 1983, with George Bailey serving as the first police chief. [citation needed]

The police department should not be confused with the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office, which manages court security and other protections during legal processes.

There is a Police Citizens Advisory Committee.


Staffing levels

The Albemarle County Police Department has a staffing goal of 1.5 police officers per 1,000 residents. This is a periodic concern.


With about 95,000 residents, Albemarle's goal by policy is to have about 142 sworn officers. The county has not fully funded that goal in recent budgets (FY 2010, FY 2011, FY 2012).[4] At the June 2010 retreat held by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, Assistant County Executive Bryan Elliott told the board that Albemarle County had between 1.1 to 1.2 officers per 1,000 residents. Elliott said the force had an authorized strength of 122, but only 111 officers on staff.[5]


At his introduction to area media outlets, incoming chief Sellers said he was concerned about the county's unmet goal of having 1.5 officers per 1,000 residents. As of 2011, there are about 1.2 officers per 1,000. Sellers said he would consider using volunteers to help reduce the workload[6]. The decreased staffing has lead to response times decreasing below the county's expectations. [7]

Community policing

When Sellers took the reins in early 2011, he decided to put a new priority on community policing. For years, the department had dealt with staffing cuts by de-emphasizing connections with neighborhood watches and other community organizations. Officer Steve Watson has been placed in charge of the new initiative. [8]


Albemarle County law enforcement officers got their first radio cars in 1948 with the main transmitter placed atop the Monticello Hotel. [9]


  1. Web. County Announces Police Chief Retirement, Press Release, Albemarle County, June 30, 2010, retrieved January 2, 2017.
  2. Web. Albemarle County Announces Hiring of Chief of Police, Press Release, Albemarle County, May 12, 2016, retrieved January 2, 2017.
  3. Web. Albemarle Supervisors name Reeves as police chief, January 18, 2022, retrieved September 11, 2022.
  4. Shulleeta, Brandon. "County Plan Would Cut Taxes, Slash Funding for Education | Charlottesville Daily Progress." Charlottesville Daily Progress. 25 Feb. 2010. Web. 14 July 2010. <>.
  5. "Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Retreat." Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive, Charlottesville. 30 June 2010.
  6. Web. Incoming police chief concerned about staffing levels, Ted Strong, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, December 16, 2010, retrieved December 17, 2010.
  7. Web. Shortstaffed Albemarle police blamed on high standards, low pay, Megan Davis, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, March 10, 2012, retrieved March 12, 2012.
  8. Web. Community policing returns to Albemarle, Sharon Fitzerald, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, July 23, 2011, retrieved July 25, 2011.
  9. Web. Radio Equipment Being Installed, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 24, 1948, retrieved December 13, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. March 24, 1948 page 2.

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