Service Changes and Reallocation of Resources

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD), like most law enforcement agencies, has experienced a significant reduction in our workforce due to attrition, retirements and officers seeking other opportunities. While our department’s commitment to providing professional law enforcement services and to working collaboratively with our community to support public safety remains unwavering, this reduction in officers will change the way we deliver services to the community.

It is imperative we make service adjustments to prioritize our workload in alignment with the department’s key initiatives of Crime Prevention and Control, Community Engagement, Transportation Safety and Employee Wellness and Safety. Our goal is to facilitate a sustainable work-life balance for officers while focusing our investigative and response efforts around more serious criminal incidents and concerns across the community. In order to achieve this, we have reallocated some assignments to prioritize response to core services which has included the need to leave some specialty positions unfilled. Some examples include unfilled positions in our Property Crimes Unit, Transportation Safety and Community Engagement units. 

Key Service Impacts
  • The top priority of ACPD remains the safety of our community. Officers will continue responding to in-progress crimes and emergency calls for service where there is a threat to life, health or property. 
  • We will be shifting late reports of applicable non-emergency criminal activity to the online reporting system or telephone reporting in lieu of an in-person officer response. This is a change first initiated during the pandemic and will continue to ensure the best use of available resources. All submissions to the online reporting system are reviewed by an officer. Once the report has been reviewed and approved, an Arlington County Police Department official report number will be issued. 
  • ACPD will prioritize follow-up investigations on crimes against people and serious property crimes. Examples include, but are not limited to, homicide, robbery, carjacking, sex offenses, assaults, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
  • ACPD will reduce investigative follow-up on some property crimes, particularly when the incident lacks solvability factors. Examples of reduced investigative follow-up include: 
    • Reports of scams when no identifiable suspect exists. ACPD will continue to conduct educational campaigns around common scams and share financial crime prevention information.
    • Late reports of hit and run crashes with no solvability factors.
Despite these adjustments, we remain committed to:
  • actively policing Arlington neighborhoods to prevent and reduce crime.
  • maintaining operational readiness and preparedness to respond to any public safety incident occurring in Arlington.
  • ensuring the orderly flow of traffic in the County while conducting transportation safety enforcement and education campaigns.  
  • engaging and building partnerships with those we serve. 
Current Police Staffing

ACPD is authorized 377 sworn police officers. As of July 2024, we have approximately 284 functional and certified officers who are able to provide solo law enforcement services. This difference includes unfilled positions as well as officers who are in a training or light duty status. The Human Resources Management Section continues to proactively recruiting qualified candidates to join upcoming academy classes with the ultimate goal of returning the department to full staffing. While we have been successful in hiring larger classes of recruit officers in recent years, this has not offset the number of departures due to attrition, retirements and officers seeking other opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did ACPD previously conduct a strategic restructuring?

Yes, in May of 2018, the department completed a strategic restructuring due to decreased staffing. 

Will an officer still respond to emergency and non-emergency calls?

Officers will continue responding to in-progress crimes and emergency calls for service where there is a threat to life, health or property. Late reports of criminal activity can be reported online or by calling the Alternative Reporting Unit at 703-228-4300

Who do I contact with my public safety concerns?

To report an active crime, an immediate parking/traffic hazard or in-progress criminal activity, contact the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency. To address a community policing issue, contact the Community Outreach Unit. To report an ongoing traffic or parking concern, use our online form

Who do I contact if I have additional questions regarding the service changes and reallocation of resources?

Members of ACPD’s Command Staff and Engagement Division are available should you have questions or if you would like us to attend small group meetings to discuss further. Complete the online form to assist us in scheduling and assigning these meetings. 

Will there be a reduction in criminal investigative efforts?

The department will prioritize follow-up investigations on crimes against people and serious property crimes. ACPD will reduce investigative follow-up on some property crimes particularly when the incident lacks solvability factors.

Are there crime prevention resources available to the public?

ACPD continues to share crime prevention and safety information.

Will the department still investigate my traffic complaint?

The department remains committed to maintaining the orderly flow of traffic in the County and ensuring the safety of all travelers on our roadways. We will continue to respond to in-progress traffic concerns and will conduct various transportation safety enforcement and education campaigns throughout the year.  

How can I stay informed?

Visit our engage page for a variety of resources available to the public to help stay informed about police activity, engagement events, road closures and safety campaigns.

What steps has the department taken to increase staffing levels?

The Human Resources Management Section continues to proactively recruit qualified and diverse candidates to provide the best professional law enforcement services to the Arlington community. The department has made significant investments in our recruiting and outreach efforts to include: 

  • The Ambassador Program: This program focuses on building relationships with college students, professors and campuses. This helps to develop one on one rapport with potential applicants, showcasing the work our Department does in a more personal and engaging way. Officers who serve as Ambassadors to schools are specially trained, and often alumni of that institution, which helps them to have a personal connection and stake in the recruitment of students from that institution. More than 80 officers from across the Department are trained as Ambassadors. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department began conducting on-campus applicant testing through the Ambassador program, making our hiring process more accessible to students. 
  • Handshake: In December 2019, the Department began using Handshake, an online recruitment platform for students and employers, to communicate with students from approximately 1,000 colleges and universities. ACPD’s use of Handshake has enabled us to easily pivot to a primarily virtual recruitment strategy, through participation in online job fairs, webinars about employment at ACPD that are promoted to potential applicants, and establishing initial contacts with students interested in careers in law enforcement.
  • V3 Certification: ACPD is a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) certified employer. The V3 program helps to connect employers with veterans and has resulted in increased contacts with veterans interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement at the end of their service.