Police Executive Research Forum Report

Our Duty of Responsibility and Accountability

The City of Fredericksburg strives to be its absolute best for its residents. As our nation is faced with important and dynamic change, those who serve and protect us understand it is necessary to continuously evaluate responsible approaches and appropriate responses to maintaining the safety of the public while also respecting our residents’ freedom of speech.

The City of Fredericksburg enlisted the Police Executive Research Forum, also known as PERF, to conduct an independent review of the City’s law enforcement response and instances of use of force during demonstrations that occurred in Fredericksburg between May 31, 2020 and June 2, 2020, during a time of dynamic and extraordinary circumstances in our community and our nation. 

The PERF Report will be a valuable tool in assisting our Police Department as they continuously evaluate and implement best practices to ensure the safety of our community while also respecting our community’s freedom of speech.

Independent Review Process

The third-party independent consultants leading the PERF Report engaged a broad and diverse representation of our community’s stakeholders, members of the general public, policy makers, active-duty officers and leadership teams as part of their in-depth analysis.

In an effort to ensure transparent communications on the process the City is undergoing as it strives to advance its services to the community, full access to the PERF report is here: PERF Final Report, February 3, 2021 (PDF)

The PERF Report contains 66 recommendations to ensure the safety of our community while also respecting its freedom of speech. Much of the recommended work has already been completed. Please see below for updates since the PERF report was received by the City of Fredericksburg:

Fredericksburg Police Department Update on PERF Recommendations

April 27, 2021

The Fredericksburg Police Department is a CALEA nationally accredited police department that strives to be a leader in 21st Century policing; not only in our region and state, but nationally. From our experiences during May and June 2020 coupled with our internal after-action review, the PERF report recommendations, and our continued training with our regional partners, Chief Layton is confident that the FPD is better prepared than ever to support our community’s First Amendment rights while also ensuring the safety of our residents, business owners, employees, and visitors.

The community can review the status of committee work on PERF recommendations via a public report made available on the City of Fredericksburg official website. Chief Layton will continue to regularly update Council of committee progress, and updates will be posted on this web page. 

PERF Public Comment Questionnaire 

The City of Fredericksburg is committed to engaging its community in important conversations.  As part of this ongoing effort, the City sought public comment on the published Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Report through a questionnaire in March 2021. Read the complete results in the following report: Fredericksburg PERF Questionnaire Results March 31, 2021 (PDF)

Serving and Protecting Our Entire Community

The Fredericksburg Police Department’s dedicated officers and administration continuously review action items and advancements in policy and process as it fulfills its responsibly to serve and protect the entire community safely. In advance of the PERF Report, the Fredericksburg Police Department recently adopted policy changes, expanded the Citizen Advisory Panel, and expanded departmental information events for the public. Their CALEA reaccreditation 1 year review was completed in December 2020, in which our Police Department achieved 100% compliance with the 114 standards that were reviewed.

Report's Impact on Racial Equity Plan

As our community undergoes an important and thorough planning process to develop the City of Fredericksburg’s Racial Equity Plan, the PERF Report recommendations will be given great consideration as part of that discussion and planning effort.

The City’s goal is to build strong, transparent relationships with our community and this report is part of that process. We understand that we are living in very dynamic times and our purpose is to serve and protect our citizens, while continuously advancing how we do so in the most responsible and responsive manner possible. Read more about the City's commitment to equity and inclusion.

Additional Information 

Police Executive Research Forum Proposal and Scope of Work, July 10, 2020 (PDF)