Arlington County Police Department
Badge of an Arlington County Police Department officer
Seal of the Arlington County Police Department
Common nameArlington County P.D.
Agency overview
FormedOctober 1, 1963[1]
Preceding agency
  • Arlington County Division of Police (February 1940 – October 1963)[1]
Annual budget$58 million
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionArlington, Virginia, USA
Map of Arlington County Police Department's jurisdiction
Size26 square miles (67 km2)
Legal jurisdictionArlington County
Governing bodyCounty of Arlington
Constituting instrument
  • Yes
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersArlington County, Virginia
Police officers361
Agency executive
Official Website

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) is the municipal law enforcement agency servicing the 207,627 residents of the 26 square miles (67 km2) of jurisdiction within Arlington County, Virginia. It is the primary law enforcement agency in the county for all levels of law enforcement, although the many federal reservations, enclaves and special jurisdictions in the county often maintain their own law enforcement agencies, which often collaborate with the County Police on many of their larger issues.


The ACPD was created on February 1, 1940, as the Arlington County Division of Police with Harry Woodyard as the first Chief of Police.[3] It assumed its current name on October 1, 1963, after a departmental reorganization.[1]



On February 1, 1940, the first Arlington County policing department was formed, under the name of the "Arlington County Division of Police".[1] A few years later, the first ACPD auxiliary force was created.[1]


In 1960, Arlington County Police arrested people for violating Virginia's segregation and anti-miscegenation laws laws.[4]

In 1963, the agency assumed its present name.[1]


In September 2001, the Arlington County P.D. responded to the Pentagon after terrorists attacked it during the September 11 attacks, as the building is located in the county.[5]


Since the establishment of the Arlington County Police Department, 7 officers have died in the line of duty,[6] the most recent in 2016 as a result of an illness caused by the September 11 attacks of 2001.[7]


In June 2020, Arlington County withdrew its personnel from the District of Columbia after Arlington County Police Department officers were involved in an incident in which protesters were forcefully cleared from Lafayette Park.[8][9][10] An Arlington County Police Department captain was later named in a federal lawsuit related to the incident.[11]


ACPD policemen apprehending a bank robber in 2006.
ACPD SWAT officers in 2007.
ACPD SWAT officers in 2008.
ACPD SWAT officers in 2012.
An ACPD policeman watching over schoolchildren in 2012.

Chief of Police

In September 2020, Charles "Andy" Penn became Acting Chief of Police following the retirement of former Chief of Police Murray Jay Farr.[2][12][13] Farr had served as Chief of Police since 2015.[12][14]

Services provided

The ACPD provides the following services:

Special operations section

Equipment and vehicles

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ACPD equips their officers with Smith & Wesson M&P15 semiautomatic rifles chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO. These rifles are often equipped with red dot sights, weapon mounted lights, standard capacity 30 round magazines, and slings. The department issued sidearm is the Glock 17 or Glock 19, both chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum. Previously, officers had the option of carrying 12 gauge Remington Model 870 shotguns, but these are being phased out for the AR-15 rifles. Officers can also carry backup weapons in addition to their issued sidearm, provided that their backup weapon is chambered for .380 ACP or greater. For less than lethal options, officers are equipped with baton and TASER X2 Defender.

Picture Vehicle
Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Police Interceptor
Mobile command center
Harley Davidson motorcycle
Terradyne Gurkha

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Arlington County Police Department (1998). "Arlington's Police Department: The History". Arlington County Police Department. Virginia: Arlington County. Archived from the original on December 9, 2000. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Charles Penn Named Acting Arlington County Police Chief". Arlington County government. 2020-08-21. Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  3. ^ "Arlington County Police Department". Police.
  4. ^ "Arrested for Arlington Sit-In: 1960".
  5. ^ AFIP, U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Louis Briscese, Forensic Photography, Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner (11 September 2001). "English: An Arlington County Police car, along with EMS equipment in the foreground at the Pentagon in September 2001" – via Wikimedia Commons.
  6. ^ "Arlington County Police Department, VA". The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP). 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "Corporal Harvey Snook, III". The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP). 2016.
  8. ^ Barakat, Matthew (June 2, 2020). "Virginia county pulls officers from Washington, D.C., after Trump photo-op at St. John's Church". Associated Press. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "County Leaders Defend ACPD Officers Who Were Recalled from D.C. Protests". ARLnow. June 3, 2020. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  10. ^ "Media Alert: Arlington Withdraws Police from District of Columbia". 2020-06-01. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  11. ^ Moore, Jack (September 2, 2020). "Federal lawsuit over clearing of Lafayette Square names DC, Park Police officers". WTOP. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Arlington's Chief of Police will Retire in September after 30 Years with ACPD". Arlington County government. 2020-07-27. Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  13. ^ "Charles Penn". Arlington County government. Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  14. ^ "Donnellan Names Jay Farr Chief of Police – Newsroom". Arlington County government. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  15. ^ "About – Police, Arlington, Virginia".
  16. ^ Smith, Leef (18 April 1997). "Arlington Officer Under Investigation". Washington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2017.