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De Ford Selected to Receive the 2014 VACP/VPCF Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement Award

September 9, 2014 | VACP

News Image The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police on September 9, 2014 presented Lt. James S. De Ford, Sr. with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement.

The award was presented at the annual conference of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, held this year at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia. The awards program is a joint effort of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation.

After the tragic events at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the need for a practical and realistic plan for a full-scale evacuation of Washington, D.C. became apparent. The scope of such a plan required extreme detail, regional cooperation and actual execution to test its worthiness.  From 2007 to 2013, Lt. De Ford specifically designed the Traffic Management Plan for a Northern Virginia Evacuation for local, state and federal police response in a worst-case scenario.

He had the foresight to create a plan that would be easily adaptable for application to lesser events. The plan also is designed to control access into the District of Columbia if or when necessary.  In the past three years, Lt. De Ford has tested elements of the plan through various evacuation drills. Lt. De Ford also created a check sheet so emergency personnel would know what to do during a crisis. 

He facilitated an Inauguration Planning meeting in 2012 with the Virginia National Guard, Arlington County Police, VDEM and U.S. Park Police to strategize for planned and unplanned walkouts across the various bridges from D.C. into Virginia during the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.  He continued to bring planning for these incidents into a cohesive structure, which then could be advanced through the use of the management plans he already was developing.

A practice evacuation drill was held on December 14, 2012 that was planned and run entirely by Lt. De Ford.  There is no other known neighboring state or jurisdiction where such a drill of this magnitude has ever taken place.  In 2013, Lt. De Ford executed a “No Notice” drill of the plan in its entirety.

There is no mistaking Lt. De Ford’s remarkable commitment and extraordinary energy put forth to create, refine, and implement this evacuation plan. His completion of this mammoth document is even more impressive because it was done in the midst of all other usual activities, election events, and in concert with other Division personnel. The Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia are in debt to Lt. De Ford for his insight, vision, prudence, collaboration, and dedication to mission that, if/when this plan is ever needed can be successfully executed and save countless lives in a time of crisis.  The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation is proud to present Virginia State Police Lieutenant James De Ford with the 2014 Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement Award.


The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is a statewide organization of federal, state and local police chiefs and law enforcement executives dedicated to improving the professionalism of police agencies in Virginia.  The Association was founded in 1926 and has more than 600 members.  The Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation is a charitable educational foundation created by the VACP to provide training and education programs for law enforcement executives.

Contact: Ms. Dana Schrad, Executive Director
Mobile: (804) 338-9512