VACP Midyear Conference Update
January 28, 2015 | VACP
Don't forget to register for the 2015 Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Midyear Training and Business Conference, February 23-24th, in Henrico County, Virginia. The first day of the conference will be dedicated to the TASER Technology Summit.
The conference will also bring you an update on the 2015 Virginia General Assembly, and training on other current law enforcement issues. We’ll also be presenting information on a program to help remove your private information from internet phishing and hacking.
The agenda is being finalized, but here are some of the presentations that have been scheduled, thanks to the support of TASER:
The Accelerating Pace of Technology
Rick Smith, CEO & Founder, TASER International
Legal and Community Benefits of On-Officer Cameras
Ret. Chief Tom Streicher, Cincinnati PD
How to get Local LE Communities to Collaborate through the Cloud
Chief Chris Burbank, Salt Lake City PD
How to Move Public Safety into the Future
Ret. Superintendant Ronal Serpas, New Orleans PD
Please contact the Hilton Short Pump directly for reservations by calling (804) 364-3600. The VACP room rate is $83 single/double per night, plus taxes. When making reservations please refer to the VACP Conference rate.
Hotel reservation deadline is February 9th, after this date all rooms are based on availability and the conference rate is not guaranteed. All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card. In the event you wish to cancel a reservation, the deposit is refundable if notice is received before 5:00pm 48 HOURS prior to the day of arrival and a cancellation number is obtained.
To complete conference registration, visit the conference page by clicking HERE. Conference registration must be completed by February 22nd. If you are a member of the VACP, please remember to log in prior to registering to receive the member rate.
We look forward to seeing you in Henrico!
Killings of blacks by police in Virginia fuel debate
January 28, 2015 | Virginia News
By Mark Bowes, Richmond Times-Dispatch
African-Americans have been disproportionately killed by police in Virginia as a percentage of their population since 2000, but as a group they have committed a disproportionate number of violent crimes and assaults on officers that could lead to deadly encounters with law enforcement, an analysis of state crime data shows.
Police from across the state reported killing 31 blacks over the past 14 years, just one less than the 32 whites that were reported killed in confrontations with officers over the same period, according to reported “justifiable homicides” by Virginia law enforcement officers culled from Virginia State Police uniform crime reports.
While nearly 51 percent of the 63 people police reported they killed in Virginia from 2000 to 2013 were white, 49 percent of the fatalities were black, which would appear to be disproportionate since blacks constitute only about 20 percent of Virginia’s population.
But as a group, blacks also have been over-represented as offenders in violent crimes and assaults on police officers — factors that criminologists say increase potential for violence with law enforcement.
“Police killings are not random, and we shouldn’t expect killings to be proportionate with population percentages, but instead proportionate with potentially violent encounters with police,” said Thomas Baker, a criminologist and an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs who teaches quantitative research methods and criminology theory and analyzed the data for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The data, however, also show that police officers in Virginia are more likely to kill black offenders for reasons other than attacking police officers or civilians or for resisting arrest than they are to kill white offenders for the same reason.
* * *
The newspaper’s review of killings by police and assaults on officers in Virginia in the explosive context of race comes as the nation is engaged in an ongoing debate about the societal implications of high-profile killings of mostly young black men by white officers.
The polarizing nature of the debate can be illustrated by the differing reactions of a local African-American defense attorney who has represented black clients in police misconduct lawsuits, and the director of one of Virginia’s premier law enforcement associations for police executives.
Reginald Barley, an attorney, called the statistical analysis “misleading” and based primarily on police accounts of the killings. Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said police use of lethal force is a response to aggression or to resisting arrest in which officers have the right and duty to protect themselves and others from harm.
Data obtained through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act show that 130 people have been reported killed by police in “justifiable homicides” in Virginia dating back to 1990. Of those, 59 were black, or 45.38 percent, and 70 were white, or 53.8 percent. One was Asian.
But the analysis of police killings was limited to the years 2000-2013 because comparable crime data that could provide some insight into the issue was not immediately available for most of the 1990s.
Baker said one potential measure of incidents that could lead to police killings in Virginia would be to compare them with the proportion of people identified as violent offenders. Blacks were implicated as the offender in more than 60 percent of all violent crimes in Virginia from 2000-2013, according to offender data from Incident Based Reporting figures maintained by state police.
The numbers ranged from a low of 56.2 percent of all violent offenders in 2013 to a high of 62.5 percent in 2002, state records show.
“When considering these numbers as a potential indicator for violent encounters with police, blacks are underrepresented, rather than overrepresented in police killings,” Baker said.
* * *
Another indicator to consider when thinking about the proportion of potentially violent encounters that could lead police to kill someone are assaults on police officers, Baker said.
While only data from 2009 to 2013 was immediately available for analysis, a similar over-representation of blacks involved in violent encounters with police emerges.
Blacks were implicated in 44.7 percent of the 6,906 assaults on law enforcement officers during that five-year period, and using that as an indicator, blacks were slightly overrepresented in police killings “though the difference is not statistically significant,” Baker said.
“These numbers provide some suggestion that comparing the proportion of people killed by police who are black versus the proportion of the population that is black may be inaccurate,” Baker said. “Instead, it may be beneficial to think about police-citizen encounters that could lead to violence.”
However, Baker said, these numbers don’t tell us about the actual incidents that led to police killing black Virginians. When these figures are examined more closely, a pattern of black over-representation does emerge, he said.
Of the 63 people killed by police from 2000 to 2013, 54 were killed while either attacking a police officer or civilian, or resisting arrest, according to justifiable homicide category definitions included in the data.
But in 30 of 32 incidents in which whites were killed (93.8 percent), they were attacking a police officer, attacking a civilian or resisting arrest. By comparison, blacks were identified as engaging in the same behavior in only 24 of 31 killings (77.4 percent).
“This indicates that between 2000 and 2013 in Virginia, blacks were more likely to be killed during the commission of a crime or fleeing crime than whites,” said Baker, noting the other categories of behavior that were reported in officer-involved killings.
“While this sixteen-plus percentage difference is quite large and deserves further investigation and discussion, due to the small number of total cases, the differences between black and white killings do not reach statistical significance,” Baker said.
* * *
Nearly all police killings are deemed by police departments or other authorities to be justifiable.
The large majority of the 164 officers involved in the 130 killings reported by police since 1990 were white, or 86.58 percent. Black officers were involved in nearly 11 percent of the killings, the data show.
No precise racial breakdown of Virginia’s law enforcement officers is available. But a U.S. Census American Community Survey for 2013 reported 71 percent of the state’s law enforcement workers were white, which matched the state’s estimated white population. By comparison, 23 percent were black, or 3 percent higher than Virginia’s estimated black population, the survey said.
The census’ definition of law enforcement worker, in addition to police officers and detectives, includes game wardens, animal control officers and parking inspectors.
Thirty of the state’s 130 justifiable homicides occurred in the central Virginia region. Richmond and Chesterfield County reported the highest numbers, with nine killings each, although one of Chesterfield’s homicides involved an FBI agent.
Precise statistics on the number of killings by police in Virginia are not available. All police agencies are required under uniform crime-reporting guidelines to report justifiable killings to state police, which collects all local crime data and forwards it to the FBI.
But at least one law enforcement agency in Virginia, the Fairfax County police, has decided unilaterally to stop reporting the data to state police.
In a December story on the hundreds of police killings that go uncounted nationally, The Wall Street Journal learned that Fairfax police opted some years ago to stop reporting those homicides, because they weren’t considered to be an “actual offense” and are not required to be included in an agency’s crime-reporting numbers.
In the early to mid-1990s, Fairfax police reported four people were killed in encounters with officers, earlier records obtained by The Times-Dispatch show.
In response to a FOIA request, Fairfax police provided The Times-Dispatch a list of justifiable killings by its officers from 2007 through 2013. There were 13 such homicides, or nearly two a year, that weren’t reported to state police. Fairfax declined to provide the age, gender and race of the individuals killed and the officers involved, saying such records are exempt from mandatory disclosure under FOIA.
“It’s true that [justifiable homicides] are not really a crime, per se,” said Norman Westerberg, manager of uniform crime reporting for Virginia State Police. “But it’s also a requirement that they send in justifiable homicides. It’s an interaction between an officer and victim that needs to be reported, and is required to be reported.”
Westerberg said he has contacted the FBI about Fairfax’s non-reporting of police killings.
Aside from Fairfax, Westerberg said he is unaware of any other Virginia law enforcement agencies that are not reporting justifiable homicides. “But I haven’t done a sample of them or canvassed the entire group.”
The Times-Dispatch also discovered that a 2011 killing by Henrico County police of a black criminal suspect who fired on officers was not reported, but a county police spokesman said an editing error prevented the uploading of the data to state police.
“We were unaware it was not submitted,” spokesman Chris Eley said. “We are currently working to correct the problem and resubmit the data.”
* * *
Baker said the Virginia numbers add to the ongoing national narrative surrounding race and police killings.
“While it certainly seems that blacks may be disproportionately involved in crime and assaulting police officers, police officers in Virginia are more likely to kill black offenders for reasons other than attacking police officers or civilians or resisting arrest than they are to kill white offenders for the same reason,” Baker noted. “However, none of this tells us why.”
Baker said research clearly demonstrates that blacks have more negative views of police officers than do whites. They are less likely to cooperate with the police, trust the police or be satisfied with policing in general.
“Much of this distrust and dissatisfaction comes from negative direct and vicarious experiences with the police, including media accounts, and has unfortunately become inculcated among many black Americans,” Baker continued. “At the same time, police officers are not insensitive to this distrust and dissatisfaction, and may enter encounters with blacks on higher alert. All of this adds up to potentially volatile and violent interactions.”
What it also means, Baker said, is that a “one-sided approach” to solving the problem is unlikely to work.
“Additional training for police officers, while potentially beneficial, will not solve the problem without cultural changes on how police are perceived among many black Americans,” Baker said. “These two things, changing police behavior and changing how blacks view police, are reciprocally related.”
Without a change in police behavior, blacks’ perception of police are unlikely to change, and as long as blacks continue to distrust police and are discouraged to cooperate with them, “police officers may be on higher alert and quicker to resort to violence,” Baker said.
* * *
Barley, an African-American who has litigated cases on both sides of the fence involving police officers, said he doesn’t put much credence in the statistical analysis of police killings because there are too many unknown variables in the data.
“Statistics alone can be misleading,” said Barley, who as a former Richmond city attorney in the 1980s represented the city in misconduct lawsuits filed against officers, but as a private litigator has sued Richmond officers on behalf of clients in alleged police brutality cases.
“The findings are primarily based on the reports of police officers ... without the benefit of cameras or independent witnesses. And the defendants on many occasions cannot respond because they are convicted felons, so their credibility is diminished. All of those factors come into play.”
Consequently, “all you have is the policeman’s version of what happened, and I see that so often in my practice of criminal law,” Barley said, who has represented clients in high-profile criminal cases in U.S. District Court in Richmond.
Barley believes it is also misleading to compare police killings of African-Americans with violent crime offender data by race.
“And the reason for that is that we don’t know what the underlying reason is for an encounter with a police officer,” he said. “We don’t know who provoked who. We [have seen] provocations by police officers.”
Barley said he also suspects that a disproportionate number of “especially young African-American males” are being killed by police in Virginia versus young white males.
“And that’s the biggest problem that we have, killings by police officers of unarmed African-American young men,” Barley said. “Because all of the outcry that we’ve been hearing in the media of late, and all of the protests of late, have (involved) young African-American males who have been killed by police.”
* * *
The data obtained by The Times-Dispatch does show a racial disparity in the average age of blacks and whites killed by police in Virginia over the past 24 years.
From 1990 through 2013, the average age of African-Americans killed by police was 30.78 years, compared with 36.07 for whites, a difference that is considered statistically significant, Baker said. In the 16 to 21 age category, 10 blacks and eight whites were killed in Virginia over that period.
Schrad, director of the Virginia police chiefs association, said while the statistics don’t reveal a gross over-representation of minorities in police killings, the numbers “also don’t address other factors that may need to be explained.”
For example, Schrad said it would be interesting to know whether there is a higher proportion of calls for service from minority neighborhoods, and whether the types of service calls vary between white and minority neighborhoods.
“If the sheer number of calls for service is dramatically higher in minority neighborhoods, then it stands to reason that there are more interactions with police officers and minorities that could be relevant to this statistical examination.”
“Fear of law enforcement officers represents a failure in our communities, and a breakdown of relationship between our officers and the people they are sworn to protect,” Schrad said. “It is critical that this trend be reversed through improved police-community relations.”
Schrad said there are two “key” approaches that may best address the problem: more training for officers in the less-than-lethal uses of force, and educating the public that complying with an officer, “even when you think the officer is wrong, is the correct response.”
U.S. Conference of Mayors Report: Strengthening police-community relations in America’s cities
January 27, 2015 | National News
The events which began in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014 with the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, by a White police officer have brought to the forefront serious social issues that must be addressed – issues of race, class, prejudice, poverty, and inequality that are often difficult for people to talk about. These issues also underscore the complex nature of policing in communities across the country.
The decision of a St. Louis County grand jury not to indict the police officer responsible for Brown’s death compounded these issues, as did a similar verdict by a Staten Island, New York grand jury that declined to indict a White police officer in the death of Eric Garner, a Black man accused of selling cigarettes individually on the street, by an apparent chokehold. The tragic assassination of New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on December 20 while they sat in their squad car, by an individual who claimed retaliation for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, underscored the turmoil the nation is facing. Police officers are beleaguered and on alert and feel persecuted while risking their lives on a daily basis. These events have shaken some of the public’s perceptions of policing in America and of the criminal justice system. They have highlighted both the rift that may exist between police officers and the communities they serve and protect, and the danger which those officers face every day.
Mayors and police chiefs know full well that effective community policing is practiced in a constitutional manner by many police departments, and that the vast majority of police officers have developed trusting relationships with the communities they serve. But they also believe that this country cannot let the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner or of other men and boys of color who have died in encounters with police officers, or of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu or other officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, to be lost in a set of statistics. They believe that the nation must learn from these painful experiences and do everything possible to prevent them from happening again.
This report, developed by a working group of mayors and police chiefs appointed by U.S. Conference of Mayors President and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, provides a set of recommendations for local and national actions intended to improve police-community relations in America. These recommendations emerged from discussions held by the Conference of Mayors leadership when it met in Sacramento in September and from further discussions held by mayors and police chiefs who met in Little Rock in October on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
The recommendations are grouped into six areas: building police-community trust, improving police department practices, ensuring timely and accurate communications, conducting independent investigations, addressing racial and economic disparities, and providing national leadership. In some instances, the recommendations go beyond the purview of mayors and police chiefs and call for actions by the broader community in cities and the nation as a whole, and by the federal government.
USDOJ BLOG: Responding to and Protecting Students from Sexual Assault
January 26, 2015 | National News
President Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault one year ago. On this anniversary, the task force has released a sample memorandum of understanding (MOU) to assist campuses and law enforcement agencies to work together in their efforts to protect students, address the needs of sexual assault survivors, and ensure a prompt, thorough, and fair response to allegations of sexual misconduct. This is yet another important step in the task force’s effort to help colleges and universities, as well as their partners in the community, address the problem of campus sexual violence.
Note: The sample MOU can be found HERE.
While colleges and universities can do much on their own, communication and collaboration between campus administrators, campus police and local law enforcement is critically important to address the problem of sexual assault on campus.
The sample MOU reflects input from task force members and agencies, outside experts on sexual assault, police associations, state attorneys general, and campus administrators and counsels.
Many colleges and universities already have MOUs in place with local law enforcement authorities covering a variety of areas. Our conversations with campus administrators, campus police, and law enforcement have underscored the need for additional tools and strategies that are specifically tailored to the dynamics of sexual assault on campus, as well as the needs of sexual assault survivors. The task force is providing this sample MOU with that in mind.
We recognize that every campus and community is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The sample MOU is, therefore, intended to be a starting point for a conversation between campus administrators, campus police and local law enforcement on how to improve collaborations between critical first responders. We fully expect that, in partnering to address the issue of sexual violence on campus, campus administrators and law enforcement will adapt the provisions of the sample MOU to meet their particular needs and circumstances. For example, some campus and law enforcement authorities may wish to incorporate some or all of the provisions into an existing general campus safety MOU, while others may prefer a standalone agreement specifically addressing campus sexual violence. Still others may decide that some different method of collaboration better meets their needs. We hope that this sample MOU will be an important resource in collaborative efforts between campus administrators, campus police and law enforcement to eradicate sexual assault from college communities nationwide.
Courtesy of Eve Hill and Mark Kappelhoff, Deputy Assistant Attorneys General for the Civil Rights Division
An ICE Detainer is Merely a Request—Not a Requirement
January 24, 2015 | Virginia News
Law enforcement officers and agencies are often faced with deciding whether they are required to detain an otherwise releasable prisoner when there is a detainer on the prisoner from the federal Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) on file. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General rendered an Advisory Opinion on January 5, 2015 providing guidance on this very issue.
The Attorney General confirmed the decisions of several courts and the wording of the regulation creating the detainer, 8 C.F.R. § 287.7(a), that an ICE detainer does not create a legal obligation or provide legal authority for a law enforcement officer or agency to maintain custody of an adult prisoner who is otherwise eligible for immediate release from local or state custody. Rather, Federal Regulation 8 C.F.R. § 287.7 serves as a mere request for law enforcement to advise the Department of Homeland Security that they have an alien in their custody prior to releasing that individual. If a law enforcement officer or agency elects to advise ICE pursuant to the ICE detainer, they are only permitted to detain the prisoner for a period not to exceed 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, in order to permit the Department of Homeland Security to take the alien into custody. Put another way, federal law simply limits the amount of time that a law enforcement officer can detain a prisoner under the ICE detainer if a law enforcement officer or agency chooses to honor an ICE detainer, but the law enforcement officer is not obligated to honor the request and hold the prisoner.
In addition, the ICE detainer provides no legal authority to hold an adult inmate or prisoner who is otherwise eligible for immediate release from local or state custody. Therefore, as a request and not an actual “hold,” if an adult inmate or prisoner is eligible for immediate release, law enforcement officers and agencies must release the adult inmate notwithstanding the ICE detainer on file. The situation is different, according the AG’s opinion, if the inmate or prisoner is a juvenile and being held pursuant to an indeterminate commitment. If a juvenile is being held pursuant to an indeterminate commitment, the Department of Juvenile Justice may hold the juvenile until ICE officials take him or her into custody, so long as the juvenile is not detained by the DJJ longer than thirty-six continuous months or after the juvenile turns twenty-one years of age.
If you have questions about ICE detainers or other areas of law effecting law enforcement officers and agencies, please contact one of our local government attorneys or law enforcement defense attorneys – Ken Roeber, Michelle Warden, or Cullen Seltzer.
Chief of Police M. Douglas Scott to Retire in March 2015
January 23, 2015 | Virginia News
Arlington County Chief of Police M. Douglas Scott will retire March 20, 2015, following a 40-year career in law enforcement. He has served as Arlington County Chief of Police since 2003.
“Doug has done an excellent job of serving our community and our organization – not only as an outstanding police chief, but also as a stalwart member of my leadership team,” said Donnellan. “Doug is always thoughtful, measured, and focused on the bigger strategic picture. He is results-oriented and focused on solutions and I very much value his contributions to the big questions we wrestle with.”
Chief Scott’s career highlights include:
- Serving 17 years as a Chief of Police, including Chief of Fairfax County Police Department and City of Fairfax Police Department.
- Serving as Chair of Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Police Chiefs Subcommittee.
- Serving on Executive Board of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP); also served as President of VACP, 2009-2010.
- Serving for many years on Executive Committee of International Association of Chiefs of Police.
In announcing his retirement, Chief Scott explained that “… retirement in 2015 feels like the right decision for me and my family.” He added, “I have had the pride and privilege leading the men and women of the Arlington County Police Department. It has been an absolute honor to have served in this position and to wear this badge.”
He will retire on March 20, 2015.
Over the next couple of months, Donnellan will name an Acting Chief of Police and begin a national recruitment.
AG Herring, Legislators Introduce Bills to Reduce Heroin, Prescription Drug Fatalities
January 20, 2015 | Virginia News
Bipartisan package to encourage overdose reporting and hold dealers accountable has support of major law enforcement organizations
RICHMOND (January 20, 2015)--In response to a troubling statewide spike in heroin and prescription drug overdose fatalities, Attorney General Mark R. Herring and a bipartisan group of Virginia legislators have introduced important legislation to save lives and hold drug dealers accountable. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, heroin overdose fatalities in Virginia have more than doubled from 100 deaths in 2011 to 213 deaths in 2013, while an additional 468 Virginians died from prescription drug overdose in 2013. Between 2011 and 2013, every region of the state experienced an increase in heroin fatalities, including a 164% increase in Northern Virginia, a 94% increase in Hampton Roads, and a 50% increase in the Richmond metro area.
"Too many Virginians are losing loved ones to heroin and prescription drug overdose. I don't want one more parent to bury a child, or one more child to lose a parent, because of these drugs," said Attorney General Herring. "The goal of these bills is to save lives. This is a complicated problem that will require education, prevention, treatment, and enforcement at the local, state, and federal level. We've worked hard with law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates over the last few months to make sure these bills will be effective and useful. This is just one step, but we think it's an important one in turning the tide against heroin and prescription drug fatalities."
In September, Attorney General Herring announced a 5-part plan to address heroin and prescription drug fatalities. It included a number of legislative proposals that have been refined through extensive outreach and work with legislators, prosecutors, and law enforcement. The legislation has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, the Virginia Sheriffs' Association, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys.
The bills are:
Safe Reporting (Good Samaritan provision)--Carr/O'Bannon/Rust (HB1500) This bill would encourage reporting of overdoses in progress by establishing an affirmative defense for minor possession or intoxication crimes if a person reports an overdose, remains on the scene, and identifies themselves as the reporter. Safe reporting provisions currently exist in 21 other states and the District of Columbia.
Drug-induced Homicide--Miller (HB1638) This bill would give prosecutors a tool to hold drug dealers accountable when their drugs lead to an overdose death. Currently these cases are almost always taken to the federal level--including by cross-designated prosecutors from the Office of Attorney General--because Virginia law makes convictions very difficult.
Statewide Naloxone Expansion--Carr/O'Bannon (HB1458) Naloxone is a prescription drug that counteracts the effects of a heroin or prescription opioid overdose. This bill would expand the current naloxone pilot project to authorize naloxone use by any law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth. It would also provide immunity to law enforcement who administer the drug. Similar authorization currently exists in 23 states. According to the Centers for Disease Control, naloxone successfully reversed more than 10,000 overdoses between 1996 and 2010.
Prescription Monitoring Program-- Howell (SB817) This bill will allow probation officers to access Virginia's Prescription Monitoring Program to ensure their probationers are not getting opioid prescriptions they are not authorized to have.
Bill sponsors and law enforcement officials from across the state offered the following statements on the scope of the heroin and prescription drug crisis in Virginia and the package of legislation to help address it:
Delegate Thomas Davis Rust (Co-Sponsor of HB1500, Safe Reporting)
"We are seeing an epidemic of prescription drug and heroin fatalities across the state, and in particular in Northern Virginia. If we can help encourage the reporting of overdoses in progress, we can get that person help, save a life, and set them on a path towards recovery."
Delegate Betsy Carr (Co-Sponsor of HB1500, Safe Reporting and HB1548 Naloxone)
"The prescription drug and heroin overdose rates throughout our Commonwealth are alarming. It is my hope that my bill, HB1500, when passed will encourage individuals or their loved ones experiencing an overdose to seek timely medical attention. We want to increase calls to 911 and decrease deaths from overdoses."
Delegate Jackson Miller (Sponsor of HB1638, Drug Induced Homicide)
"This amendment to the state's felony homicide statute will help law enforcement and prosecutors hold dealers accountable when their drugs lead to the death of a Virginian. There is still much work to be done to combat heroin and prescription drug abuse, but by holding dealers accountable for the full consequences of their actions, we can help slow the flood of cheap, dangerous drugs on our streets."
Richmond Chief of Police Ray Tarasovic and Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Herring
"The enforcement work group is an unprecedented collaboration of front -line stakeholders in the fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse. Drawing from the various perspectives of emergency response, criminal justice, medicine, treatment and advocacy, the work group made several important recommendations on ways to enhance our efforts to avoid the tragedy of drug overdose. The recommendations included: (1) immunity for first responders who administer Nalaxone; (2) enhanced penalties for persons who sell schedule 1 or 2 drugs that result in the death of the user; and (3) increased law enforcement access to the prescription drug registry. The Attorney General's legislative proposals for preventive, investigative and prosecutorial enhancements reflect the work group's consensus that a holistic, coordinated effort will best save lives."
Virginia Beach Chief of Police Jim Cervera
"It is encouraging to see lawmakers really put their heads together and work on a solution to fight the heroin epidemic that has shaken our Commonwealth. We all know by now that the heroin death rate has more than doubled in recent years - and this is just not an area where law enforcement can deal with the problem alone. To beat the heroin epidemic, educators, behavioral health experts, police, parents, communities and lawmakers must work together. So on behalf of the Va. Beach Police Department, we are encouraged with this package of legislation that provides a multi faceted approach to the problem. This is what being smart on crime is all about."
Roanoke Chief of Police Chris Perkins
"Heroin not only damages the lives of the people using the drug, but heroin damages the lives of the users family, friends, co-workers and everyone in our community. The Commonwealth of Virginia must take a balanced approach in dealing with threat posed by drug abuse. We must provide sufficient legal protections for those seeking medical treatment for overdose and dependency, while criminalizing the negligent behavior of those who would act recklessly in supplying this drug. Heroin has re-emerged and it is now marketed in such a way that its popularity has started to surpassed many of the most commonly used drugs. We must stop it now before impacts generations of Virginians."
Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman
"Heroin overdoses are taking way too many lives throughout Virginia. We need to aggressively target this problem through enforcement, prevention and education. A proactive and comprehensive approach that combines law enforcement with community resources will help get this problem under control."
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Kelly
Attorney General Prohibits Federal Agency Adoptions of Assets Seized by State, Local Law Enforcement
January 16, 2015 | National News
Today, Attorney General Eric Holder issued an order setting forth a new policy prohibiting federal agency forfeiture, or “adoptions,” of assets seized by state and local law enforcement agencies, with a limited public safety exception.
A federally adopted forfeiture – or “adoption” for short – occurs when a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law. The U.S. Department of the Treasury, which has its own forfeiture program, is issuing a policy consistent with the Attorney General’s order and that policy will apply to all participants of the Treasury forfeiture program, administered by the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture.
“With this new policy, effective immediately, the Justice Department is taking an important step to prohibit federal agency adoptions of state and local seizures, except for public safety reasons,” said Attorney General Holder. “This is the first step in a comprehensive review that we have launched of the federal asset forfeiture program. Asset forfeiture remains a critical law enforcement tool when used appropriately – providing unique means to go after criminal and even terrorist organizations. This new policy will ensure that these authorities can continue to be used to take the profit out of crime and return assets to victims, while safeguarding civil liberties.”
The Attorney General ordered that federal agency adoption of property seized by state or local law enforcement under state law be prohibited, except for property that directly relates to public safety concerns, including firearms, ammunition, explosives and property associated with child pornography. The prohibition on federal agency adoption includes, but is not limited to, seizures by state or local law enforcement of vehicles, valuables, cash and other monetary instruments. This order is effective immediately and applies to all Justice Department attorneys and components, and all participants in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program. The new policy will ensure that adoption is employed only to protect public safety, and does not extend to seizures where state and local jurisdictions can more appropriately act under their own laws.
Both the Justice and Treasury Departments regularly review their asset forfeiture programs to ensure that federal asset forfeiture authorities are used carefully and effectively to take the profit out of crime, combat organized crime groups, and enable victim compensation, while ensuring that laws are followed, civil liberties are protected, and our constitutional system is strengthened. Since 2000, the Justice Department has returned approximately $4 billion in forfeited funds to victims of federal crime. Both departments will be part of the Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group, which will provide recommendations to the President regarding actions that can be taken to improve programs, like asset forfeiture, that help local law enforcement obtain equipment.
The Justice Department’s policy permitting federal agencies to adopt seizures dates from the inception of the Asset Forfeiture Program in the 1980s. The Treasury Department’s adoption policy has been part of its Asset Forfeiture Program since its inception in 1993. At the time that these policies were implemented, few states had forfeiture statutes analogous to the federal asset forfeiture laws. Consequently, when state and local law enforcement agencies seized criminal proceeds and property used to commit crimes, they often lacked the legal authority to forfeit the seized items. Turning seized assets over to federal law enforcement agencies for adoption was a way to keep those assets from being returned to criminals. Today, however, every state has either criminal or civil forfeiture laws, making the federal adoption process less necessary. Indeed, adoptions currently constitute a very small slice of the federal asset forfeiture program. Over the last six years, adoptions accounted for roughly three percent of the value of forfeitures in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program.
The new policy applies only to adoptions, not to seizures resulting from joint operations involving both federal and state authorities, or to seizures pursuant to warrants issued by federal courts. The policy does not limit the ability of state and local agencies to pursue the forfeiture of assets pursuant to their respective state laws. Law enforcement agencies working on joint task forces are required to follow the 2015 Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.
University at Buffalo Study Shows Positive Personality Traits May Protect Police at High Risk for PT
January 15, 2015 | National News
Personal traits such as resilience, satisfaction with life, and a grateful disposition may help shield police officers from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the aftermath of a natural disaster. This is the case even though police officers are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events and those events have been found to provoke PTSD. These are the conclusions of a new study that examined police officers in the New Orleans area both during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina.
“We found that symptoms of PTSD signiﬁcantly decreased among subjects as resilience, satisfaction with life and gratitude increased,” says researcher Dr. John Violanti, UB professor of epidemiology and environmental health, and an internationally known expert on police stress. “This also was true among officers — excluded from the study — who did not work during the hurricane. This study extends our understanding of how positive factors are associated with reduced PTSD symptoms, and can inform and guide treatment modalities for PTSD,” Dr. Violanti says.
The protective personal qualities under consideration in the study were resilience, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; satisfaction with life; post-traumatic personal growth — that is, psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world that contribute to deeply meaningful change; and a grateful disposition, which is associated with positive affect and well-being, prosocial behaviors, and other qualities.
The authors point out that the severity of symptoms and risk of PTSD are associated with such factors as the severity of the disaster, degree of exposure, personal losses, and even how one behaved during the event. Following Katrina, the study says, police officers faced a number of physical and psychological challenges, and many reported having to conduct their duties — crowd control, looting control, rescuing victims in flooded areas, body retrieval — while facing open hostility from the citizens they were trying to aid, sometimes in the form of assault and being shot at.
“About 50 percent of the general population in the U.S. has been exposed to at least one traumatic event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury or other terrifying situations,” Dr. Violanti says. “Five to six percent of them will develop PTSD, while others will cope pretty well. Police officers are at significantly higher risk than the general public because PTSD is more likely among those repeatedly exposed to trauma,” he says, “and between 9-19 percent of police will develop PTSD, indicating both a higher rate of occurrence than in the general public and greater variability in risk.”
Holder Urges Improved Data Reporting on Both Shootings of Police Officers and Use of Force by Police
January 15, 2015 | National News
In a speech at a Justice Department ceremony honoring the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that the nation must improve police officer safety at the same time that it confronts the sense of mistrust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. As an initial step, the Attorney General called for better reporting of data on both issues, noting that the current level of reporting by localities on both uses of force by police—as well as officer fatalities—was incomplete.
“The troubling reality is that we lack the ability right now to comprehensively track the number of incidents of either uses of force directed at police officers or uses of force by police,” the Attorney General said in his remarks. “This strikes many – including me – as unacceptable. Fixing this is an idea that we should all be able to unite behind.”
Currently, federal authorities publish annual figures on the number of “justifiable homicides” by law enforcement, as well as figures on the number of law enforcement officers killed or assaulted. But since reporting is voluntary, not all police departments participate, causing the figures to be incomplete. In his comments Thursday, the Attorney General urged improving the method for collecting both these sets of data.
“This would represent a commonsense step that would begin to address serious concerns about police officer safety, as well as the need to safeguard civil liberties,” he said.
A complete version of the Attorney General’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, appear at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-holder-urges-improved-data-reporting-both-shootings-police-officers-and-use
Joint UVa, Charlottesville police substation opens on The Corner
January 15, 2015 | Virginia News
The University of Virginia and Charlottesville police departments are opening a substation on The Corner as part of its plan to improve student safety around Grounds.
The substation — which will only be staffed from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights — was announced last fall in response to the slaying of second-year student Hannah Graham. Members of both departments will be stationed in a gray trailer on University Avenue, across from the White Spot restaurant and adjacent to the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center.
Officials are planning to move the substation into a permanent facility in the building that once housed the Freeman-Victorious picture frame store this summer.
Officials said the new station will increase police visibility on The Corner during busy nights.
Next month, the university will unveil the second part of its plan: the use of unarmed security guards.
UVa will use the services of multinational security contractor G4S for unarmed security “ambassadors” around Grounds. The security staff will escort students who might otherwise be walking home at night alone and provide increased security in places frequented by students at night.
G4S, formerly known as Group 4 Securicor, is a British private security company offering its services around the world. The massive company, which grosses more than $500 million annually, provides a range of services, including staffing for prisons, security for major events and electronic security systems.
Most notably, the company provided security at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and provides electronic security equipment for some Israeli prisons and military checkpoints in the West Bank. Last June, the company pledged to end its contracts with Israeli prisons within three years in light of allegations of abuse at the facilities, according to the Financial Times.
One of the company’s subsidiaries, G4S Secure Solutions, currently provides security for Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.
Attorney General Holder Announces Partnership with Facebook, Bing to Expand Reach of AMBER Alert
January 15, 2015 | National News
Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that – as the nation observes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day – the Justice Department has partnered with Facebook and Bing to expand the reach of the AMBER Alert system. Facebook will begin sending alerts to its members in designated search areas and Bing will allow users to access AMBER Alerts through its online tools. Attorney General Holder continued to urge other companies and organizations to step forward and do their part by offering whatever assistance they can provide.
“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American,” said Attorney General Holder. “Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media. Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response. The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.”
The complete text of the Attorney General’s video message is below:
“At the Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring the safety and security of everyone in this country – and especially our young people. Over the last two decades, a key tool in this effort has been the AMBER Alert system – an early warning system that helps us find and return abducted children.
“Since the first AMBER Alert system became operational in 1996, AMBER Alert’s strong network of law enforcement and transportation officials, broadcasters, private-sector representatives – and dedicated ordinary citizens – has helped to rescue and safely return more than 700 abducted children. Just last month, two young children were recovered. In one incident, a three-year-old boy who had been taken in a domestic dispute was used as a shield by his abductor. In another, an infant just 20 days old was abducted by a carjacker. Fortunately, with the help of the AMBER Alert system, both children were rescued unharmed.
“Through radio announcements, highway signs, wireless notifications, and Web posts, AMBER Alerts are now capable of rapidly reaching millions of people across the country. But we have a great deal more to do in order to ensure that we can spread the word about missing children as quickly and as widely as possible.
“Today – as our nation observes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day – I am pleased to announce that we are making two vital additions to our innovative national partnerships in order to expand the reach of the AMBER Alert system. Facebook, already an AMBER Alert partner, will now begin sending alerts, along with detailed information and photographs, to its members in designated search areas. And the search engine Bing will begin allowing users to access AMBER Alerts through its online tools. These cutting-edge tools are available as a result of agreements with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which coordinates our AMBER Alert distribution efforts.
“Facebook’s geo-targeted alerts and Bing’s online broadcast tools will give AMBER Alerts an expanded social media and Internet presence – extending our web of child protection resources into new and critical areas. I am grateful for their involvement, and for the participation of so many organizations and agencies that have helped to make the AMBER Alert system such an important public safety asset. And I urge other companies and organizations to step forward and do their part by offering whatever assistance they can provide.
“Protecting the well-being of our young people is a responsibility that falls to every American. Each of us can help by paying close attention to alerts that come in – and by making sure you are plugged into the AMBER Alert network via social media. Remember: finding an abducted child and returning him or her to safety depends on a fast response. The more vigilant citizens we have on the look-out, the better our chances of a quick recovery.
The full video of the Attorney General’s message is available at http://www.justice.gov/opa/video/expanding-amber-alert-tools-recover-missing-children.
IACP Releases Report from National Summit on Community-Police Relations
January 14, 2015 | National News
A Message from IACP President Richard Beary
I am pleased to announce the release of the report from the IACP National Policy Summit on Community-Police Relations: Advancing a Culture of Cohesion and Community Trust. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to present the report to President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. It is our hope that the recommendations from this report will aid the Task Force as they continue the insightful work they are doing to examine and strengthen community-police relations.
We also hope that this report will be used as a call to action by every law enforcement executive and every law enforcement agency to take stock and recommit to the principles of justice and service that are at the core of the oath that police officers take.
The report stresses that law enforcement leaders should strive daily to build strong, trusting community-police relationships and recognizes that, in many areas, more can be done. The report also makes clear that the challenges we are currently facing, were not created in a vacuum, and will not be solved by law enforcement alone. Instead, the solution lies in making progress in a number of areas, and requires coordination and collaboration at all levels. Therefore, recommendations for key stakeholders, such as community and political leaders, are also included in this report.
As law enforcement leaders, we understand that policing is a unique profession. The reason each and every one of us took an oath to become a police officer is because we want to help others. We are highly committed to ensuring the safety of the public. We knew that wearing a badge would bring challenges, that we would sometimes be up against the worst of humanity, and we would witness some truly devastating things. But we also knew that for all the bad we would encounter, that our days would also be filled with good. We would have the opportunity to rescue the abused, assist the helpless, reunite missing children with their parents, prevent an individual from committing suicide, keep a child from going down the wrong path, and most importantly, save lives.
However, despite the nobility of our profession, recent events are a strong reminder that we must never be complacent in our efforts to sustain trust across police and the communities they serve. We must continue to reevaluate, recommit, and renew our focus on sustaining trusting relationships with all segments of the community. This movement is not “revolutionary,” but rather, “evolutionary.” It is change that takes time, patience, and, when successful, results in the betterment of all. This is an opportunity to lead for both police and community leaders that cannot go unattended.
As you continue your daily efforts to protect and serve your communities, I urge all of you to carefully review this report and its recommendations.
Chief Richard Beary
President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
Purcellville Police Chief Announces Retirement
January 13, 2015 | Virginia News
Purcellville Police Chief Darryl C. Smith will retire April 1. He has lead the town police force for the past nine years, helping it to achieve state accreditation and winning numerous for awards for its youth engagement and outreach programs.
“The town was blessed when we were able to hire Chief Smith over nine years ago,” Town Manager Robert W. Lohr stated in announcing the retirement plans. “It is rare that someone can have such a positive impact on an organization and community that he has served in such a short period.”
“Chief Smith’s leadership has transformed the Purcellville Police Department into the community focused organization it is today,” Mayor Kwasi Fraser said. “Programs such as the Homework Club, Back to School Picnic, and End of School Picnic were led by Chief Smith and have been instrumental in connecting our young people and their families to our police force in a meaningful way. While I do not have a tremendous amount time working with Chief Smith, it has been my observation that he is a dedicated public servant and has worked tirelessly to secure our citizens and garner community trust. Chief Smith has provided us with a template as to what traits and capabilities we must expect and require from a new police chief. I thank Chief Smith for his service to our community and wish him and his family all the best during his retirement.”
In 2007, the police department won a Virginia Municipal League Achievement for smith’s youth engagement and outreach programs and in 2008 the department’s work received the Webber Seavey International Award given by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Motorola.
Smith also is credited for leading the department through a period of rapid growth and a recession that required creative ways to expand the police station to meet program needs and state recommendations and regulations. In addition, he worked to update the entire fleet of vehicles and equipment issued to all officers while implementing a progressive staffing model.
“To Chief Smith, this was not just a job but a love and a passion for the community and his officers.” Lohr said. “In a period where administrators tend to spend too much time behind their desk, he was constantly in the community working with our youth, residents and businesses. Chief Smith will be greatly missed and will leave some mighty big shoes to fill in this department and on our management team.”
Heroin Deaths Spiked in 2014
January 12, 2015 | Virginia News
Heroin deaths in the area soared by more than 60 percent in 2014 over the total for 2013, despite a slowing in the rate of overdose deaths in the last months of the year.
The 33 deaths counted by the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force were 12 more than the previous year.
The deaths were spread throughout the jurisdiction of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force — Frederick Warren, Shenandoah, Page and Clarke counties, plus Winchester and Front Royal.
The majority of the deaths were concentrated in Frederick County and Winchester. There were eight heroin or opioid overdose deaths in Warren County and Front Royal and two each in Shenandoah and Page counties.
Virginia State Police Special Agent Jay Perry, the coordinator the drug task force, said in an interview Monday that efforts to stem the spread of heroin are sometimes hindered by reluctance among friends and family members of victims to accept that a loved one’s death was caused by a heroin overdose.
Toxicology and autopsy reports often come back showing heroin was one of several drugs contained in a “cocktail” consumed by a victim in the hours before his death. ...
Toscano bill would expand DNA data bank, as sought by Sheriff Harding
January 11, 2015 | Virginia News
Albemarle County Sheriff J. E. “Chip” Harding’s push for DNA data bank expansion has found a voice in legislation recently filed by House Minority Leader David J. Toscano.
The bill would add 99 serious misdemeanors to a growing list of convictions for which the state requires offenders to submit a DNA sample to the state data bank.
Inspired by the high-profile case of slain University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, Toscano said lawmakers should act with urgency to expand a law enforcement tool proven to help solve and prevent crime.
“This comes out of the Hannah Graham tragedy and the feeling that if we have a more expansive database, we could potentially catch people before they commit more serious crimes,” said Toscano, D-Charlottesville. “I rarely put in criminal justice bills, but this is just too important.”
Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., who is charged with abduction with intent to defile in Graham’s case, would have had his DNA entered into the state data bank upon his misdemeanor trespassing conviction in 2010 under the terms of Toscano’s bill.
The what-ifs are haunting, said Gil Harrington, who said she supports the legislation and also advocates for DNA collection upon all felony arrests. ...
‘Gun show loophole’ discussion takes place amid rise in arrests
January 11, 2015 | Virginia News
Total arrests for illegal gun buys are up at gun shows even as overall gun sales decline.
By Mark Bowes
As state legislators prepare to consider a proposal by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to close the “gun show loophole,” new state data show that the percentage of arrests at gun shows among people denied approval to buy firearms has increased for a third consecutive year.
The volume of gun show sales, purchase denials and arrests all declined in 2014 — a year in which all commercial gun sales in Virginia dropped an estimated 15 percent from 2013. But in an increase, 35 percent of the people denied permission to buy firearms were then charged with being legally prohibited to possess a gun.
The denial-to-arrest figure has climbed for three years in a row and suggests an upward trend by state police in enforcing firearm laws at Virginia gun shows.
That percentage rose from 10.6 percent in 2011 — the first year that state police began tracking gun show transactions — to 12.4 percent in 2012 and to 27 percent in 2013.
“This is a positive sign that people are being arrested for illegally trying to obtain firearms [at gun shows],” said criminologist Thomas Baker, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, who analyzed the recently released state police firearm transaction data for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. ...
Task force on sexual assault cautioned about mandatory reporting proposals
January 9, 2015 | Virginia News
BY KARIN KAPSIDELIS Richmond Times-Dispatch
RICHMOND — Proposed state laws requiring mandatory reporting of campus sexual assaults to outside law enforcement could be accommodated under the complex federal regulations that universities also must adhere to, the Governor's Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence was told Thursday.
But such a mandate could have unintended consequences, cautioned John DiPaolo, deputy general counsel for departmental law and postsecondary education for the U.S. Department of Education.
Federal regulations administered by the department recognize mandatory reporting "as an appropriate area for state law," he said. But the policies also recognize students need "some place they can go to have a confidential conversation."
Legislation designed to require more reporting to law enforcement could have "a reverse effect where students don't want to make a report at all because they know they will lose control" of the process, DiPaolo said.
"Thank you for bringing that up," responded state Secretary of Education Anne Holton, who said "the worst-case scenario" for universities would be to be caught between a state mandate requiring reporting and a federal policy allowing confidentiality.
The task force is expected to consider preliminary recommendations in March for a statewide strategy to address campus assaults, but a series of bills have been filed that could pre-empt some of that work.
Police lives matter, too
January 9, 2015 | National News
Why do we often cheapen the value of police lives?
BALTIMORE SUN > OPINION
By Burke Brownfeld
On Dec. 20, two New York police officers were killed while sitting in their cruiser. On Christmas night in Durham, N.C., Police Officer T.J. West was shot as he exited his vehicle. Three days later, two Los Angeles police officers were shot at while traveling in their cruiser. And this week, a man brought a loaded gun into a Baltimore police precinct at, he said, the behest of the Black Guerilla Family gang, which the FBI has warned is targeting white officers in Maryland.
2014 was a deadly year for police officers, with line-of-duty deaths up by more than 10 percent compared to last year, according to The Officer Down Memorial Page. The most striking statistic is the fact that the number of police officers killed by gunfire in 2014 is up 57 percent compared to 2013. Unfortunately, it appears that violence against the police is a trend that is getting worse, and it will affect the way police officers do their jobs.
For years and years, we have tried to explain away the murders and attempted murders of police officers. "That's what you signed up for," we say. I was a police officer for six years, and the idea of getting murdered was not in the recruitment brochure. Why do we often cheapen the value of police lives?
Society has gone through a systematic dehumanization of police officers. Let us remember that this profession has been demonized long before the protests in Ferguson. For example, in 1988, the band N.W.A. released a song called "[Expletive] tha Police." The song features lyrics that encourage the killing of cops: "I'm a sniper with a hell of a scope, Taking out a cop or two, they can't cope with me." The sentiments of this song are alive and well today. When a person at a party says, "The problem with black people is ..." we call them racists. However, it has become acceptable to use similar broad generalizations about police officers across the nation. Just like with racism, the group on the receiving end of a stereotype feels disrespected and anonymous. This has a cumulative negative effect on the individual officers spread throughout our country. We see it affecting police morale, and we also see some police officers becoming defensive and reacting with equally negative rhetoric.
This stereotyping behavior also has an effect on citizens. We can say that the killer of the NYPD officers was mentally deranged and try to explain it away. Were the shooters in Durham and Los Angeles, who also tried to commit police murders, mentally ill? We cannot explain away every murder of police officers by blaming mental illness. At some point, we have to accept that hateful speech is inspirational for some people. Hateful speech leads to demonization. Demonization leads to dehumanization. Once a group is dehumanized, it is much easier to throw a bottle or fire a shot.
We don't have to change our attitudes or opinions about the police. However, we must remember that the working parts of this equation are all human in nature. If we demand more community policing, more foot patrols, less police shootings, we have to understand that the necessary ingredients to make that happen involve both the community and the police. As long as the police are publicly crucified on the whole, based on individual cases, and then murdered in the streets, change will not happen. The necessary conversations that might lead to change can't even happen. We as a society are alienating police officers instead of inviting them to join the conversation. So we must ask ourselves, have the current strategies really made any progress with police and community relations? Let's leave the emotional responses, stereotypes and violence against the police at the door and start seeking a better understanding of the complexities of the police/community relationship.
Tarasovic set to retire as Richmond police chief in February
January 9, 2015 | Virginia News
Richmond Police Chief Ray J. Tarasovic will retire by the end of February, and his successor is expected to come from the leadership ranks of the department he has run for nearly two years, sources told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Thursday.
The chief’s departure — and the department’s plan for his succession — are expected to be announced by Mayor Dwight C. Jones during a news conference at 11 a.m. today at the Richmond Police Academy.
The 64-year-old Tarasovic has been trying to retire since August, according to multiple sources.
Attempts to reach Tarasovic on Thursday evening were not successful.
Tarasovic was the right-hand man to former Richmond Police Chief Rodney D. Monroe, who was appointed by then-Mayor L. Douglas Wilder in 2005. The computer mapping and a community policing strategy implemented during Monroe’s tenure was credited with producing dramatic reductions in homicides and violent crime.
Tarasovic left Richmond in 2008 to follow Monroe to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., Police Department, where he worked until 2010 before retiring. After working part time as a program manager in the office of the Virginia secretary of public safety, he returned to the Richmond Police Department as its chief in February 2013 following the departure of Chief Bryan T. Norwood.
Tarasovic, who kept a home in the Fan District during his two-year stint in North Carolina, agreed to become chief out of loyalty to the city.
“Nothing would have brought me out of this fifth retirement, nothing other than public service in the city of Richmond,” he said during a news conference announcing his appointment. “I love this city. So I will serve this city — surely with my head, because that’s what I’m paid to do — but also with my heart.”
January 9, 2015 is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
January 8, 2015 | VACP
On January 9th, 2015, Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. and partnering organizations in support of law enforcement officers nationwide will promote a National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.). In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all.
The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police invites you to join them to show support to law enforcement that serves to protect our community.
Each day 780,000 police officers across our country put a badge on and go to work knowing they may face extremely dangerous situations. On average, between 105 and 203 officers die in the line of duty each year, 50,000 officers are assaulted in the line of duty each year, 14,000 officers are injured in the line of duty each year, and over 300 officers commit suicide each year. There is no other profession in the world, except possibly the military, where you will find these kinds of statistics.
Law enforcement officers play such an integral part in our society. Without law enforcement officers, chaos would reign. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you were in trouble - a car accident, a home invasion, an assault - and you did not have someone to call for help? No matter how much abuse law enforcement takes, they continue to do their job, and do it well. They are the guardians of our way of life and they deserve our support.
On January 9th, we call our nation's citizens to action in support of law enforcement. Those citizens who appreciate law enforcement and are discouraged about the negative attention being given to law enforcement are encouraged take time on Friday, January 9th to show their support. If you are unable to attend this local event, you can show your support in a number of ways:
- Change your profile picture on social media to this image
- Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement
- Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency
- Share a positive story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media
- Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement
- Participate in Project Blue Light. Proudly display your blue light in support of law enforcement.
Most importantly, if you see a police officer, thank a police officer.
National Law Enforcement Organizations that are partnering together include: Concerns of Police Survivors, The Fraternal Order of Police, The FBI National Academy Associates, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement, Officer Down Memorial Page, Law Enforcement United, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, International Conference of Police Chaplains, National Trooper's Coalition, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National Police Wives, Wives Behind the Badge, International Union of Police Associations, New Jersey State PBA, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs' Association, and the United States Air Force Security Forces.
Libby Legg hired as new Buena Vista deputy chief
January 7, 2015 | Virginia News
The Buena Vista Police Department is proud to announce the hiring of Elizabeth "Libby" Legg as the department's Deputy Chief.
With 30 years of law enforcement experience, Captain Legg will be a valuable asset to the department and the Buena Vista community. Before coming to the city, Captain Legg was serving as police chief for Colonial Beach, VA. Prior to that she served as Ferrum College police chief after serving with Roanoke, VA police department for 22 years, working her way up to lieutenant before leaving to take the Ferrum chief's job. Captain Legg's first project will be to begin the department's accreditation process to become a state accredited law enforcement agency.
RELATED: Colonial Beach police chief resigns
VIDEO: How Participating in the National Law Enforcement Challenge Saves Lives
January 7, 2015 | VACP
This video is a compilation of interviews taken during the IACP’s 2014 National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) Awards Ceremony. The NLEC (and the coordinating state competition, the Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge) is a friendly competition between law enforcement departments and agencies all across the country designed to encourage them to address traffic safety issues in their state or locality in an effective, systematic way.
The program brings recognition to outstanding agencies across the country that most effectively focused their efforts to make a difference within their traffic safety programs ultimately having the roadways safer.
Join Laser Technology, Inc., and the IACP's National Law Enforcement Challenge for a live webinar that will give new and returning applicants helpful information about the Challenge! January 20, 2015 at 11:30 AM (EST) Register Now!
Tune in to hear reasons why the Challenge is important, learn about the available resources that will help your department excel in the Challenge and run a continuously successful traffic safety program in your local community. All attendees will be entered to win an LTI 20/20 TruCAM!
Extended & Additional Interviews
Chief Howard Hall, Roanoke County (VA) Police Department:
Lt. Lee Bailey, New Kent County (VA) Sheriff's Office:
Ms. Dana Schrad, Executive Director, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police:
Chief John R. Batiste, Washington State Patrol:
Chief Scott Keller, Princess Anne (MD) Police Department:
Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron, St. Mary’s County (MD) Sheriff’s Office:
Inspector Bruno Schettini Goncalves, Federal Highway Police, Brazil:
Campus sexual assault reports a complicated tally
January 4, 2015 | Virginia News
Parents hoping to get a grasp on reports of sexual assault at the University of Virginia will have to look beyond statistics, according to experts.
Although much of the narrative of a Rolling Stone article describing an alleged gang rape at UVa has fallen apart, the university is still under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for the way it handles reports of assault. It also is being sued by an anonymous student who claims she was raped in 2012 and administrators mishandled evidence in her case.
There were 14 “forcible sex offenses” on Grounds and 11 in the surrounding area in 2013, according to information gathered under the Clery Act. The numbers represent an increase from 2012, when there were six on-Grounds assaults and five off-Grounds.
University administrators and experts agree that it’s an underreported problem. Allison Kiss, director of the Clery Center in Pennsylvania, said higher numbers might be a good sign because it means victims feel safe reporting sexual assaults.
“That leads me to believe they’re doing programming on this,” Kiss said. “I think we’re breaking down that myth that higher numbers is a bad thing.”
Adding to the confusion, it’s not totally clear when an incident must be counted as “sexual assault.” One parent quoted in the Rolling Stone article complained that her daughter’s case had been marked down in a university police report as “suspicious circumstances.”
Dana G. Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, said colleges are required to report a very broad range of conduct as “sexual assault,” including uninvited touching. But cases that are reported to university administrators — people designated by the university to counsel rape victims — would not show up in police reports.
“This is one of the reasons why many of our campus chiefs would like to ensure that Title IX investigations and complaints are always reported to the campus police,” Schrad said. ...
126 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Nationwide in 2014
December 31, 2014 | National News
Firearms-related fatalities spiked 56 percent while ambush attacks remained the leading cause of felonious deaths
Washington, DC—Law enforcement fatalities in the U.S. rose 24 percent in 2014, reversing what had been two years of dramatic declines in line of duty deaths, based on preliminary data compiled and released today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).
According to the NLEOMF report, 126 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty this year, compared to 102 in 2013. The number of officers killed by firearms in 2014 (50) was 56 percent higher than the number killed by gunfire in 2013 (32). Ambush-style attacks, as evidenced earlier this month by the shooting deaths of New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos while sitting in their marked patrol car, were the number one cause of felonious officer deaths for the fifth year in a row. Fifteen officers nationwide were killed in ambush assaults in 2014, matching 2012 for the highest total since 1995.
Forty-nine officers were killed in traffic-related incidents this past year, which was an 11 percent increase from 2013. Twenty-seven officers died due to other causes in 2014, including 24 who suffered from job-related illnesses—such as heart attacks—while performing their duties.
In 2011, officer fatalities spiked to 171, which led to a number of new initiatives and policy changes aimed at promoting law enforcement safety. The result was a sharp decline in line-of-duty deaths to 123 in 2012 and 102 last year—the lowest fatality figure since 1944. Over the past decade the average annual number of officer deaths has been 151. The deadliest year ever for law enforcement was 1930 when 300 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. The deadliest single incident was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, resulting in 72 officer deaths. There are more than 20,000 names of officers killed in the line of duty inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, dating back to the first known death in 1791.
“We issue this report each year as a stark reminder that some 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers go out each and every day putting their lives on the line for our safety and protection,” explained NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd. “These brave men and women are willing to lay down their lives for us. The least we should do is honor and remember their service and sacrifice, support their families and do all that we can to make it safer for those who continue to serve.”
The statistics released by the NLEOMF are based on preliminary data compiled and do not represent a final or complete list of individual officers who will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in 2015.
For a complete copy of the preliminary report on 2014 law enforcement fatalities, go to: www.LawMemorial.org/FatalitiesReport.
Key Data as of December 29, 2014:
- Firearms-related incidents were the number one cause of officer deaths in 2014, with 50. This was a 56 percent increase over the 32 officers shot and killed in 2013.
- Ambush attacks resulted in 15 officer deaths, the leading felonious cause of deaths among officers in 2014 and for the fifth straight year. The other leading categories of felonious deaths in 2014 were traffic stops or pursuits (8), investigating suspicious persons or activities (7), disturbance calls (6), attempting arrests (4), investigative activities (3), accidental shootings (2), burglary in progress (2), investigating drug-related matters (1), robbery in progress (1), and tactical situations (1).
- Traffic-related incidents were the second-leading cause of officer fatalities in 2014, with 49. This was an 11 percent increase over the 44 traffic-related deaths in 2013. Of these 49 officers, 35 were killed in automobile crashes, nine officers were struck and killed outside their vehicle and five officers were killed in motorcycle crashes.
- Of the 27 officers who died due to other causes this year, 24 were caused by job-related illnesses; one officer was strangled to death; one officer drowned; and one officer was killed in a fire-related incident.
- During the past year, more officers were killed in California (14) than any other state; followed by Texas (11); New York (9); Florida (6) and Georgia (5).
- Six officers killed in 2014 served with federal law enforcement agencies. Two of the officers who died during the past year served with correctional agencies, two were tribal officers and one was a military officer. Three of the 126 fatalities were female. On average, the officers who died in 2014 were 41 years old and had served for 12 years.
“With the increasing number of ambush-style attacks against our officers, I am deeply concerned that a growing anti-government sentiment in America is influencing weak-minded individuals to launch violent assaults against the men and women working to enforce our laws and keep our nation safe,” declared NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd. “Enough is enough. We need to tone down the rhetoric and rally in support of law enforcement and against lawlessness.”
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About the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund is now working to create the National Law Enforcement Museum, which will tell the story of law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibitions, historical artifacts and extensive educational programming. For more information, visit www.LawMemorial.org.
VACP President details realities of the job
December 30, 2014 | VACP
Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche encourages detractors to walk a mile in the shoes of his officers.
Why, with the outcry from recent officer-related shootings and the subsequent execution-style slayings of police officers, would anyone want to put on a badge and put their life on the line to serve and protect?
Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche encourages detractors to walk a mile in the shoes of his officers.
Throughout the latter half of 2014, law enforcement in America has come under fire in the aftermath of officer-related deaths – particularly the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City. During that time, widespread media coverage has focused the public eye on a constantly updated number of police brutality cases in the United States.
Those incidents recently culminated in the murders of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu by an individual who was reportedly motivated by those recent cases.
Following that incident, the danger faced by law enforcement officers in the line of duty has also become a cause for public awareness.
In light of those recent events, Roche offered insight into the realities of the job of which most civilians are unaware.
“If you stand back and look at the job from a decision standpoint, it ain’t a very good one,” he admits.
According to Roche, officers are forced to make decisions every minute of every day they put on the uniform and go out on patrol. More often than not, those decisions are not easy calls to make.
For some, that means acting quickly in life-or-death situations and relying on the intuition of a morally sound mind. Roche, who has worked as a police officer for more than 30 years, says the weight of that responsibility keeps many people who go into law enforcement from staying in the career as long as he has.
“Very few people retire from law enforcement,” he notes.
In many cases, that includes the sacrifices made by both officers and their families. Still, Roche stresses his belief that law enforcement – on both a local and national level – is carried out successfully by the ethical nature and actions of working officers.
A line in the Pulaski Police Department’s Vision Statement contributed by Roche embraces that ideal. It reads: “Our prime directive is to do what is right, even when no one is watching.”
In that sense Roche says he holds his officers in the Pulaski Police Department to a higher standard. A three-page list of disqualifiers – detailing everything from minor traffic violations to drug use and other lifestyle choices – shows what can bar someone from working as a police officer in Pulaski.
There are other ways he enforces those standards well.
In a hallway hanging next to the door that leads to the squad cars at the Pulaski Police Department, a plaque displays signatures under the law enforcement officer’s oath. According to Roche, he makes sure every one of his officers sees it before they walk through that door to go on patrol.
In an adjacent hallway, other plaques display the names of certain Pulaski officers, honoring them for dedication to their service. Roche says that because of the names on that wall, lives have been saved – both of police and civilians.
According to Roche, the Pulaski Police Department is currently struggling to recruit officers, mainly due to the fact that it’s difficult to find people who are up to facing the challenges and making the sacrifices needed for the job. In any instance, he said accepting those challenges and sacrifices is what is needed to succeed as a police officer.
“You have to want to do it,” Roche explains. “You’ve gotta have the heart for it.”
For Roche, he answered the call to be a police officer when he was 16 years old, and throughout his career, he has learned the ideals that shape law enforcement.
For those entering the profession, he gives a speech titled “Mistakes of the Head, Mistakes of the Heart,” which educates his officers on what they can expect from the job, what can get them into trouble and what can get them fired.
Still, he points out that people make mistakes, including police officers all over the country and those within the Pulaski Police Department. However, in the case of any mistake made, Roche says they are measured by the intent behind them.
When it comes to altercations police officers face in the field, Roche points out that use of force is very rare, and is only involved in less than 1 percent of cases, statistically speaking. At the same time, he points out data showing that police-related shootings make up less than a fraction of those incidents.
While those instances are rare, Roche says that in such cases, it takes time to react, and even when engaging an unarmed subject, the threat against an officer’s life is still ever present.
“‘Unarmed’ does not mean ‘no threat,’” Roche says.
On the other hand, Roche says working in law enforcement typically does not mean dealing with violent cases. As mental health and welfare checks, assisting drivers broken down on the highway and calls of that nature are more commonly part of the daily routine, he says 80 percent of the job is helping out.
“We try to stress the good in everybody,” Roche says.
Along those lines, he says that even with the sacrifices and responsibilities that are everyday realities in law enforcement, the job can be tremendously rewarding at times.
“The look on people’s faces when you help them is unbelievable,” Roche says.
In the aftermath of this year’s officer-related deaths, with public opinion shifting toward an anti-law enforcement attitude, Roche says the real problem with that viewpoint seems to be with those who have an agenda and are looking to validate any claims of police brutality.
“There are some factions in the debate where it doesn’t matter what the facts are,” Roche says.
To address the issue, particularly for those who believe law enforcement in America is in need of reform, Roche lays out a simple solution: Come join the ranks. He emphasizes that if someone can make the cut to become a police officer, it’s the most effective way they can make a difference.
“My solution is ‘come apply’,” Roche says, speaking on a national level for all law enforcement agencies in America.
Dillon Appointed as Deputy Chief in Warrenton
December 29, 2014 | Virginia News
The Warrenton Police Department (WPD) is proud to announce that Gary M. Dillon has been selected as the WPD’s Deputy Chief. A veteran law enforcement Officer, Gary until recently has served as the Manager of the Virginia Accreditation Center at the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) since July 2005. Through Gary’s vision, the program that sets and requires higher standards for its participating agencies to adhere to has developed into a national model and leader in its field.
Gary has coordinated and drafted several important model policies for the agency, including best practices for Eyewitness Identification, Human Trafficking, Law Enforcement Usage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones), and Auxiliary Police Officers. Gary has been a presenter to the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board, Secretary of Public Safety, and the Virginia Crime Commission on topics relating to best practices in law enforcement.
Prior to coming to DCJS, Gary was a Supervisor with the Charlottesville Police Department, as well as their Accreditation Manager. He was instrumental in the creation of the West Point Police Department, as well as having worked in other law enforcement agencies.
Gary has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of police policies, procedures, rules and regulations having worked with a majority of the Commonwealth’s law enforcement agencies.
Gary possesses a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and is currently participating in a Master’s program seeking a degree in Public Administration.
Deputy Chief Dillon was selected from a group of highly qualified applicants.
Gary is married with two children.
Longo has handled many high-profile cases as Charlottesville’s top cop
December 26, 2014 | Virginia News
By FRANK GREEN
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Timothy J. Longo left the gritty precincts of Baltimore for the tranquil foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains when he took over in 2001 as police chief of the city that is home to the University of Virginia.
It was a move he does not regret but — in recent years at least — one he admits hasn’t quite been what he expected.
In 2010, a U.Va. senior was killed by her intoxicated ex-boyfriend, a lacrosse-playing anthropology major convicted in a lurid trial; in 2012, a 19-year-old transgender woman disappeared from city streets; this year, a U.Va. student vanished and later was found slain; and last month, the country was shocked by allegations of a savage gang rape at a fraternity house in Charlottesville.
The tragedies unfolded under the white-hot glare of local, national and international media, and the spotlight at times has caught Longo, a career police officer with a comes-right-at-you personality who can get personal in front of a television camera.
At a news conference in September about missing U.Va. student Hannah Graham, Longo spoke about his own 15-year-old daughter.
“If you have a child, especially a daughter, Hannah’s disappearance should strike at your core. It does mine,” he said. For anyone who might have seen Graham the morning she disappeared, he pleaded, “I need to hear from you.”
Longo is unapologetic: “That’s who I am, and I’ve been criticized for that. People who have never met me, who have never talked to me, don’t know me, (act) as though I’m a scripted individual, a stage actor. That’s the furthest thing from the truth, and people that know me can tell you that.”
VACP Requests Shrouding of Badges for NYPD Officers
December 22, 2014 | VACP
To: Virginia Police Chiefs
From: Chief G. W. Roche, Association President
Ref: NYPD Officer Assassinations
Due to the recent allegations against law enforcement, and the apparent targeting of police personnel for violence, I believe that the police officers in Virginia should be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate solidarity for our profession and empathy for the families of those NYPD officers murdered last weekend.
The VACP recommends the shrouding of badges until the funerals of the deceased are completed in New York city. I realize that our association normally reserves this observance for officers that lose their lives in the Commonwealth but I believe that an exception to that policy is in order in these cases.
Registration open for 2015 VPCF Leadership Education Programs
December 16, 2014 | VACP
All leadership education and law enforcement training programs offered by the VPCF are submitted for pre-approval to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for Partial In-service Credit.
Internal Affairs Investigators Basic Training School
February 3-5, 2015 • Glen Allen, VA
This is a three-day training program that has been designed for those individuals who have recently been assigned to Internal Affairs or for those who have not received any formal Internal Affairs training. This program has been designed by the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation in partnership with the VACP Internal Affairs Investigators Advisory Board (formerly the VA Internal Affairs Investigators Association) to assist Internal Affairs Investigators in the transition to their new role.
Registration deadline is January 13, 2015. Program and registration information can be found here.
New Chiefs/Deputy Chiefs Training School
March 3-5, 2015 • Glen Allen, VA
This is a three-day training program that has been designed for individuals who have been recently appointed or elected to the position of chief executive of their agency, assistant or deputy chief executive, or for those individuals who act in those roles in their absence. This program is designed to assist newly promoted/appointed executive level personnel in their transition to their new role.
Registration deadline is February 3, 2015. Program and registration information can be found here.
Media Relations Training
March 31-April 2, 2015 • Glen Allen, VA
This program focuses on essential media relations skills for anyone who has contact with the media or who is responsible for handling public information assignments. Given today’s high stakes, high speed media environment and its relentless focus on the public service community, this training is appropriate for executive level personnel, public information personnel, individuals responsible for managing public affairs matters, mid-level managers and supervisors. The program is open to applicants from law enforcement agencies, both in-state and out-of-state.
Registration deadline is March 3, 2015. Program and registration information can be found here.
First Line Supervisors Training School
April 7-9, 2015 • Glen Allen, VA
This is a three-day training program that has been designed for those newly appointed (or soon to be promoted) as supervisors and is most applicable to individuals who have had little or no prior supervisory training. This program is designed to assist officers in their transition to their new role as supervisor.
Registration deadline is March 6, 2015. Program and registration information can be found here.
Institute for Leadership in Changing Times (ILCT)
June 15-19 & September 22-24, 2015 • Roanoke, VA
The Institute for Leadership in Changing Times (ILCT) is an eight-day, intensive leadership education program. This program is designed for individuals who who currently serve in or are soon to be promoted to mid-level management positions within their organizations. Prospective applicants must have already successfully completed a basic supervisory course.
Application deadline is April 1, 2015. For application and program information, please click here.
Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) – 37th Session
September 14-18; October 12-16; and November 16-19, 2015 • Richmond, VA
The Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) program is an intensive three-week leadership education program conducted in cooperation with the University of Richmond. This program is designed for individuals who currently serve in command/executive level positions within their agencies. The objective of this program is to acquaint participants with best practices in leadership, challenge them to reflect upon their own leadership competency, and examine ways of achieving both personal and professional growth.
Application deadline is July 1, 2015. For application and program information, please click here.
Registration coming soon for...
• PELS Alumni Training to be held April 21-23, 2015.
• Captains Choice Golf Tournament to be held May 13, 2015.
Culpeper Police Major Accepts Chief of Police Position with City of Emporia
December 16, 2014 | Virginia News
The Culpeper Police Department’s Major Rick Pinksaw has accepted the position of Chief of Police of Emporia, Virginia after serving the Town of Culpeper Police Department for over 25 years. He made the announcement on Wednesday, December 11th and will be assuming his new position as Chief of Police on January 5, 2015.
Major Pinksaw, a western Pennsylvania native, started his law enforcement career in Culpeper May 3rd, 1989 when he accepted the position of patrol officer. Throughout his career he served many different roles within the Culpeper Police Department moving his way through the ranks to his current assignment and serving a Deputy Chief of Police.
He served the Culpeper Police Department in the following roles during his a career:
- Patrol Officer 1989-1995
- Narcotics Detective 1995-1997
- Corporal of Narcotics 1997-1999
- Sergeant of Criminal Investigations 1999-2003
- Lieutenant of Criminal Investigations 2003
- Captain 2003-2013
- Major (Deputy Chief of Police) 2013 – Current
Major Pinksaw graduated from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania and also has a Master’s of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University located in Richmond, Virginia. He also attended and graduated from the 251st Session of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Major Pinksaw was instrumental in the Culpeper Police Department becoming internationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc (CALEA) in 2005. As the department’s accreditation manager he was instrumental getting the Culpeper Re-Accredited in 2008 and in 2011. Major Pinksaw also has served as a CALEA Assessor from 2005 to 2006 and currently serves as a Team Leader for CALEA.
Chief Chris Jenkins states, “Rick adopted the Culpeper community as his own when he became a police officer here in 1989. I am proud to say that Rick has served his community with the utmost excellence on and off duty. He has been very instrumental in the successes this agency has had over the past 25 years. We are proud of him and he will do a great job in the City of Emporia serving as Chief of Police.”
Major Pinksaw, age 49, is married to Missy. He has two sons, Anthony Pinksaw and Justin Pinksaw and has a new grandson Mason.
He has also served the Culpeper community over the past 25 years while not donning the badge. He served as a volunteer Culpeper Little League baseball coach, a member of the Culpeper Mid-Day Lions, a member of the S.A.F.E. Executive Board, and volunteered at countless other civic events.
“I appreciate the 25 years of service he has given to this town. As he served our community, his interest was always with the town which made him a true professional. He will be greatly missed and we wish him all the best in his new position in Emporia.” states Mayor Michael Olinger.
Major Pinksaw will assume the position of Chief of Police on January 5th, 2015. The City of Emporia lies off Interstate 95 in Greensville County in southeastern Virginia and has a population of 6,000 people. Their Police Department has an authorized strength of 26 police officers and 2 civilian personnel.
VCU Police collaborate with School of the Arts to produce 2015 Safety Calendar
December 15, 2014 | Virginia News
University Public Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University’s Police Department has collaborated with the VCU School of the Arts to address various issues surrounding sexual assault in the higher education setting.
Today the two departments unveiled a 2015 VCU Police calendar that features VCU Police officers on the Monroe Park Campus in Richmond. Each photo highlights a quote by officers encouraging the community to report sexual assaults, maintain healthy relationships, take part in bystander intervention and create a culture of respect between individuals at VCU.
An introductory page to the calendar states that VCU aggressively investigates any incident or allegation of assault.
“This was a collaborative and innovative approach to a very difficult issue. We want everyone to look out for each other, be respectful of others’ boundaries and come forward to police should they ever need our help,” VCU Police Chief John Venuti said. “We want students, faculty and staff to know who our officers are and how we support a culture of safety and security.”
Under the direction of Sasha Waters Freyer, chair of the Department of Photography and Film in the School of the Arts, VCU students John Sampson and Nick Seitz photographed officers and designed the calendar. The back of the calendar has a full listing of sexual assault reporting and support services at VCU along with contact information for officers featured in the publication.
At the beginning of the academic year, Venuti presented safety information to academic department leaders and stressed that VCU Police has an open-door policy for collaborative projects. Waters Freyer approached Venuti afterward with an idea for a calendar and planning for the project began.
“It is deeply gratifying to see this collaborative project – which began as a basic idea back in July – come to such successful fruition,” Waters Freyer said. “Every step of the process, from brainstorming with our talented students, to working with the officers who trusted us to represent them, to the final, beautifully printed calendar, came together wonderfully. It was an honor to be involved in this project that both brings together different areas of our diverse campus, and addresses a crucial need – awareness around sexual assault reporting.”
Waters Freyer approved a design proposal from two of her students; each was awarded a grant by the photography department to work on the project.
Nick Seitz, a sophomore and photography major, photographed a dozen VCU Police officers.
“I really enjoyed working on portraits with each of the officers,” Seitz said. “In getting to know each of their stories I really came to realize how invested the VCU Police force is in student safety and well-being, while still being friendly and approachable.”
John Sampson, a sophomore majoring in graphic design, created the layout using VCU’s iconic gold, black and gray school colors.
“We made the decision to dedicate the calendar to the victims of abuse, and I was immediately engaged,” Sampson said. “I know many people who have been abused and I see how it affects them, so I am very happy to have contributed to such a project.”
The YWCA of Richmond is a nonprofit organization offering free counseling, case management and emergency housing services for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and intimate partner violence. Funding helps the YWCA provide services for survivors of intimate partner violence, including domestic and sexual assault.
The 2015 calendar is the second fundraiser for the YWCA supported by VCU Police this year. The first was a Chili's Give Back the Night fundraiser in October.
“We can tell by their efforts, and the quotes from the officers in the calendar, that VCUPD is proactively working to train officers to respond to these types of crimes with sensitivity, empathy and compassion for the victim,” said Carol Anne Lajoie, chief development officer for the YWCA.
“That's a great place to start the healing process for survivors. Plenty of studies have shown that when the immediate response includes understanding and caring, survivors have a higher success rate in terms of trauma recovery. We're proud to partner with VCU in both prevention efforts and to provide a compassionate response to this type of violence in our community.”
The YWCA collaborates with other agencies on the Regional Hospital Accompaniment and Response Team (R-HART), to provide survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence throughout the region with hospital advocates 24/7. The YWCA also partners with agencies on the Greater Richmond Regional Hotline, a free, confidential resource for survivors and their advocates.
About VCU and VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 223 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.
About VCU Police
The VCU Police Department is a campus police force of 92 sworn, trained and certified officers and is the largest campus police force in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The department works 24/7 to ensure a safe learning, living and working environment for the students, faculty and staff of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Find Your Next Recruits in the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets
December 15, 2014 | VACP
Law Enforcement agencies across the U.S. are constantly challenged by the task of finding and hiring candidates of the highest quality and character. No task in the law enforcement arena is more critical than hiring the absolute best candidates to be the police officers of the future. One excellent source of quality recruits your department should consider is the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.
The over 1,000 cadets enrolled at Virginia Tech enjoy the best of both worlds, a world class education at one of the nation’s finest universities, while developing as leaders within a military-style organizational model. Cadets can chose one of two tracks, the Military-Track and commissioning through an ROTC program, or the Citizen-Leader Track.
The Citizen-Leader Track presents a structured program, similar to the ROTC programs, to best prepare its cadets for post-graduation employment. Formally established over a decade ago, this track’s steady growth now comprises nearly 25 percent of the Corps’ cadet strength. These hard-working, dedicated cadets have diverse academic majors and career aspirations, and see the value of developing their leadership skills in order to pursue lives of service in business, government, and nonprofit sectors to name a few.
Dozens of cadets aspire to a law enforcement career. Many graduates now serve on police forces across the Commonwealth, from campus to county to federal levels.
Cadets in the Citizen-Leader Track live side-by-side and graduate with the same structured professional development experiences as their classmates destined for the armed forces. This structure is supplemented with additional academic and experiential opportunities unique to the Citizen-Leader Track, under the tutelage of the Commandant’s staff. Much like ROTC cadets belong to military organizational structures mirroring their chosen service, Citizen-Leader Track cadets are assigned to what’s known as VPI Battalion, with its own cadet chain of command. Within this structure, cadets practice leadership, followership, manage service projects, and develop the soft skills sought by employers today. They also participate in regular wellness and physical fitness activities, which leads to positive life-long habits.
Citizen-Leader Track curriculum is continually upgraded and improved to meet the needs of its cadets. In a weekly 2-credit hour lab, cadets benefit from expert presentations on résumé writing, job searching, interviewing techniques, and other skills to help cadets launch their careers. Classes also delve into social etiquette, public speaking, financial planning, project management, and the college-to-career transition. Successful Tech alumni frequently return as speakers and panelists to share their life experiences and discuss how the Corps increased their value to their organizations. Many businesses and government agencies send representatives to campus to speak to Citizen-Leader Track cadets about the benefits of joining their team.
Governor McAuliffe Announces Legislation to Prevent Gun Violence in the Commonwealth
December 15, 2014 | Virginia News
~ Proposals include common-sense measures to protect Virginia communities and keep dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands ~
ARLINGTON - Governor McAuliffe today announced a series of legislative proposals aimed at protecting Virginia residents and families through common-sense gun violence prevention efforts. The proposals include prohibiting the possession of firearms for persons subject to protective orders and those who have committed certain misdemeanor offenses, such as stalking, sexual battery, and domestic violence, as well as revoking concealed handgun permits for parents delinquent on child support payments and closing the gun show loophole.
“As Governor, there is no greater responsibility than ensuring the health and safety of the citizens I serve,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Our Commonwealth and our nation have seen too many tragedies as a result of dangerous weapons getting into the hands of the wrong people. These common-sense proposals will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, will keep our communities safe, and will help to build a new Virginia economy.”
“These are responsible policies that will benefit Virginia’s neighborhoods and families and will create safer environments for our law enforcement officials,” added Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “By implementing these common-sense measures, Virginia can lead the way on curbing gun violence and can prevent dangerous individuals from illegally obtaining firearms.”
Governor McAuliffe’s legislative package on preventing gun violence includes:
Prohibit the possession of firearms for persons subject to protective orders
According to the American Journal of Public Health, when a gun is present in domestic violence situations, the risk of homicide for women increases by 500%. This proposal will aim to prevent domestic violence tragedies from occurring in Virginia by prohibiting the possession of firearms for persons subject to protective orders, which covers acts of violence against family members, inter-partner violence, and other dangerous behaviors.
Prohibit the possession of firearms for misdemeanor domestic violence offenders
Past violence is one of the biggest predictors of future violence, as handgun purchasers with violent misdemeanor convictions are 8 times more likely than those without prior convictions to be convicted of a new violent offense. This proposal will aim to stop that disturbing trend by prohibiting possession of firearms for certain misdemeanor offenses, including stalking, sexual battery, assault and battery against a family or household member, brandishing a firearm, and having two more convictions of assault and battery.
Curtail handgun trafficking by reinstating the one handgun a month law
As a gun owner and a supporter of the Second Amendment, Governor McAuliffe believes in the right to bear arms, but in a responsible way that prevents dangerous people from stockpiling and trafficking dangerous weapons. This common-sense measure, which was Virginia law for 19 years, limits handgun purchases to one a month and aims to reduce the chances of handguns causing violent tragedies in Virginia and across the nation.
Revoke concealed handgun permits for parents delinquent on child support payments
In order to build a new Virginia economy, it is essential that parents are receiving support payments and are able to provide for their children and families. Currently, there are 8889 parents with concealed handgun permits delinquent on child support payments, collectively owing over $15,675,000.
Keep handguns out of the wrong hands by closing the gun show loophole
Under current Virginia Law, only Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers are required to conduct criminal background checks prior to selling or transferring firearms. At gun shows, private vendors are not required to conduct criminal background checks, creating an easy avenue for criminals to illegally gain access to guns. Governor McAuliffe’s legislative proposal changes that, requiring universal background checks for all purchases at gun shows.
Give Virginia State Police authority to process voluntary background check requests
Today, the Virginia State Police does not have the authority to process background check requests even when they have been submitted to them by private vendors. This proposal will give Virginia State Police the statutory authority to do so. Governor McAuliffe also is including an additional $100,000 in his budget to ensure that the Virginia State Police will be at every gun show in Virginia and available to perform these voluntary background checks.
Make unlawful purchases more difficult by clarifying what information can be displayed by gun show vendors
Today, gun shows can advertize that they are not required to conduct background checks, creating an easy environment to solicit business from individuals legally prohibited from buying firearms. This common-sense proposal will reduce the chance of dangerous people from illegally obtaining firearms at gun shows by preventing gun shows from advertising that they are not required to conduct background checks.
Office of the Governor
Contact: Rachel Thomas
Nominations Sought for 2015 Congressional Badge of Bravery
December 15, 2014 | National News
Recognize a law enforcement officer: Submit your nomination by February 15, 2015!
The nomination period for the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery is now open. Enacted in 2008, the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act honors federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers for exceptional acts of bravery while in the line of duty.
According to the Act, public safety officers that meet the following definition are eligible to receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery (CBOB). Officers must be:
A federal, state, local, or tribal law enforcement officer(s) nominated by his or her agency head, who either:
Sustained a physical injury while—
Engaged in the lawful duties of the individual; and
Performing an act characterized as bravery by the agency head making the nomination; and
Being at personal risk; or
While not injured, performed an act characterized as bravery by the agency head making the nomination that placed the individual at risk of serious physical injury or death.
Law enforcement agency heads looking to recognize an officer must submit a nomination between December 15, 2014 and February 15, 2015 through the online system, available on the Congressional Badge of Bravery web site. The officer’s act of bravery must have occurred between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.
For more information about the program or the nomination process, visit the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery web site.
Governor Appoints VACP Executive Director to Board of Juvenile Justice
December 12, 2014 | VACP
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his administration today. The appointees will join McAuliffe’s administration focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will build a new Virginia economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth.
Board of Juvenile Justice Appointees
- Dana G. Schrad, JD of Mechanicsville, Executive Director, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, & Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation
- Tyren C. Frazier, MLA of Chesterfield, Executive Director, Higher Achievement, Richmond Affiliate
Created by the Code of Virginia §66-4, the Board of Juvenile Justice ensures the development and implementation of a long-range youth services policy and advises the Governor, the Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice and the General Assembly on matters relating to youth services.
Click here for a list of policies authorized by the Board of Juvenile Justice as of September 2009.
Click here for the Board of Juvenile Justice's long-range youth services policy which guides Virginia’s juvenile justice system (amended April 2009).
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Office of the Governor
Contact: Rachel Thomas
Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office
Contact: Denise Burch
Go-Fund-Me campaign launched for Franklin police officer suffering life-changing injuries after fall
December 10, 2014 | VACP
Al Herdeg, a veteran of the United States Navy, has faithfully served the residents of the City of Franklin for the past eight years. Al rose to the position of Corporal with the police department demonstrating through his actions the values of Honor, Integrity, Courage, and Commitment.
On Saturday, November 22, 2014, Al, a single father of three boys, was decorating his home for the holidays when he suffered a tragic accident.
Al was on the roof of his two-story home when the ladder collapsed causing him to fall approximately 25 feet to the ground. As a result of the fall he has numerous critical and life changing injuries. The neurosurgeons at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital have indicated the injuries Al sustained in his fall are similar to those experienced by the late actor Christopher Reeve.
The support and financial needs of the Herdeg family are great. As a single parent, the continued living expenses of day-to-day life are great enough without the additional burdens placed upon them through this incident. Whatever assistance can be provided is greatly appreciated as we endeavor to take on projects such as the building of accessibility ramps, remodeling areas of the home for accessibility, providing transportation, and meeting the responsibilities that come from the cost of medical care.
An account has been established with Bronco Federal Credit Union for donations in the name of Albert Herdeg. There is also an opportunity to donate on-line at www.gofundme.com/CplHerdeg.
VACP Past President William W. Davis passes away
December 10, 2014 | VACP
Retired Virginia Beach Chief of Police William W. Davis, Sr. passed away on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at the age of 89. He was President of the VACP from 1980-1981.
The family will receive friends at H.D. Oliver Funeral Home (2002 Laskin Rd., Virginia Beach) on Wednesday, December 10th from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, December 11th at 1:00 P.M. in the chapel of H.D. Oliver Funeral Home.
Burial will follow at Princess Anne Memorial Park Cemetery, located at 1110 N. Great Neck Road.
William (Bill) Worthington Davis, Sr. was born in Norfolk. He graduated from Oceana High School in 1942 and then attended the Norfolk Division of William & Mary.
Bill served his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and after the war he worked as an aircraft mechanic at Norfolk Naval Air Station. In 1951 he joined the Virginia Beach Police Department, and by 1960 had advanced through the ranks to Lieutenant of the Detective Bureau. In 1963, he graduated from the 72nd session of the FBI Academy. Bill continued to advance within the police department, culminating with his promotion to Chief of Police in January 1969. He served as President of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (1980-1981). He retired in January 1982.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hdoliver.com.
Guthrie named as new Salem police chief
December 10, 2014 | Virginia News
Just like the two men who preceded him in the job, Salem’s new police chief made his way to the top of the city’s law enforcement ladder by gaining valuable experience at every stop along the way.
Earlier today, City Manager Kevin Boggess took the “acting” portion off Tim Guthrie’s title as he appointed him chief of police for Salem, effective immediately. He replaces Jeff Dudley, who retired as Salem’s chief on Dec. 1.
“I cannot begin to say how grateful I am to have been given this opportunity to serve as your chief of police,” said Guthrie. “I have had the opportunity to serve under many great leaders, and I am ever so thankful for the investment they made in me.”
Guthrie has been with the department since 1981 and learned many valuable lessons while working under former Chiefs Jimmy Bryant and Dudley. During his 33 years with the Salem Police Department, he has served as a patrol and traffic officer, narcotics and general investigations detective, detective and services division sergeant, services division lieutenant, a captain and major.
“Chief Guthrie is a very thoughtful and principled leader with a strong will to move the department forward,” said Kevin Boggess, Salem city manager. “I am very proud to announce his selection as Salem’s new chief of police.”
Guthrie is a Roanoke native who graduated from William Fleming High School and completed requirements for his Associate in Applied Science degree at Virginia Western Community College. In 1998, he earned his Bachelor of Science from Bluefield College, and later his master’s degree in liberal studies from Hollins University in 2013.
In addition, Guthrie is a graduate of the 220th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico and the 23rd session of the Administrative Officer Management Program in Raleigh. Over the years, he has attended numerous police training schools and seminars in police management and protocol.
”I would be remiss if I did not mention the employees of the department who are without a doubt the best group of men and women a community could ask for,” he said. “Their dedication to serve is paramount, and I look forward to being part of their continued growth.”
Boggess and Guthrie conferred with one another about the appointment of Salem’s new deputy chief, and both are pleased to announce that Sgt. Mike Crawley will assume that role and rise to the rank of deputy chief immediately.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve alongside the men and women of the Salem Police Department,” said Crawley. “As we move forward, it will be imperative that we build on our excellent staff relations, our work within our communities and the development of policing strategies to ensure that we continue to have a progressive police service.”
Crawley also is a Roanoke native and a 1991 graduate of Patrick Henry High School. He attended Virginia Western Community College and is pursuing a degree in management from Bluefield College. He began his career with the Salem Police Department in December 1999 as an officer assigned to the Patrol Division. After completing field service as a patrol officer, he was promoted to the rank of senior police officer and transferred to the Detective Division in 2004, where he was assigned to the Special Investigation Unit. In 2006, Crawley was transferred to the General Investigative unit, where he rose to the rank of sergeant.
“Mike Crawley brings a great deal to the plate and he already is a proven leader in the department,” said Guthrie.
“He has earned the respect of his co-workers and will carry the department in a positive direction both now and in the future.
Both Chief Guthrie and Deputy Chief Crawley reside in Salem with their families.
“Salem has a reputation for outstanding leadership development, and Chief Guthrie and Deputy Chief Crawley are two more examples of why that reputation is so well deserved,” said Boggess.
VIDEO: Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial Dedication
December 10, 2014 | VACP
The Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial was dedicated on Saturday, December 5, 2014 in a moving ceremony at Capitol Square.
For those who could not attend, Richmond Police produced a quick video of the event.
Some photos of the memorial dedication:
Jeff Dudley wrapping up as Salem’s police chief
November 25, 2014 | Virginia News
The spotlight is on a police veteran who prefers to work behind the scenes.
In the crowded community room at the Salem Civic Center, Police Chief Jeff Dudley had a plan: Stick to the cards.
He had scribbled some brief notes on index cards so that when he had to get up and speak to the dozens of public safety officials and Salem city employees in the room, he wouldn’t have to come up with words to say. He had already written down his remarks, which thanked everyone for coming to his retirement banquet and for their support through his years as Salem’s police chief.
“I know if I got off track, I would lose it,” he said weeks later in his office, where the walls were mostly bare since he had taken his dozens of awards and accomplishments down and packed them.
Dudley officially retires from his role as police chief on Monday, December 1 after spending the past five years in the job. For the mild-mannered, soft-spoken police veteran of 37 years, all the attention has put him outside his comfort zone. Dudley is known by colleagues as someone who likes to stay out of the spotlight, preferring instead to work behind the scenes and deal with people one-on-one.
“It was like pulling teeth to get him to do a party at all,” said City Manager Kevin Boggess. Whenever he asked Dudley what he would like to do for his retirement banquet, which was held Nov. 12, Boggess said his response was, “Do I really have to do anything at all?”
Now 57, Dudley has worked in every department of the Salem police. He began as a dispatcher in 1977; then he became a police officer, a detective, a sergeant, a lieutenant and deputy chief before taking the top spot.
In his office the last week on the job, Dudley recalled the first time he knew he wanted to be a police officer. He was a teenager living in the Roanoke Valley when he got a job at a gas station. As part of his job he would wash state troopers’ vehicles and envision himself in their role. He later became a member of the Salem Rescue Squad and at 19, he joined Salem’s emergency response center.
“I saw being in dispatch as a way to get a foot in the door,” he said. He was a sworn police officer just one year later, but not before picking up the basics of first response.
Valerie Ramey, a Salem dispatch supervisor, has worked with Dudley for about 35 years and remembers when he was just getting his feet wet.
“He was exactly the same,” she said. “He was so humble.”
“I love my chief,” she said protectively, describing Dudley as more of a longtime friend than supervisor.
Lt. Joe Mills, who has worked with Dudley since 1998, said Dudley bucks the stereotype of a brash police chief and has been one of the kindest, most approachable people in the department. Sgt. Stacey Sheppard said Dudley would often visit all the different departments every day just to see what was going on.
“He’s always had an open-door policy,” she said, adding that the time he would take out of his day to check on the minor things made a difference in the office. ...
DOJ Releases Resource Guide to Help Law Enforcement Strengthen Relationships with Communities
November 21, 2014 | National News
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) today announced the release of a resource guide intended to help law enforcement officers build stronger community-police relations. The Resource Guide for Enhancing Community Relationships and Protecting Privacy and Constitutional Rights is a collaboration between BJA and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).
“The Justice Department encourages law enforcement officials, in every jurisdiction, to work with the communities they serve to minimize needless confrontation,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “It is vital to engage in planning and preparation, from evaluating protocols and training to choosing the appropriate equipment and uniforms. This is the hard work that is necessary to preserve the peace and maintain the public trust at all times—particularly in moments of heightened community tension.”
“The role of law enforcement is not only to enforce the law, but to preserve peace, minimize harm, and sustain community trust,” said BJA Director Denise O’Donnell. “The resources available through this guide will help police departments and sheriffs’ offices maintain order and build effective police-community relationships, while promoting the rights and protecting the civil liberties of the citizens they serve.”
For many years, BJA and the COPS Office have developed guides, publications, webinars, checklists and tools for law enforcement agencies on community policing, building community trust, diversity training, privacy protections, and safeguarding first amendment rights. Building strong police-community relations requires a sustained effort over time, yet maintaining these relationships is exceedingly difficult during and in the aftermath of a high-profile incident or civil unrest. Professional law enforcement departments and effective operations require training and ongoing support from all partners. This guide helps law enforcement agencies locate these resources in one place, including in-person and online training opportunities, publications, reports, podcasts, and websites.
“Law enforcement officers are stewards of the peace and protectors of the people, but above all else, they are custodians of the public trust,” said COPS Office Director Ron Davis. “As a former police chief, I am proud of the work we are doing at the Department of Justice to help America’s public safety professionals carry out this sacred duty.”
The Resource Guide is available at www.bja.gov/Publications/CommRelGuide.pdf.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.
The COPS Office, headed by Director Ronald L. Davis, is the federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has awarded over $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 125,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.
LEO Near Miss System developed by COPS Office
November 20, 2014 | National News
In partnership with the Police Foundation, the IACP and other reputable law-enforcement associations, law-enforcement officers now have followed suit in recognizing the importance of studying near misses to reduce injuries and fatalities to their officers.
The Police Foundation is excited to announce the new LEO Near Miss system developed with support from the COPS Office. This system will allow law enforcement personnel to share “close calls” in order to help their peers stay safe and prevent tragedies.
Our mission is to encourage law enforcement personnel to share their stories and lessons learned in near miss incidents in order to shield other law enforcement personnel from accidents, injuries, and fatalities, as well as to prevent other community crises from occurring.
A near miss is a close call and/or unsafe occurrence that could have resulted in a serious injury, fatality, significant property damage, and/or a crisis if not for a fortunate break in the chain of events and for which other law enforcement personnel could benefit and learn from the experience.
Virginia Highway Safety Office prepares for November Click It or Ticket
November 19, 2014 | VACP
DMV’s Virginia Highway Safety Office wants to make sure everyone has their schedules set, materials ready and are prepared to get out there and make a difference during the November Click It or Ticket Mini-Mobilization! The mobilization is from Friday, Nov. 21 through Thursday, Nov. 27, coinciding with the heavily-traveled Thanksgiving holiday.
Have you ordered your free Click It or Ticket support materials from DRIVE SMART Virginia yet? They can really make a difference in spreading the highway safety message in your community. Additional Thanksgiving Click It materials, including a sample news release and banners for your webpage, are available from NHTSA.
While DMV does not require pre- and post-surveys, they really appreciate your percentages. Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Old Dominion University Police Department deserve recognition for entering the first pre-seat belt use surveys into TREDS for the November Mini-Mobilization – THANKS Cumberland SO and ODU PD! DMV does however need your summons numbers entered into TREDS by Friday, Dec. 12, just like you did for the May Click It or Ticket effort. Pre- and post-survey forms, and an enforcement worksheet, are available on the Smart, Safe and Sober website.
As you prepare for the November mobilization, consider distributing the following excerpt to your officers. It’s from an email sent by Lt. Albert Merz from Henrico County Division of Police to his traffic safety officers about overcoming the challenge you face while enforcing Virginia’s Occupant Protection laws:
"While the use of safety belts for adults is a secondary violation in Virginia, … we collectively encounter sufficient vehicle drivers and occupants for other violations that we are in a position to enforce these secondary violation laws. Please note that the failure to use a child restraint device for a person under 8 years old is a primary offense.”
During the November mini-mobilization and always, DMV asks that you practice ZERO TOLERANCE when encountering seat belt and child safety seat violations. You are potentially saving the person’s or child’s life. According to October’s fatality report, restraints were not used in 201 Virginia fatalities so far in 2014 – that’s 200 people who might still be alive today if they or their child had simply buckled up.
As always, please let the Highway Safety Office know how we can support you. Take care of yourselves and remember to always buckle up!
Melanie A. Stokes
Virginia DMV | Occupant Protection & Media Coordinator | Virginia Highway Safety Office
Report from the IACP Midsize Agencies Section Meeting in October
November 19, 2014 | VACP
The annual meeting of the IACP Midsize Agencies Section took place last month at the IACP Annual Conference in Orlando with more than 80 attendees. Norfolk Police Chief Mike Goldsmith was selected as Southeast Regional Chair.
The Midsize Agencies Section is dedicated to providing a voice within the IACP for chiefs of jurisdictions with a population between 50,000 and 500,000, as well as a forum for these leaders to share the unique challenges and opportunities in policing that emerge from departments of this size. The section is further committed to embracing and leveraging the special capacity and flexibility of these agencies to innovate and drive progressive change with in the profession, with the goal of better policing nationwide.
If your jurisdiction fits the parameters of the Midsize Agencies section and you would like to join, click here for more information.
Key action items from the annual meeting include:
Section Bylaws – Unanimous approval of the attached Section Bylaws, which formalize the structure of the Section, including the creation of five regions along with respective representation (regional chairs). The bylaws now go before the IACP Constitution and Rules Committee for final approval. (See attached for the bylaws and the map of the regions.)
Section Leadership - Installation of 2014-2016 Section Leadership, including election of a Second Vice Chair (representing agencies serving populations of 150,000-500,000), Secretary, and five Regional Chairs as follows. (General Chair and First Vice Chair ascend from prior years’ position.)
General Chair - Chief Paul Williams, Springfield, MO
Phone: (417) 864-1780
First Vice Chair - Chief Steve Menke, Olathe, KS
Phone: (913) 971-6710
Second Vice Chair - Chief David Rausch, Knoxville, TN
Phone: (865) 215-7229
Secretary – Chief Frank Straub, Spokane, WA
West Coast – Chief Sandra Spagnoli, San Leandro, CA
Phone: (510) 577-3251
Mountain SW – Chief Tom Ryff, Tempe AZ
Phone: (480) 350-8214
Midwest – Chief Ken Burton, Columbia, MO
Phone: (573) 874-7691
Southeast – Chief Michael Goldsmith, Norfolk, VA
Phone: (757) 664-3277
Northeast – Chief Ed Walsh, Taunton, MA
Phone: (508) 821-1471
- 2013 Forum Report – Official release of the IACP/COPS Office 2013 Midsize Agencies Forum report: Midsize Police Agencies: Surviving, Thriving, and Forging a New Business Model for Law Enforcement in a Post-Recession Economy
2015 Midyear – In addition to determining the dates and location of the Midyear meeting of the Section, (February 26-28, 2015 at the Westin San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas), those in attendance proposed the following topics for consideration –
- Lessons Learned from Ferguson
- Mental Illness/Mental Health issues facing LE (internal and external)
- Policing a city of color/diversity recruitment and retention
- COPS Hiring Program—successful grant applications (examples to follow)
- Juvenile justice
- Current threats/terrorist update
Nationwide Benchmarking – IACP awarded the contract to assist with development of the online benchmarking and data visualization tool to LogIn (for survey data collection/storage) and Tableau for data visualization/reporting. Project team hopes to have something to beta test by the Midyear meeting. Individuals interested in serving on the volunteer beta test group may email Tracy Phillips, email@example.com.
- Funding Opportunity - IACP is seeking three midsize law enforcement agencies to serve as demonstration sites to implement the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims (ELERV) Strategy. Demonstration sites will be reimbursed up to $100,000 each year for three years. More information and application at www.responsetovictims.org.
IACP Adopts New Membership Dues Structure, Rates
November 12, 2014 | VACP
At the IACP Annual Conference in Orlando last month, the IACP Executive Committee approved a dues increase and new dues categories.
SUBJECT: Membership Dues Rate
Decision: The Executive Committee unanimously approved an increase in membership dues for Active and Associate Members (General) of the International Association of Chiefs of Police to $150 per year. The dues rate for retired active and retired associate members shall be $45 per year.
SUBJECT: Associate Membership Subcategories
Decision: The Executive Committee unanimously approved the creation of the following subcategories of Associate membership and related annual dues levels:
- Leader of Tomorrow ($75)
- Leader of Tomorrow: Student ($30)
- Academic ($150)
- Service Provider ($250)
Also adopted was this dues review policy…
SUBJECT: Establishment of Dues Review Requirement
Decision: The Executive Committee approved a modification of Rule 1, Part III of the IACP Constitution and Rules to include a new section 10:
At least once every three years, beginning in 2014, the Executive Committee will review membership dues rates to ensure that they are consistent with the level needed to provide programs and services to the IACP Membership.
DMV Now Testing Commercial Drivers with Missing or Impaired Limbs
November 12, 2014 | Virginia News
Virginia is First State Granted Exemption from FMCSA
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is making it easier for qualified disabled citizens to obtain the required certification to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV). DMV is now issuing Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificates previously only issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Drivers with physical impairments are required to obtain SPE certificates to demonstrate they can safely operate CMVs. The SPE certification allows drivers with missing or impaired limbs to drive commercial motor vehicles across state lines if they have been fitted with and are wearing the proper prosthetic devices, and the driver can demonstrate the ability to drive the truck or bus safely by completing on-and off-road activities. Drivers that pass the evaluation receive an SPE certificate.
FMCSA granted an exemption to the Virginia DMV allowing Virginia-licensed drivers to fulfill federal requirements with a state-issued SPE certificate. Virginia is the only state authorized to issue SPE certificates. Virginia licensed drivers who receive the state-issued SPE certificates are allowed to operate CMVs in interstate commerce anywhere in the United States.
Virginia DMV’s driver licensing specialists, who are all certified commercial examiners and certified driver examiners through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, recently underwent special training to administer the SPEs based on processes and procedures comparable to those used by FMCSA.
Drivers that receive SPE certifications in Virginia will not only carry the Virginia-issued SPE Certificate but a copy of the Federal Register granting Virginia the exemption. That document can be viewed at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-08/pdf/2014-15954.pdf.
IACP Division of SACOP Southern Region Committee Report
November 6, 2014 | VACP
At the 2014 IACP Annual Conference in Orlando, October 25-28, the IACP Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police conducted their annual meetings to discuss issues of concern and importance to law enforcement in the individual states and bring those issues to the IACP leadership. Additionally, the SACOP Division elected a new General Chair and new Southern and North Central Regional Chairs at this time.
Below are the minutes from the Southern Region meeting where each of the represented states brought up their issues of concern and then the region conducted their elections. Chief John Letteney (Apex, NC) was elected SACOP General Chair; Chief Rick Scarborough (Clinton, TN) was elected Southern Region Chair; and Chief Jim Williams (Staunton, VA) was elected as Southern Region Vice Chair.
Notice of Policy Changes at DFS Regarding Reduction in Evidence Services
November 6, 2014 | Virginia News
On November 4 & 5, 2014, the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (DFS) issued notice of policy changes regarding a reduction in services pertaining to trace evidence examination, providing photographic prints of images from crime scenes and autopsies, and analysis of multimedia (audio/video/image) evidence. See the following memos for additional information.
Former Fairfax Police Chief Rick Rappoport Receives Commendation from 2014 General Assembly
November 6, 2014 | VACP
On June 12, 2014, retiring Fairfax Police Chief Richard J. Rappoport, 2008-09 VACP President, was honored for his years of service in law enforcement and in his community with a commendation from the 2014 Virginia General Assembly.
2014 SPECIAL SESSION I
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5079
Commending Richard J. Rappoport
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, June 12, 2014
Agreed to by the Senate, June 12, 2014
WHEREAS, Richard J. Rappoport, a dedicated, longtime law-enforcement officer, retires as the chief of police for the City of Fairfax in 2014 after 38 years of service; and
WHEREAS, Richard Rappoport graduated from the Southern Police Institute AOC Program at the University of Louisville, earned a bachelor's degree from American University in Washington, D.C., and later graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy; and
WHEREAS, Richard Rappoport began his career in law enforcement in 1976 with the Fairfax County Police Department, one of the largest local police departments in the Commonwealth; he rose through the ranks from patrol officer to deputy chief of police for administration, serving in the Major Crimes Division, Personnel Division, Community Services Bureau, and Internal Affairs Bureau; and
WHEREAS, Richard Rappoport became the chief of police for the City of Fairfax Police Department in 2000; under his able leadership, the 85-member department maintained low crime rates, built strong relationships with members of the community, developed innovative traffic safety programs, and participated in major task forces directed at narcotics, organized crime, gangs, terrorism, and computer crimes; and
WHEREAS, highly admired in the law-enforcementfield, Richard Rappoport is a member of several peer organizations and served as chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Police Chiefs Committee in 2003 and 2004; and
WHEREAS, Richard Rappoport was a contributing editor of two nationally published books on protecting civil rights and recruiting women to law enforcement, and he was appointedby Governor James S. Gilmore III to the Advisory Committee on Bias Based Policing; and
WHEREAS, Richard Rappoport strives to better the community as a loyal volunteer, donating his time to numerous civic and service organizations; from 1994 to 2000, he served as a memberof the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America National Capital Area Council and earned the Silver Beaver Award, the council's highest honor; and
WHEREAS, working to impart his wisdom and experience to the youth of the Commonwealth, Richard Rappoport was a memberof the Fairfax County Public Schools Professional/Technical Studies Advisory Committee and has served as an adjunct professor at George Mason University since 2010; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the GeneralAssembly hereby commend Richard J. Rappoport on the occasion of his retirement as chief of police for the City of Fairfax in 2014; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Richard J. Rappoport as an expression of the General Assembly's admiration for his deep commitment to serving and protecting the members of the Fairfax community.
Governor McAuliffe Announces Prescription Drug & Heroin Abuse Task Force Members
October 31, 2014 | Virginia News
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his administration today. The appointees will join McAuliffe’s administration focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will build a new Virginia economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth.
Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse
Craig Branch of Chesterfield, Chief of Police, Germanna Community College Police Department
David E. Brown, DC of Charlottesville, Director, Virginia Department of Health Professions
Jan M. Brown of James City, Executive Director, SpiritWorks Foundation and SAARA of Virginia
The Honorable Bill Carrico of Fries, Member, Senate of Virginia
James A. Cervera of Virginia Beach, Chief of Police, Virginia Beach Police Department
Lillian Chamberlain of Norfolk, Substance Abuse Services Team Leader, Norfolk Community Services Board
Rick Clark of Galax, Chief of Police, Galax Police Department
Karl C. Colder of Ashburn, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Washington Division Office
Kim W. Craig, MSN, RN of Augusta, Executive Director, Staunton-Augusta County Rescue Squad and Vice President, Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads
Terry D. Dickinson, DDS of Richmond, Executive Director, Virginia Dental Association
Francine C. Ecker of Goochland, Director, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Debra Ferguson, PhD of Richmond, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services
Don Flattery of Fairfax, Impacted parent and community advocate for response to prescription drug and heroin abuse
Carol Forster, MD of Fairfax, Physician Director, Pharmacy & Therapeutics/Medication Safety, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
Mary Gavin of Falls Church, Chief of Police, Falls Church Police Department
The Honorable Charniele L. Herring of Alexandria, Member, Virginia House of Delegates
The Honorable David R. Hines of Hanover, Sheriff, Hanover County Sheriff’s Office
The Honorable M. Keith Hodges, RPh of Urbanna, Member, Virginia House of Delegates
Cynthia E. Hudson of Richmond, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
Rick Jenkins of Louisa, Deputy Director, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Virginia Department of State Police
The Honorable Jerrauld C. Jones of Norfolk, Judge, Norfolk Circuit Court
Marissa J. Levine, MD MPH of Mechanicsville, State Health Commissioner, Virginia Department of Health
Mary G. McMasters, MD, FASAM of Fishersville, Addictionologist, Comprehensive Behavioral Health
Sarah Tollison Melton, PharmD of Bristol, Chair, One Care of Southwest Virginia
The Honorable John M. O'Bannon of Henrico, Member, Virginia House of Delegates
The Honorable Nancy G. Parr of Chesapeake, Commonwealth’s Attorney, City of Chesapeake; President, Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys
Juan Santacoloma of Chesterfield, Multicultural Liaison, Chesterfield County and SAFE Latino Coordinator
Patricia Shaw of Henrico, Administrator, Henrico Drug Treatment Court and President, Virginia Drug Court Association
The Honorable Jennifer T. Wexton of Leesburg, Member, Senate of Virginia
VDOT requests law enforcement assistance in reviewing integrity of guardrails and terminal strikes
October 29, 2014 | Virginia News
VDOT has requested Virginia law enforcement assistance in reviewing the integrity of its guardrail and terminal strikes. Please see the attachment with letter and photos. The information below includes a link to a news item that has an embedded video that shows potential problems with Virginia’s guardrail end-strike system.
Adding to pressure on the guardrail manufacturer Trinity Industries, Virginia said on Monday that it planned to remove the company’s products after it failed to meet a state deadline to supply documentation for new crash testing.
Virginia would be the first state to take such an action, going a step further than the 13 other states that have now banned additional purchases of the guardrails. On Monday, Texas became the latest state to stop buying and installing them.
The products, which are called rail heads and are found at the end of the guardrail, are suspected of having a dangerous defect that could lead them to jam, causing guardrails to pierce vehicles.
“We can’t have an unapproved product on our roadways,” Marshall Herman, a spokeswoman for Virginia’s Transportation Department, said. “We’re working as we speak on a plan for removal.”
Ms. Herman said her agency, working with the Virginia attorney general’s office, would also seek reimbursement for the cost of removal from Trinity.
Flaherty sworn in as General Chair of IACP’s Division of State & Provincial Police
October 29, 2014 | VACP
On Tuesday, October 28 at the Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in Orlando, Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police, officially began his two-year term as General Chair of the IACP's Division of State & Provincial Police (S&P). As General Chair of the S&P Division, Colonel Flaherty sits on the IACP Executive Board.
Colonel Flaherty's career began in 1975 as a Virginia State Police trooper, and he was appointed superintendent in 2003 and reappointed in 2007. His 39 years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia have earned him 55 commendations for distinction in public safety. In his role as superintendent, Colonel Flaherty serves on a number of federal, state, and regional committees and councils, including the Commonwealth Preparedness Working Group, Virginia Emergency Response Council, Virginia Attorney General's Anti-Gang Task Force, Virginia Forensic Science Board, the U.S. Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council, Central Virginia Law Enforcement Chief Executives' Association, and many others. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of DRIVE SMART Virginia and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Office of State and Local Training (OSL) for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).
In addition to serving as General Chair of S&P, Colonel Flaherty also serves as a member of the IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center Advisory Committee. Over the years, he has also been active in the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP). Colonel Flaherty has a BS in Criminal Justice and Protective Services. He is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute, the Virginia Executive Institute, and Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command.
Colonel Flaherty is married with three children and five grandchildren.
Crime panel in Va. backs stronger police ID policy
October 23, 2014 | Virginia News
By Larry O'Dell The Associated Press © October 21, 2014
RICHMOND — Virginia has made great strides in the past year in improving police lineup procedures, but a state crime panel agreed Tuesday that more should be done to guard against faulty eyewitness identifications.
Police lineups are under scrutiny because 13 of the 16 people wrongly convicted in Virginia and later exonerated by DNA evidence originally were misidentified by eyewitnesses. One was Thomas Haynesworth, who spent 27 years in prison for sexual assaults he didn't commit before being freed in 2011. He said he is happy to see officials recognize the problem and are taking action.
"It's a big issue," he said in a telephone issue. "Many people have been falsely identified, not only by victims but by police."
The Virginia State Crime Commission endorsed legislation requiring law enforcement agencies to adopt a model policy recommended by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services in 2011. Only 6 percent of the agencies responding to a survey last year by University of Virginia law professor Brandon Garrett's had voluntarily adopted the "best practices" model. A new study by the Crime Commission staff found that 46 percent of the 135 agencies now have adopted the model policy, or one nearly identical to it.
A key component of a model policy is the use of "blind" lineups in which the officer in charge doesn't know which person in the live or photo lineup is the actual suspect — a tougher procedure to follow for small departments. The commission's study found that only 10 percent of Virginia's agencies require this method, while 69 percent make it an option. A little more than one-fifth do not use the blind administrator procedure.
Nearly two-thirds of the agencies allow the "folder shuffle" method, in which lineup photos are placed into folders and handed to the witness. The administrator doesn't know which folder contains the suspect's photo and therefore is not prone to unwittingly send any signals as the witness looks through the lineup. This method, which is considered a better alternative for small agencies, also is allowed by Virginia's model policy.
The use of blind lineups is one of the recommendations of a study released earlier this month by the National Academy of Sciences. It found that people's memories are "highly malleable and continuously evolving," which underscores the need for procedures that minimize the risk of misidentification.
The increase in the number of agencies using the model policy "is a great sign for Virginia," said Shawn Armbrust, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which fought for Haynesworth's exoneration. "We've been advocating for best practices across the board."
But Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, cautioned against a "one-size-fits-all" approach. She said Virginia has at least 13 one-person police departments, plus an additional 50 to 60 departments with five or fewer employees, and suggested that the model policy might not work for such small agencies. She cited at least one small police department that doesn't even conduct lineups, but turns that duty over to a larger neighboring department.
Schrad said that if the model policy is made mandatory, the Department of Criminal Justice Services will have to amend it to better accommodate small agencies.
The commission did, however, agree to exempt a handful of sheriffs' departments that do not conduct criminal investigations. Those departments only serve papers and provide courtroom security.
Armbrust said the scientific report lends credence to what lineup reform advocates have been saying all along.
"It helps lend a lot of credibility to the arguments when you have science behind it," she said.
The General Assembly will take up the Crime Commission proposal at the session that begins in January.
Athletes, volunteers sought for 2015 World Police & Fire Games in Fairfax
October 16, 2014 | VACP
10 DAYS - 61 SPORTS - 70 COUNTRIES - 1200 ATHLETES - 1600 MEDAL EVENTS
Athlete and volunteer registration now open at www.fairfax2015.com.
About the Games:
In 1985, the World Police & Fire Games Federation, a non-profit organization, run by the Californian Police Athletics Federation established the World Police & Fire Games. Today, the World Police & Fire Games are a spectacular international sporting event, offering Police Officers, Firefighters, Customs and Correction Officers from around the world an opportunity to showcase their athletic excellence. The World Police & Fire Games is one of the largest multi-sport, multi-venue events in the world. It draws more than 12,000 athletes representing 70 countries competing in 1,600 medal events across 61 sports venues located across the entire National Capital Region in over a 10 day period, the Games strive to inspire, celebrate and honor our public safety officials.
There are NO qualifying events to participate in a sporting event within the World Police & Fire Games.
Free Contagious Disease Planning and Response Special Order
October 16, 2014 | National News
The IACP has re-released the Special Order on Pandemic Flu Planning and Response as an awareness and planning tool for police agencies in light of the introduction of the Ebola virus into the United States and the continuing spread of Enterovirus D68.
The Centers for Disease Control and local health authorities are taking appropriate measures to contain these viruses. Nonetheless, this is a good time for police departments to examine their contingency plans for dealing with widespread communicable diseases and the possible impact a pandemic illness could have on a department's ability to continue service to and protection for their communities.
Town of Smithfield designated as smallest Certified Crime Prevention Community
October 9, 2014 | Virginia News
The Town of Smithfield has been officially designated the smallest municipality in the Commonwealth of Virginia to become a Certified Crime Prevention Community! The Department of Criminal Justice Services presented the award at the Town Council Meeting on October 8th.
What does it mean to be a Certified Crime Prevention Community?
In 1998 an Executive Order created the New Partnership Commission for Community Safety, charged with the responsibility of advising the Governor on new initiatives to “promote community safety, particularly youth and family safety.” The Commission worked diligently to assess the needs of localities across the Commonwealth and assist them in addressing their individual community safety issues. The Commission asked the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to recommend programs that foster the development of community safety initiatives at the local level. DCJS proposed, and the Commission approved, the Certified Crime Prevention Community Program.
Based on a study conducted by the Virginia State Crime Commission in 1993, the goal of the program is to publicly recognize and certify localities that have implemented a defined set of community safety strategies as part of a comprehensive community safety/crime prevention effort. One of the first of its kind in the nation, the program encourages localities to develop and implement collaborative community safety plans within a flexible framework designed by the Commission. Furthermore, it provides an ongoing process by which communities can reassess and update their plans to address emerging community safety issues.
To obtain certification, a locality must meet 12 core community safety elements/strategies augmented by a minimum of seven approved optional elements. DCJS runs and monitors the program.
For more information you can check out the following link:
Town of Amherst Hires New Police Chief
October 9, 2014 | Virginia News
Amherst, VA – The Town of Amherst has announced the appointment of Robert Kimbrel as Chief of the Town of Amherst Police Department, following a search to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Police Chief Kelvin Brown earlier this year.
Chief Kimbrel was selected from a pool of 31 candidates following a rigorous selection process. He is expected to be on the job on a part time basis until he converts to full-time status in November.
A law enforcement veteran with over 23 years of experience, Kimbrel is currently the Chief Ranger and Assistant Park Manager of Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville, VA. Prior to his service in Clarksville, Kimbrel rose through the ranks at the City of Poquoson, Virginia Police Department during his 20 years of service to that community to Police Sergeant and Supervisor of Investigations.
"On behalf of the Town Council and Amherst’s residents and business operators, I am delighted to welcome Robert Kimbrel to Amherst,” said Mayor Kilgore. “During his interview we were not only impressed by his qualifications and prior experience, but also by his enthusiastic demeanor, thoughtful insights, communication skills, and leadership style. It was this combination of traits that makes him an excellent fit with Amherst and our top choice for the job.”
Kimbrel is enthusiastic about serving in Amherst. “I am honored to be selected as Amherst’s next Chief of Police. The entire process has been a very positive experience for me. I look forward to getting to know and work with the other officers in the Amherst Police Department and building upon the solid foundation that developed during the tenure of earlier chiefs. I also look forward to serving the residents and businesses of and visitors to my new home and interacting with them to learn their needs.”
Kimbrel brings a record of effective and collaborative leadership and a commitment to innovation. He has been highly regarded for soliciting input from staff and reaching out to community stakeholders and other law enforcement agencies to collaborate on local and regional issues of concern.
In Amherst, Kimbrel will oversee a 5-member law enforcement agency with an annual budget of $392,000. The Amherst Police Department serves a permanent population of 2,213 that swells to over 5,000 individuals in and near the Town’s corporate limits during most working days.
Kimbrel is a Fraternal Order of Police Officer of the Year recipient awarded for saving the life of a drowning victim during a river rescue. He is also a Department of Criminal Justice Services state certified Crime Prevention Specialist.
Kimbrel has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from of St. Leo University where he was a Magna Cum Laude honor graduate. He is a graduate of the Hampton Roads Regional Academy of Criminal Justice and is active in several state and national law enforcement organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police, National Tactical Officers Association, and Virginia Crime Prevention Association. He has been accepted into the Masters Program in Criminal Justice at Saint Leo University.
New police chief named for Bedford
October 8, 2014 | Virginia News
BEDFORD — The Town of Bedford has named a new police chief.
Todd Foreman has lived in the Town of Bedford for 12 years but worked for the police department for 18.5 years. He previously worked in crime prevention, patrol, and as a Lieutenant over the Operations Division for the past few years.
“He is the most qualified by education, experience, and demeanor. Also, he has proven himself to be a member of the community,” Town Manager Charles Kolakowski said.
Foreman will be sworn in at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Bedford Town Manager’s Office, 215 E. Main St.
“I am excited. I want to continue to have the department be more involved in the community and meeting with people,” Foreman said.
He was among four finalists for the position. Kolakowski said there were about 25 applicants. The top four applicants were given a formal interview before a panel of city officials.
Foreman was the only internal applicant. One other was from Virginia and the other two from out of state, Kolakowski said.
“He will make a fine Chief of Police, someone who will make sure the department is working for and with the community. I have a lot of confidence in him and looking forward to working with him as chief,” Kolakowski said.
Foreman will begin his first day today. He was named chief after the previous chief, Jim Day, announced his retirement in July. The Bedford Police Department employs 24 officers and three civilians.
by Ashlie Walter, Lynchburg News-Advance
Governor Signs Executive Order Establishing Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse
September 26, 2014 | Virginia News
Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed Executive Order 29 establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse. The task force will recommend immediate steps to address a growing and dangerous epidemic of prescription opioid and heroin abuse in the Commonwealth.
The order asks the task force to suggest strategies that will raise public awareness about the dangers of misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, train health care providers on best practices for pain management, identify treatment options and alternatives to incarceration for people with addiction, and promote the safe storage and disposal of prescription drugs. The task force will also seek to expand use of the rescue drug, naloxone, which has been shown to prevent death from overdose, and leverage the Prescription Monitoring Program to reduce abuse of prescription drugs. Overall, through these efforts, the task force will seek a measurable reduction in deaths from prescription drug and heroin abuse.
“Prescription painkiller and heroin abuse is a nationwide problem, and is spreading rapidly across the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “We must take immediate action in Virginia, or these terrible trends will continue to ravage our families, our businesses and our economy. As part of my plan, A Healthy Virginia, I am creating this statewide task force so we can identify and implement strategies that will prevent drug abuse and help people with addiction get the treatment they need to recover. I am confident that by working together to address this growing problem we will be able to make our communities safer, save lives, and put us on a pathway toward building a new Virginia economy.”
Governor McAuliffe was joined by Senator Tim Kaine at the announcement, who noted: “I am grateful to Governor McAuliffe for forming a task force to address the prescription drug and heroin abuse epidemic that is threatening the health and safety of our communities. This summer, I witnessed firsthand the impact of addiction and the importance of recovery as I spoke with Virginians across the Commonwealth, including at a drug court graduation in Salem and a Project REVIVE training session in Lebanon. I’m proud to see Virginia taking innovative approaches to combat this crisis and I am committed to being a partner at the federal level.”
The Task Force will be co-chaired by Dr. Bill Hazel, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, and Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and will be composed of representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, the legislature, and the judiciary, as well as relevant state and local agencies, law enforcement, health professionals, community advocates, and individuals with personal experience with addiction.
“We recognize that we cannot simply arrest our way out of the serious opioid and heroin problem we face,” stated Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Using a collaborative approach that addresses public health and public safety, we can save lives, reduce crime and target scarce law enforcement resources on dealers and traffickers”
Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel added: “Health care providers have been effectively engaged in the effort to discourage misuse of prescription opioids. The rise of heroin abuse should not discourage us, but inspire us to work harder, in coordination with our partners to prevent heroin addiction and overdose death. The work we began last year to reduce prescription drug abuse offers a sound foundation for our future efforts.”
The full text of Executive Order 29 is below.
NUMBER TWENTY NINE (2014)
ESTABLISHING THE GOVERNOR’S TASK FORCE ON
PRESCRIPTION DRUG AND HEROIN ABUSE
Nationally, prescription drug and heroin abuse has reached epidemic proportions. Since 2000, deaths from prescription drug overdoses in Virginia have more than doubled, while deaths from heroin overdoses have doubled in the past two years. Though prescription drugs are generally safe when used as prescribed, the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers (opioids) can lead to addiction, and even death. In addition, individuals that are addicted to opioids are shifting to heroin, as prescription drugs become less available.
Prescription opioid and heroin abuse has also led to an increased burden on law enforcement and elevated health care costs from drug-related emergency department visits and treatment admissions. While the numbers of Virginians requiring treatment for addiction to drugs are substantial, resources for treating those who are addicted are limited. It is vital to the Commonwealth’s interests to take immediate steps to reverse this dangerous trend of abuse. Therefore, I am directing relevant state and local agencies, health and behavioral health care professionals and organizations, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to work together toward reducing prescription opioid and heroin addiction, curtailing related criminal activity, and enhancing the health, safety, and well-being of all Virginians.
Establishment of the Task Force
Accordingly, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor under Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, including, but not limited to §§ 2.2-134 and 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, and subject to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby establish the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse (“Task Force”).
The Task Force will serve in an advisory role, in accordance with § 2.2-2100 of the Code of Virginia, and will be responsible for recommending short-term and long-term measures that can be taken to tackle prescription drug and heroin abuse and addiction, using best practices and evidence-based strategies.
Composition of the Task Force
The Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security will serve as Co-Chairs. The Task Force will be composed of representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, legislature, and judiciary, as well as relevant state and local agencies, law enforcement, health and behavioral health care professionals, providers, community advocates, and individuals with personal experience, as appointed by the Governor. The Governor may appoint any other person(s) deemed necessary and proper to carry out the assigned functions.
The Task Force will offer recommendations to meet the Commonwealth’s objectives listed under the following five major areas: 1) education, 2) treatment, 3) data and monitoring, 4) drug storage and disposal, and 5) enforcement.
The Task Force will also recommend specific metrics to be used to track progress in each of these five areas, and will suggest a target for each area with a date by which the goals should be met.
Overall, the Task Force will seek measures for the reduction in deaths from prescription drug and heroin abuse within 5 years.
- Raise public awareness about the dangers of misuse and abuse of prescription drugs
- Distribute information about appropriate use, secure storage, and disposal of prescription drugs
- Train health care providers regarding best practices for opioid prescribing, pain management, the use of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), and identification and treatment of individuals at risk of substance abuse through screening, intervention, and referral tools
- Train first responders to more effectively respond to calls involving overdose, and use evidence-based interventions to reduce overdose deaths
- Improve access to and availability of treatment services
- Foster best practices and adherence to standards for treatment of individuals addicted to opioids
- Strengthen and expand the capacity of Virginia’s health workforce to respond to substance abuse treatment needs, including encouraging health professions schools and continuing education programs to provide more education about how to identify and treat substance abuse
3. Data and Monitoring
- Share and integrate data among relevant licensing boards, state and local agencies, law enforcement, courts, health care providers and organizations, and programs such as the PMP, in order to clarify and address public safety and public health concerns, understand emerging trends, and utilize data-driven decision-making to mitigate harm
4. Storage and Disposal
- Advance effective solutions that lead to safe storage and proper disposal of potentially dangerous prescription drugs
- Identify and promote evidence-based best practices and strategies across the criminal justice system to address public safety risks and treatment needs of individuals with opioid addiction, training in the use of life saving interventions, expanded alternatives to incarceration, including drug courts, and cross-system collaboration to improve access to and the availability of treatment
Staff support for the Task Force will be furnished by the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and such other agencies and offices as designated by the Governor. The Task Force will meet upon the call of the Chair at least four times per year. The Task Force will provide initial recommendations to the Governor on or before December 31, 2014, a comprehensive implementation plan by June 30, 2015, and any additional reports as necessary.
This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and, pursuant to §§ 2.2-134 and 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, shall remain in full force and effect for a year from its signing or until superseded or rescinded.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 26th day of September, 2014.
Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor
Levar M. Stoney, Secretary of the Commonwealth
Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
FBI Releases Study on Active Shooter Incidents (2000-2013)
September 25, 2014 | National News
Today the FBI is releasing a study of 160 active shooter incidents that occurred between 2000 and 2013 throughout the U.S. The primary purpose of the study? To provide our law enforcement partners—normally the first responders on the scene of these dangerous and fast-moving events—with data that will help them to better prepare for and respond to these incidents, saving more lives and keeping themselves safer in the process.
But we believe the information contained in this study can benefit anyone who could potentially be in an active shooter situation—like emergency personnel, employees of retail corporations and other businesses, educators and students, government and military personnel, members of the general public, etc.—by giving them a better understanding of how these incidents play out.
We began the study in early 2014. With assistance from Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, we researched possible active shooter incidents in the U.S. during our selected time frame using official police records, after action reports, and shooting commission documents as well as FBI resources and open source information. We identified 160 events that fit our criteria—individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas (excluding shootings related to gang or drug violence).
Once the incidents were identified—and we’re confident that our research captured the vast majority of active shooter events falling within the specified time frame—we looked at each incident separately to identify its characteristics, then we correlated the data from all of the incidents to get a fuller picture of active shooter incidents in general. (See sidebar for highlights of the study’s overall findings.)
Because so many of these incidents unfold so rapidly, Special Agent Katherine Schweit—who heads the FBI’s Active Shooter Initiative—says she hopes the study “demonstrates the need not only for enhanced preparation on the part of law enforcement and other first responders, but also for civilians to be engaged in discussions and training on decisions they’d have to make in an active shooter situation.”
One trooper’s respect for the state police leads to honor guard bagpiper
September 24, 2014 | Virginia News
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Trooper Gavin Scott, a nine-year veteran with the Virginia State Police, visited with Bluefield College students Monday morning to discuss his work as a bagpiper in the department’s honor guard. The students are members of Dr. Kelly Walls criminal justice class.
Scott, a Bluefield, Va., native, told the students that the honor guard serves at the funerals of line-of-duty deaths and for retirees of the police and fire departments in Virginia.
“The honor guard and color guard are two separate things,” Scott said. He explained that the color guard appears at the opening of state ceremonies, in parades and at other events. He said the honor guard participates in memorial services for officers who died in the line of duty, police veteran retirees and fire department veterans. During his few years as a piper, Scott has piped in front of two Virginia governors as well as for memorial services throughout the state.
The state police pipers are true to the traditions of the pipers. Scott explained that during the mid-19th century when many Scots and Irish immigrants came to the United States, the only jobs they could get were in the dangerous occupations of police work and firefighting. The tradition of playing bagpipes at the funerals of their fallen comrades started at that time and continues to the present.
Colonial Heights to equip entire police force with body cameras
September 24, 2014 | Virginia News
Before the end of the year, turning on a body camera should be as common as switching on a police radio for Colonial Heights’ finest.
The department has become the latest Richmond-area police agency to embrace the technology and will be among the first to equip all its officers with the devices, hopefully within 60 days, officials announced this week.
“Body cameras will be the norm in the future for all law enforcement agencies,” Colonial Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Faries predicted.
After a recently completed 90-day test run, the city is acquiring 42 of the cameras, each with small tactical computers, for about $70,000, which includes data storage and licensing. The program will also have a recurring annual cost of about $20,000.
City officials believe the cameras will be well worth the cost in terms of reducing citizen complaints, documenting crimes scenes and officers’ interaction with criminal suspects and motorists during traffic stops. It will change residents’ and officers’ behavior for the better, they say, and help the department identify and correct training deficiencies among the rank-and-file.
The city’s decision comes on the heels of a similar announcement less than two weeks ago by the Henrico County Division of Police, which plans to eventually equip each of its 400-plus officers with body cameras by Jan. 1, 2016. The department plans to have the first 36 cameras in hand by Oct. 1.
The Ashland Police Department recently equipped all of its patrol officers with body cameras, and Petersburg police bought 50 of the units in 2011. But Petersburg’s use of the devices has been spotty because of problems related to data storage, a police spokeswoman said.
Charlottesville police chief leads emotional, forceful search for missing U-Va. student
September 24, 2014 | Virginia News
The father of a missing University of Virginia sophomore stood before reporters, raising a tiny stuffed rabbit as he pleaded for someone to come forward with information that would locate his daughter, the child whose lifetime of love had worn that bunny from new and white to gray and shabby.
Off to the side, another father stood in uniform Sunday, waiting to make the same appeal with nearly as much passion but much more edge.
Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy J. Longo has pounded the top of lecterns, jabbed the air and fixed steady stares into media cameras since 18-year-old Hannah Graham disappeared Sept. 13. As the search for the missing student is followed nationally and even internationally, it also has drawn attention to the small-town police chief with a bulldog demeanor.
Longo, 51, has scolded members of the public who haven’t called in sightings, because he is certain that some of them saw John Graham’s daughter after she apparently lost her way home after a night out with friends: “Pick. Up. The. Phone.”
He has praised more than a thousand others who have searched and shared tips, embracing them as part of his team: “You rose to the occasion. . . . You stepped up to the plate.”
And in an unusual turn, Longo has publicly named a man who until Tuesday night had not been charged in the disappearance, saying he is the last person to have been seen with Graham before she “vanished off the face of the earth.”
At a news conference Tuesday evening, Longo announced a warrant for Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., charging him with abduction with intent to defile.
Longo, himself a lawyer, had virtually shouted Matthew’s name in earlier news conferences and welled up with tears when he invoked the pain of any parent missing a daughter. His swings have drawn attention to his passion and his policing — and how he is balancing those pressures on the 11th day with no sign of Graham.
Charlottesville lieutenant named police chief of Louisa
September 24, 2014 | Virginia News
After four decades of serving with the Charlottesville Police Department, Lt. Ronnie Roberts will retire early next month and take over the reins as police chief in the town of Louisa, town officials confirmed Tuesday.
Roberts, who has worked as a patrol officer, a dispatcher, traffic division supervisor and patrol supervisor, as well as his most recent stint as department spokesman, will begin his tour of duty in Louisa on Oct. 6.
“We’re very lucky to have him joining us because he brings so much experience and knowledge of law enforcement,” said Louisa Mayor R. Garland Nuckols. “He’s a wealth of information when it comes to law enforcement and community involvement.”
Roberts, 59, will replace former town Chief Jessie L. Shupe, who left the department in June to take the helm of the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport Authority Public Safety Department.
Roberts said he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I am impressed with the people in Louisa. They have a very professional [police force] and I was glad to see so many people I know that I’ve met and worked with in the past,” Roberts said. “I’m looking forward to working with the [Louisa County] Sheriff’s Office and the fire departments out there. They have some great leadership and great people working for them.”
Roberts, who has worked with the city police department for 40 years, including teaching at the Central Shenandoah Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy and other criminal justice-related courses, is retiring from the city department after bumping up against the department’s mandatory retirement age of 60.
Norfolk chief orders 300 body cameras for officers
September 23, 2014 | Virginia News
Police Chief Mike Goldsmith has ordered 300 body cameras for his officers - a purchase intended to improve transparency of policing and eliminate "he said/she said" disputes.
City Manager Marcus Jones told City Council members about the request Monday at their annual retreat. The department has more than 700 officers.
The purchase comes after police shot and killed two men armed with knives in June and wounded a woman when she was shot by an officer in her car in August.
After a white police officer killed an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., last month, Goldsmith said he worried that incident would affect his department's relationship with the community and that he was seeking ways to strengthen his department's community ties.
Drug forfeiture assets will be used to buy 300 cameras to start the program, city spokeswoman Lori Crouch said. The request is making its way through the city's purchasing department, she said.
Chesapeake police officers already wear a body camera to record their actions.
"I think Ferguson is a wake-up call to all of us, to reexamine ourselves," Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim said.
Governor McAuliffe Announces Members of Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence
September 22, 2014 | Virginia News
RICHMOND –Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the 30 members of the Governor’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence to the administration today. The appointees include a wide variety of experts in the field of sexual assault from law enforcement to educators, forensic nurses, Title IX coordinators, advocates, and more.
The Task Force, chaired by Attorney General Mark Herring, will hold quarterly meetings that will focus on finding common solutions to building safer, more educated college communities within the Commonwealth, with the goal of creating best practices for education and prevention of sexual violence on campus.
“There is no bigger concern then the health and safety of our citizens in the Commonwealth. As Governor, I am committed to building a new Virginia economy where students are free from the threat of sexual violence. It is circuital that we work together with the schools, educators, and law enforcement to build on our goal for all higher education institutions to be safe places of learning and growing,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Dorothy and I care deeply about this issue, and as parents we know the importance of sending your children off to a new and safe place, and we want that for all of Virginia’s young people. This task force is the first step in making sure that prevention, education, and awareness are spread about sexual violence, and ensures that Virginia will lead the way on combating this issue.”
In addition to the task force, the Office of Attorney General has begun a review with each college and university of current policies and procedures for prevention and response.
"Governor McAuliffe, Virginia's college and university presidents, and I have sent a clear message that sexual violence will not be tolerated on our college campuses, nor will a societal culture that condones it in any way," said Attorney General Herring. "I look forward to working with this exceptional group of advocates, students, administrators, and experts to make sure that, as a Commonwealth, we are doing everything we can to prevent sexual violence, and to ensure that our response to reports of sexual violence is timely, appropriate, and survivor-centered. Virginia schools must remain safe and welcoming places where students, faculty and staff can live, learn, and work."
Governor’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence Task Force Members:
Peter A. Blake of Richmond, Director, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Fran Bradford of Richmond, Associate Vice President for Government Relations, The College of William and Mary
Ángel Cabrera of Fairfax, President of George Mason University
Judy Casteele of Buena Vista, Executive Director, Project Horizon, Inc.
Jean A. Cheek, RN BS SANE-A of Henrico, Forensic Nurse Examiner, Virginia Commonwealth University
Leah K. Cox, PhD of Fredericksburg, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion, Title IX Coordinator, University of Mary Washington
Maggie Cullinan of Charlottesville, Director, Charlottesville Victim/Witness Assistance Program
Brandon T. Day of Richmond, President, Student Government Association, Virginia Commonwealth University
Daniel Dusseau of Fairfax, Chief of Police, Northern Virginia Community College
Dorothy J Edwards, Ph.D. of Burke, Executive Director of Green Dot
William R. Grace, Colonel USMC (Ret) of Lexington, Inspector General and Title IX Coordinator, Parents Council Liaison, Virginia Military Institute
Allen W. Groves of Waynesboro, University Dean of Students, University of Virginia
Melissa Ratcliff Harper of Roanoke, Forensic Nurse Examiner, Carilion Clinic-Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital
Tom Kramer of Richmond, Executive Director, Virginia21
Penelope W. Kyle of Radford, President, Radford University
Michael C. Maxey of Salem, President, Roanoke College
Donna Poulsen Michaelis of Chesterfield, Manager, Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety
Christopher N. Ndiritu of Norfolk, Student Body President, Student Government Association, Old Dominion University
Nancy Oglesby of Henrico, Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney, Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney's Office
Ellen W. Plummer, Ph.D of Blacksburg, Assistant Provost of Virginia Tech University
Marianne M. Radcliff of Richmond, Vice-President, Kemper Consulting; Member, Longwood University Board of Visitors
The Honorable Abby Raphael of Arlington, Vice Chair, Arlington County School Board; former Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney, Arlington County
Daphne Maxwell Reid of Petersburg, Member, Virginia State University Board of Visitors
Emily Renda of Charlottesville, Program Coordinator in Student Affairs, University of Virginia
Tracy S. Rusillo of Hanover, Major, Virginia State Police
Frank Shushok, Jr. of Blacksburg, Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Virginia Tech
Rosemary D. Trible of Newport News, President of Fear 2 Freedom
John A. Venuti of Richmond, Assistant Vice President of Public Safety/Chief of Police, Virginia Commonwealth University
Kristi VanAudenhove of Whitestone, Executive Director, Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
Raychel Whyte of Washington D.C., Administrator at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
PERF Report: “Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program - Recommendations and Lessons Learned”
September 18, 2014 | National News
The Police Executive Research Forum's Report on body cameras is now available. The Report addresses a complex of strategic and tactical questions associated with adopting a body camera program.
DOWNLOAD THE REPORT: http://www.policeforum.org/free-online-documents
From PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler:
"Last year, the Justice Department asked PERF to identify the issues raised by this new technology, and to produce recommendations for police agencies that may be interested in deploying body cameras.
PERF convened a conference on body cameras last September. We also have been conducting research, interviewing police executives about their experiences with body cameras, and analyzing policies that have been adopted by many departments.
Our final report analyzes the issues and provides 33 detailed recommendations on a wide range of questions, including the following:
- When should officers be required to activate body-worn cameras, and under what circumstances may they be allowed to turn the cameras on and off?
- Should officers be required to inform subjects that they are being recorded?
- What should officers do if a crime victim or witness does not want to be recorded?
- Who should download the video from an officer's camera?
- How can supervisors prevent officers from tampering with or deleting video footage?
- How long should various types of recordings be retained before they can be deleted?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of storing video recordings in-house, as opposed to contracting out that function?
- Within a law enforcement agency, who should be allowed to review body camera footage?
- How should police agencies approach questions about releasing video recordings to the public and the news media?
- What should be included in training of officers to use body cameras?
The detailed answers to these questions are found in our report and recommendations. As a general matter, one point that I would like to highlight is that PERF found many reasons to believe that body cameras can benefit the field of policing, but we caution against rushing into a body camera program without thinking through all of the implications.
The benefits are clear: Body cameras can help to de-escalate encounters between officers and members of the public, because most people tend to behave better if they know they are being recorded. So police chiefs who have deployed cameras tell us that confrontational incidents and complaints against officers decline. Cameras sometimes uncover problems with officers' training that can be remedied. Cameras can provide officers with protection against false complaints, or they can provide important evidence if an officer's actions are improper. And cameras can give the community a sense that their police are accountable for their actions.
The implications of launching a body-worn camera program are very significant. If you deploy body cameras, you create a reasonable expectation that the videos will be made available to the news media and the public. You will need to set strict policies on when officers must turn the cameras on and off. If there is a critical incident but the officer failed to capture it on video, the camera program may actually damage your relationship of trust with the community.
Decisions about whether to release a particular video to the public can be complex, balancing the public's interest in seeing a video against a crime victim's privacy, for example. And the logistical issues are enormous. Video recordings consume large quantities of digital data. Even if you contract out the task of storing the data, you may need to hire people to respond to public requests for particular videos. This can involve the time-consuming task of redacting certain sections of a video. The costs of purchasing cameras are relatively small, compared to the monthly costs of maintaining and managing the video recordings.
2014 Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge Awards Presented for Best Traffic Safety Programs in 2013
September 11, 2014 | VACP
The awards luncheon took place during the VACP’s 89th Annual Training Conference on Tuesday, September 9 at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA.
Celebrating its twenty-fifth year in Virginia, the Law Enforcement Challenge program promotes professionalism in traffic safety enforcement and encourages agencies to share best practices and programs with each other. The awards are based on entries prepared by the participating agencies that highlight their traffic safety education and enforcement activities in the past calendar year. Judges award points to the agencies in the six areas that comprise a comprehensive traffic safety program: problem identification, policies, planning, training of officers, public information and education, enforcement, and an evaluation of the outcomes of the agency’s efforts.
The Virginia Challenge is held in cooperation with the National Law Enforcement Challenge Awards, which are presented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This year, thirty-five Virginia agencies entered the competition, of which eight were selected to receive national awards. National Challenge award winners have been announced by the IACP on their web site at http://www.theiacp.org/NLEC. National awards will be presented in October at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in Orlando, FL.
The Virginia agencies listed below will be presented with their state Challenge first, second and third place awards in each category at the luncheon, as well as special awards for outstanding enforcement and education efforts in the areas of occupant protection, impaired driving, speed awareness, commercial motor vehicle safety, distracted driving, technology, bicycle/pedestrian safety, and motorcycle safety. Additionally, the VACP will present an award for the most outstanding traffic safety program in Virginia in 2013, regardless of agency size or type — the “Commonwealth Award”. The 2014 recipient of the Commonwealth Award is the Roanoke County Police Department.
The Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge Awards program is supported by a grant from the Virginia Highway Safety Office. Additional information about the Law Enforcement Challenge program can be found online at http://www.smartsafeandsober.org/programs/LEC.
The winners of the 2014 Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge are as follows:
|Municipal 1: 1-10 Officers||Place||Notes|
|Saltville Police Department||1|
|West Point Police Department||2|
|Municipal 2: 11-25 Officers||Place||Notes|
|Ashland Police Department||1||2014 NLEC Winner: 3rd place, Municipal 1 (1-25 Officers)|
|Bedford Police Department||2|
|Purcellville Police Department||3|
|Municipal 3: 26-50 Officers||Place||Notes|
|Culpeper Police Department||1|
|Radford City Police Department||2|
|Colonial Heights Police Department||3|
|Municipal 4: 51-75 Officers||Place||Notes|
|Herndon Police Department||1|
|Salem Police Department||2|
|Municipal 5: 76-125 Officers||Place||Notes|
|James City County Police Department||1|
|Leesburg Police Department||2|
|Harrisonburg Police Department||3||VLEC Special Award: Motorcycle Safety|
|Municipal 6: 126-300 Officers||Place||Notes|
|Roanoke County Police Department||1||
2014 Commonwealth Award Winner
2014 NLEC Winner: 1st place, Municipal 3 (76-250 Officers)
|Roanoke Police Department||2||
VLEC Special Award: Technology
2014 NLEC Winner: 2nd place, Municipal 3 (76-250 Officers)
|Albemarle County Police Department||3 (tie)||VLEC Special Award: Speed Awareness|
|Portsmouth Police Department||3 (tie)|
|Municipal 7: 301-450 Officers||Place||Notes|
|Chesapeake Police Department||1|
|Newport News Police Department||2|
|Municipal 8: 451-700 Officers||Place||Notes|
|Henrico County Division of Police||1||2014 NLEC Winner: 1st place, Municipal 4 (251+ Officers)|
|Municipal 9: 701+ Officer||Place||Notes|
|Fairfax County Police Department||1||VLEC Special Award: Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety|
|Virginia Beach Police Department||2||VLEC Special Award: Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety|
|Sheriff 1: 1-25 Deputies||Place||Notes|
|New Kent County Sheriff's Office||1||
VLEC Special Award: Distracted Driving
2014 NLEC Winner: 2nd place, Sheriff 1 (1-50 Deputies)
|Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office||2||
VLEC Special Award: Impaired Driving
2014 NLEC Winner: 1st place, Sheriff 1 (1-50 Deputies) & National Sheriffs’ Association Top Traffic Safety Unit Award
|Sheriff 2: 26-50 Deputies||Place||Notes|
|Amherst County Sheriff's Office||1|
|Wythe County Sheriff's Office||2|
|Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office||3|
|Sheriff 3: 51-75 Deputies||Place||Notes|
|Gloucester County Sheriff's Office||1|
|Sheriff 4: 76-125 Deputies||Place||Notes|
|Fauquier County Sheriff's Office||1|
|Washington County Sheriff's Office||2|
|Sheriff 5: 126-300 Deputies||Place||Notes|
|Stafford County Sheriff's Office||1||2014 NLEC Winner: 3rd place, Sheriff 2 (51-250 Deputies)|
|Hanover County Sheriff's Office||2|
|Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department||1||2014 NLEC Winner: 1st place, College – University Law Enforcement|
|University of Richmond Police Department||2|
Ms. Dana Schrad, Executive Director
Ms. Erin Schrad, Communications Manager
September FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin is Now Online
September 10, 2014 | National News
The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin can be accessed at leb.fbi.gov .
Criminal Investigative Analysis: Applications for the Courts (Part Four of Four) - Different views exist as to what role criminal investigative analysis plays in the legal system.
Suicide by Cop: Broadening Our Understanding - Law enforcement officers must learn to recognize signals that indicate a potential suicide by cop.
Futures Perspective: A Retrospective: Police Academy Training in 2032 - Eighteen years in the future, law enforcement academies have migrated their training to online, virtual reality, and simulation-based platforms.
Officer Survival Spotlight: Circumstances and the Deadly Mix - Officers must enter every situation with a full appreciation of the circumstances they will face.
Leadership Spotlight: Should You Always Lead from the Front? - Effective leaders are agile enough to lead from the front, the middle, or the back.
VPSF Announces Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial Dedication Events
September 10, 2014 | VACP
Today, Virginia Public Safety Foundation (VPSF) announced a schedule of events to mark the completion of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, culminating with a dedication ceremony on Saturday, December 6, 2014, at 1 p.m. at the memorial’s Capitol Square location.
A Memorial Prayer Service will be held on Friday, December 5, at 12 noon, at St. Paul’s Church. The service will include prayers and hymns of thanksgiving in honor of Virginia's first responders. Following the service, the memorial will be open to visitors.
A Celebration of Heroes will be held on Friday, December 5, at 6 p.m., at John Marshall Ballrooms. This reception and dinner will acknowledge the contributions of donors, supporters, and survivors to the Memorial campaign. The event will include a reception, dinner and brief program of speakers.
The Memorial Dedication Ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 6, at 1 p.m., at the memorial site on Capitol Square. The ceremony will include the reading of Virginia’s honor roll of fallen public safety officers and the official transfer of the memorial’s ownership from VPSF to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Complete event details, including RSVP information, are available on-line at VPSF Memorial Dedication Events.
VACP/VPCF Recognize Twenty-Five Virginia Officers with 2014 Lifesaving Awards
September 10, 2014 | VACP
Twenty-five Virginia police officers are the recipients of the 2014 Lifesaving Awards presented by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) and the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation (VPCF.) The awards will be announced September 9 at the VACP/VPCF Annual Conference in Roanoke, Virginia, and awarded at a later date at ceremonies at the officers’ agencies.
The Lifesaving Award recognizes an officer’s actions that put the officer in harm’s way in an attempt to save the life of another individual. The 2014 VACP/VPCF Lifesaving Award recipients are as follows:
Chesterfield County Police Department
Master Officer Paul J. Cunniff, Sr.
Sr. Officer Kenneth J. King
Officer Edward C. Costley
On June 14, 2013, Officer Paul Cunniff responded to a house fire call. Initial reports indicated that someone was on the roof of the residence, but responding officers did not see anyone on the roof when they arrived. Officer Cunniff saw flames and heavy smoke billowing from the roof, but did not hesitate to enter the home. He was able to safely remove one person from inside the residence. That victim said his father was still inside and, based on this statement, Officer Cunniff re-entered the burning, ranch-style home to find the second victim.
Officer Cunniff could barely see the man through the smoke; the man was attempting to extinguish the fire with a garden hose. The ceiling was just beginning to fall as Officer Cunniff made contact with Mr. Anderson and advised him to leave. Mr. Anderson was adamant that he would not leave, as he was trying to extinguish the fire. The situation was deteriorating rapidly and Officer Cunniff determined that physically restraining Mr. Anderson and forcibly removing him from the residence was his only option. As Officer Cunniff did so, Mr. Anderson fought stubbornly, with garden hose in hand, to remain in the house. As the two made it to the threshold, Officers Costley and King helped Officer Cunniff remove Mr. Anderson. The officers then attempted to block re-entry as Mr. Anderson forced his way back into the house. All three officers ran back into the burning home after him, and had to physically remove the argumentative and combative man from the residence once again. As they removed him from the residence this last time, Fire and EMS arrived to put out the fire.
Without concern for their own well-being, Master Officer Paul J. Cunniff, Sr. Officer Kenneth J. King and Officer Edward C. Costley went above and beyond the call of duty, putting them in harm’s way to save the lives of the victims.
Chesterfield County Police Department
Officer Brian M. Dentel
On February 27, 2014, Officer Brian Dentel responded to an assist rescue call. The victim's mother had reported hearing the smoke detector going off and not being able to reach her daughter, who was diabetic. Upon arrival, Officer Dentel immediately grabbed his sledgehammer and approached the locked door. Hearing the fire alarm and not getting a response, he forced entry into the residence. Officer Dentel found the apartment to be full of smoke from food that was burning on the stove and discovered the unconscious victim lying face down and the floor. Officer Dentel and Firefighter Trice quickly evacuated the victim, who was transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation and diabetic related issues. Officer Brian Dentel's actions saved the victim's life.
Chesterfield County Police Department
Sergeant Michael B. Young
Officer Melvin Matias
On March 8, 2013, Officer Melvin Matias responded to a call for an accident involving a pedestrian. Upon arrival, Officer Matias saw the victim get up from the ground and run towards Interstate 95. Officer Matias realized the victim was in need of medical attention due to the vehicle accident and rushed into action. Sergeant Michael Young arrived and joined Officer Matias in pursuit of the victim, who had run to the overpass on Woods Edge Road at Interstate 95. The victim would not respond to officers' commands and climbed over the barrier. Sergeant Young positioned himself on one side of the victim and briefly distracted the man, which gave him an opportunity to grab the man's left arm, as well as his torso. At the same time, Officer Matias grabbed the right arm and torso, which were hanging over the overpass into the southbound lane of travel. Both officers used their body weight to maintain control of the victim and firefighters helped pull him over to safety.
By placing themselves at risk, the response from Sergeant Michael Young and Officer Melvin Matias far exceeds the duty of these officers who did not allow this precarious situation to deter them from springing into action. They are credited with saving the victim's life.
Franklin Police Department
Sergeant Todd Lyons
Officer Quentin Livingston
On February 26, 2014 at approximately 1640 hours, Sergeant Lyons and Officer Livingston were on Bracey Street in the City of Franklin in response to a call for service. While attending to this call, Officer Livingston was alerted by a citizen to a residence on fire and that there was a person inside.
Officer Livingston immediately broadcast this information requesting fire and rescue. Sergeant Lyons hearing Officer Livingston's radio traffic immediately broke off from the call for service and responded to the residence. Both officers ran to the residence, which had thick, black smoke coming from the doors and windows. Upon entering the dwelling both officers were met with zero visibility. The officers crawled into the house in an effort to locate the resident. The officers were unable to see anything so they felt their way around until they came to a couch in the living room where Officer Livingston felt the leg of a person lying on the couch.
Officer Livingston alerted Sergeant Lyons to the discovery of the person and together they carried the victim outside. As the officers were leaving the residence, the flames of the fire had spread to the ceiling above them. Once outside it was discovered that the victim was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Officer Livingston immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and after a few minutes the victim began to breathe on her own. Sergeant Lyons, having knowledge of this residence, realized that a child also lived at this location. Sgt. Lyons re-entered the residence calling for the child, but it was later learned that the child had not returned home from school.
The residence structure was separated into two attached dwellings so Sergeant Lyons initiated efforts to locate and warn the next door neighbor. It was found that this resident was handicapped and confined to a wheelchair. This individual was having difficulty leaving her residence so Sgt. Lyons wheeled her down the wheelchair ramp at the rear of the residence to a safe location.
Sergeant Lyons returned to Officer Livingston who had stayed with the fire victim, talking to her in an effort to comfort her until emergency medical services arrived. The victim, Magdeline Jenkins 56, of the 200 Block of Bracey Street was transported to Southampton Memorial Hospital for initial treatment before being air lifted to Norfolk General Hospital, where she made a full recovery.
Fredericksburg Police Department
Lt. Bill Hallam
Officer Ryan Merrell
Arriving first on the scene of a nighttime call for a fire engulfing a Fredericksburg home on September 17, Lieutenant Bill Hallam and Officer Ryan Merrell noticed a teenage female hanging out of a second story window with heavy smoke pouring out around her.
With the sense of urgency mounting and with the Fire Department still on the way, Lieutenant Hallam pulled his patrol SUV under the window but the distance from the vehicle’s roof to the window was still too great.
Officer Merrell checked a neighbor’s backyard to see if he could find a ladder and fortunately he was able to secure one. Officer Merrell positioned the ladder underneath the window and it was still about three feet short.
The frightened victim refused to climb out of the window to try and reach the ladder. Lieutenant Hallam climbed to the top of the ladder, with Officer Merrell steadying it, and pulled the girl in a bear hug from the window and onto the ladder. The victim was swiftly brought to the ground and safety.
Due to the quick-thinking and bravery of Lieutenant Hallam and Officer Merrell, the girl was rescued and transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation injuries. She made a full recovery.
Hanover County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Kevin L. Ayers
On Friday, August 30, 2013 at approximately 2236 hours the Hanover Sheriff’s Office responded to the 9500 block of Atlee Station Road for a single vehicle accident. As the vehicle left the roadway it struck a utility pole. The pole then shattered, causing the power lines to fall on top of the vehicle.
The juvenile driver was able to get out of the vehicle after the collision. Realizing he left his keys in the ignition he returned to the vehicle to get them. In doing so the driver was shocked by the downed power lines that were on top of his vehicle.
At that time, off-duty deputy Kevin Ayers came upon the scene. Ayers immediately went to the aid of the driver who was unable to move because he had lost feeling in his legs. Ayers pulled the driver away from his vehicle and in doing so he received a small shock. Shortly after removing the driver to safety, the vehicle became engulfed in flames.
The following day the investigating deputy interviewed the driver at the VCU Medical Center – Burn Trauma Unit. The driver told the deputy that his friend did not know how to help him get away from the vehicle. The driver stated “that’s when that guy,” referring to Ayers, “came up and pulled him out of his vehicle.” He continued by saying that Ayers threw him over his shoulder and got him out of there before his car went up in flames. The driver said that he wanted to thank the off duty officer in person because, “That guy saved my life.”
While disregarding his own welfare, Deputy Ayers bravely entered a dangerous crash scene to rescue an injured juvenile. If not for Ayer’s immediate action the juvenile would have potentially sustained far greater injury or death.
Prince William County Police Department
Officer Patrick R. Balchunas
On Jan. 28, 2013, Officer Balchunas responded to a home in reference to a shooting-in-progress call. While enroute to the call, it was determined that the victim was shot numerous times in the chest and once in the arm and leg. The reporting person gave a suspect description and advised that the suspect was on foot. Prior to his arriving on scene, another officer located the suspect and Officer Balchunas stopped to assist taking him into custody.
Officer Balchunas interviewed the suspect and obtained valuable information about where the weapon was located and how many people were still at the residence. He relayed that information to officers on scene. Knowing that the victim was shot numerous times, Officer Balchunas retrieved his medical pack from the trunk of his cruiser and responded to the scene.
The victim could be seen lying on the sidewalk. Officer Balchunas approached the residence with the other officers, stopping by the victim to move him - with the help of another officer- out of harm's way to cover at the corner of the garage. Officer Balchunas remained with the victim to render aid while the other officers cleared the residence. He determined that the victim suffered life-threatening injuries and a large amount of blood loss. EMS units were not able to respond to the scene because officers were still securing the house.
Officer Balchunas began to treat the victim by applying a compression dressing to the wound on his left arm and an occlusive chest seal to the gunshot injury on the upper left chest at the victim's heart. Officer Balchunas recognized the immediacy of getting proper medical attention so he supported the victim as they walked toward the ambulance, which was staging further down the street. When the victim collapsed, Officer Balchunas placed him on his shoulder in a fireman's carry position and took him to waiting medic units.
The victim was transported to Sentara Hospital, going into cardiac arrest on the way and being revived by EMTs. From there, he was flown to I NOVA Fairfax Hospital with serious life-threatening injuries. The EMTs and physicians at Sentara Hospital said that if it were not for the actions that Officer Balchunas put forth the victim would have died at the scene.
Officer Balchunas is a certified EMT and a SWAT medic. He has extensive training in first aid. He did not hesitate to use the skills he has learned with precision. In fact, the medical pack that he used in the incident is purchased and supplied using his own funds. Because the wound to the upper left chest nicked the victim's heart, it is likely he would have bled to death without Officer Balchunas' actions.
Prince William County Police Department
Officer Steven R. Mattos, Jr.
On March 23, 2013 at approximately 1739 hours, officers were dispatched to 12530 Sulky Court in Lake Ridge, Virginia. Officer Mattos was first on the scene and observed visible flames and smoke coming from the rear of the residence. Initially, Officer Mattos was advised by witnesses that everyone had escaped the residence. Eventually, he located a crying woman standing slightly down the street speaking on a cell phone. The woman advised that she lived in the residence and that everyone had escaped unharmed. Officer Mattos inquired again, at which time the woman realized that her elderly uncle may still be located inside the basement.
Officer Mattos updated Public Safety Communications Center about the missing man and went to the front door of the house. The door was open and heavy smoke was hanging in the foyer. Officer Mattos announced loudly at the front door telling anybody in the house to come to the sound of his voice. After three announcements without success, Officer Mattos noted flames outside of the windows on the rear of the house but only heavy smoke hanging in the main level. Officer Mattos was concerned the missing man could be trapped in the basement by fire or may already be unconscious from smoke.
Officer Mattos ducked low and entered the residence to locate stairs to the basement. He made announcements as he moved through the house stating, "Police if you hear me yell out!" There was no response as Officer Mattos moved down the stairs and entered the basement.
As he got to a couch in the basement, an elderly man sat up and looked in his direction but it was clear he was half asleep and not focusing. Officer Mattos told the man the house was on fire and they needed to get out but the man didn’t move. He grabbed the man by his shirt, stood him up and physically guided him up the stairs and out the front door. Fire units had not arrived when they emerged and did not arrive for several more minutes.
Officer Mattos initially received erroneous information from the gathering of neighbors. Upon his own initiative he discovered one man was not out of the house and took decisive action. In doing so, Officer Mattos clearly went above and beyond his normal duties and what is expected of a police officer.
Richmond Police Department
Officer David Chandler
Officer Anthony Cornett
Officer Kenneth Jacob
Officer John Raina
Third Precinct Officers David Chandler, Anthony Cornett, Kenneth Jacob and John Raina responded to a call that a man had poured gasoline on himself and throughout his residence. The officers entered the gasoline-soaked house. The odor of gasoline permeated the air.
The officers found the man in an upstairs rear bedroom. They immediately removed a lit cigar from his hand. But he then proceeded to use a lighter to set himself and the room on fire.
The officers quickly worked to contain the fire so that it would not spread and engulf them and the entire house. They also worked to extinguish the flames on the man’s body. Despite suffering smoke inhalation, the officers were able to extinguish the flames and save the man’s life.
Roanoke County Police Department & Roanoke County Fire and Rescue
Officer Eric Austin
Firefighter/EMT Barry Brown
On Saturday, July 6, 2013, within hours after arriving for a family vacation at Holden Beach, North Carolina, Firefighter Barry Brown and Officer Eric Austin, found themselves in a situation of risking their own lives to save others. Brown and Austin heard shouts for help from a small boy and noticed his mother racing into the ocean to save her son. She was overcome by the strong rip tide that was pulling her and her son under water. Brown and Austin immediately entered the water, and worked together to rescue the mother and son, who were about 100 yards away, and pull them to safety.
Holden Beach has no lifeguards and a riptide warning was in effect. There had been reports of four people drowning in the previous couple of days on Brunswick County beaches, two of which were individuals who had attempted to rescue other struggling swimmers caught in rip currents. Without the bravery and quick response by Brown and Austin that number would have possibly been higher.
Suffolk Police Department
Officer Shane Sukowaski
On June 7, 2013, Officer Sukowaski was dispatched to a structure fire. Upon his arrival Officer Sukowaski entered the front door of the building and advised the residents that they needed to evacuate. Officer Sukowaski then proceeded up the stairwell and heard a woman screaming for help. Officer Sukowaski arrived on the second floor where he observed an elderly woman and a man carrying a wheelchair struggling to get down the stairs. Officer Sukowaski assisted them out of the building and the woman advised him that there was another resident trapped inside another apartment on the second floor.
Officer Sukowaski entered the building again and tried to reach the apartment that the woman had advised him of but was unable to due to heavy smoke. He advised dispatch of the trapped resident and during this time was also advised by another resident that there was an elderly man trapped on the third floor who could not walk. Officer Sukowaski proceeded to the third floor where he was able to locate the gentleman. The gentleman advised Officer Sukowaski that he could not walk and was in an electric wheelchair. Officer Sukowaski located a regular wheelchair in the man's apartment and transferred the man from his electric wheelchair to the regular one. When they arrived at the stairwell the buildings security guard met them and assisted Officer Sukowaski in carrying the gentleman to safety.
Due to Officer Sukowaski's quick actions and calm under pressure he was able to help save the lives of numerous citizens.
Virginia State Police
Sergeant Christopher J. Aikens
On April 9, 2013, at 12:32 p.m., a 911 call from a 19-year-old male was transferred to the Virginia State Police Appomattox Division’s Emergency Communications Center. The young man was the passenger in a vehicle that was traveling south on Interstate 81. The vehicle was at the 230 mile marker at Weyers Cave, when its brakes apparently stopped working. According to the teenager, the car was going approximately 60 mph, but would gain and lose speed in accordance with the grade of the interstate.
A Virginia State Police dispatcher stayed on the line with the passenger as troopers responded to the moving vehicle’s location. The dispatcher passed along various solutions for the driver to do in an attempt to get the car stopped. Meanwhile, additional troopers and deputies with the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office were positioning themselves around the car in order to keep other vehicles along I-81 from being struck.
By the time it reached the 218 mile marker, the car had sped up to approximately 110 mph. At approximately 12:45 p.m., near the 218 mile marker, both the driver and passenger leapt from the moving car. Virginia State Police Sgt. C.J. Aikens then positioned his vehicle in front of the Mazda to stop and force it into the guardrail off the left shoulder of the southbound lanes of I-81. The Mazda was traveling at roughly 100 mph when it impacted Aikens’ patrol car.
Amazingly, the 19-year-old driver was not injured, but was taken to Augusta Health as a precautionary measure. The passenger was transported to Augusta Health for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Sgt. Aikens was treated for non-life threatening injuries at Augusta Health.
Sgt. Aikens recognized the seriousness of the situation and risks this out-of-control vehicle posed not only to these two teenagers, but to every motorist on I-81 that afternoon. His selfless and valiant acts to put an end to this extremely dangerous situation ultimately saved lives.
Virginia State Police
Senior Trooper Paul Domingoes
On September 29, 2013, Virginia State Police Senior Trooper Paul Domingoes was patrolling Interstate 66 in Fauquier County when he was dispatched to a single-vehicle crash with possible entrapment. When he arrived, several bystanders motioned him to the vehicle, which had crashed down a dangerously steep embankment. Without hesitation or regard for his own safety, Trooper Domingoes climbed down the embankment to the precariously-positioned vehicle. While standing on the incline below the crushed vehicle, Sr. Trooper Domingoes assessed the entrapped passenger’s condition, which was severe. She had sustained a compound fracture to her right arm, dismemberment of her fingers, and severed arterial and brachial arteries, causing massive blood loss. Prior to the trooper’s arrival, the driver of the vehicle had attempted to use a belt as a tourniquet, but was having difficulty due to his own state of shock from the crash. Sr. Trooper Domingoes instructed the driver to exit the unstable vehicle and climb to safety. Once he was sure the driver could navigate his way up the embankment, the trooper then fastened the belt as a tourniquet on the passenger’s upper arm, applying additional tension to suppress further blood loss. Sr. Trooper Domingoes remained inside the vehicle to stabilize it while continuing to administer First Aid to the woman until an emergency medical crew arrived on scene.
Had Sr. Trooper Domingoes not acted with such a swift and effective response to both the driver and passenger, helped stabilize the vehicle, and expertly administer First Aid, there is little doubt that the woman would have survived her injuries.
Virginia State Police
Trooper Charles A. Lanfranchi, Jr.
Trooper Brandon D. West
Shortly before noon on June 9, 2013, Troopers Charles A. Lanfranchi, Jr., and Brandon D. West were stopped out at the Dumfries Scales along northbound Interstate 95 in Prince William County. As they were monitoring the passing traffic, they witnessed a pickup truck traveling southbound lose control and crash into an utility pole at the entrance to the Dumfries Scales opposite them.
The impact with the utility immediately ignited a fire in the engine compartment and smoke began billowing into the air. Knowing there would be no way to get to the burning truck by patrol car, the two troopers ran the 150 yards through the underground connector tunnel to get to the other weigh station on the southbound side.
Without hesitation, the two approached the burning vehicle and found its driver unresponsive. Despite the flames and heavy smoke, the troopers climbed into the pickup truck and, with the assistance of a citizen, were able to extract and pull the driver to safety.
Trooper West remained with the unconscious victim, treating him for shock and monitoring his vital signs until EMS arrived on scene. Meanwhile, Trooper Lanfranchi and civilian realized the driver’s dog was still inside the burning pickup truck. Again, Trooper Lanfranchi went to the burning vehicle and found the dog unable to escape because it had been securely tied down. Trooper Lanfranchi freed the dog and carried to safety, as well. Moments later, the truck was engulfed in fire.
Both troopers suffered minor smoke inhalation, but both the driver and his dog fully recovered from the crash and fire. As a direct result of Trooper Lanfranchi’s and Trooper West’s quick and courageous actions, the driver and his dog survived the crash and made full recoveries.
Virginia State Police
Senior Trooper J. D. Stamper
On August 25, 2013, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Senior Trooper J.D. Stamper was on assignment at a highway work zone at the intersection of Route 17(North) and Richmond Beach Road in Essex County. Sr. Trooper Stamper was outside his patrol car, standing off to the right of the road with two VDOT employees when he observed a pickup truck run off the right side of the road, jump a curb and come careening towards them. With just a split-second’s notice, Sr. Trooper Stamper pushed one of the individuals out of the path of the oncoming truck and pulled the second man towards him in an attempt to avoid the out-of-control truck. However, the pickup was moving too fast and ran down the two men. The impact with the pickup truck threw Sr. Trooper Stamper to the ground and ripped the VDOT engineer out of his grasp. The man was run over and dragged a short distance. The pickup truck continued back onto Route 17. Despite his severe injuries from having been hit by the truck, Sr. Trooper Stamper still had the fortitude to run to his patrol car and catch up with the pickup truck as it attempted to flee the scene. Sr. Trooper Stamper was able to position his patrol car in front of the pickup to block and stop it. He then detained the driver until assistance arrived. Both the VDOT engineer and Sr. Trooper Stamper were transported to area hospitals for treatment of serious injuries.
It was later determined that the 20-year-old pickup truck driver had dropped his cell phone and taken his eyes off the road to pick it up when, in that instant, his vehicle ran off the road. Sr. Trooper Stamper’s immediate and selfless actions ultimately saved all three men’s lives that evening in the Northern Neck. A 24-year veteran of the state police, Sr. Trooper Stamper will be retiring from duty on disability due to the injuries sustained to his hip and lower back.
The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (www.vachiefs.org) 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 (www.vapolicefoundation.org) is a charitable educational foundation created by the VACP to provide training and education programs for law enforcement leaders.
Contact: Ms. Dana Schrad, Executive Director
Mobile: (804) 338-9512
Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Receives 2014 VACP President’s Award
September 10, 2014 | VACP
The Honorable Michael Doucette, Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney, was honored on September 9 with the 2014 President’s Award for his many years of dedicated work in the Virginia criminal justice system.
VACP 2013-2014 President, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo, presented the award to Mr. Doucette at the annual conference of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police in Roanoke.
“Each year, the VACP President honors an individual who makes a significant contribution to the law enforcement profession, and specifically to the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. For the past several years Mike has served as a Legislative Liaison for the Commonwealth Attorneys Association. In that capacity, he has championed numerous pieces of legislation which has benefitted not only Virginia law enforcement but our criminal justice system here in the Commonwealth. This past year, Mike has worked hard to coordinate with the VACP to facilitate joint training between our membership and that of the Commonwealth Attorneys Association. Mike is a true friend to law enforcement, and a credit to our profession,” said Chief Longo in his presentation.
Mike Doucette joined the Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in 1984 as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and has been the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Lynchburg since 2006. He graduated in 1981 from the University of Connecticut and in 1984 from the Marshall/Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.
In 2003, Mike was honored by the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorney (VACA) with the Von Schuch Award as the outstanding assistant or deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for the entire state. In 2005 and 2011, he received the Lynchburg Police Department’s Honorable Service Award. In 2011, Virginia’s Lawyer’s Weekly chose him as one of its 31 honorees for “Leader of the Law” out of more than 45,000 attorneys in Virginia. In 2014, he received the VACA’s Robert F. Horan Jr. Award as the outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney for Virginia.
Mike is a past president of VACA. He chaired the Protective Order subcommittee of the Governor’s Domestic Violence Prevention Advisory Board and serves on the Virginia State Crime Commission, the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board, the Virginia Supreme Court’s Special Committee on Criminal Discovery Rules, and the board of directors of the National District Attorneys Association. He is the president of the board of directors for the Virginia Legal Aid Society, is a member of the Lynchburg Museum Advisory Board, and serves on the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference. He also lectures at the American Legion’s Boys State of Virginia.
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 Association provides annual training programs for law enforcement executives, directs a statewide traffic safety program for law enforcement, produces Freedom of Information Act guidelines for law enforcement and lobbies for law enforcement interests at the state and federal level. The Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation is a charitable educational foundation created by the VACP to provide training and education programs for law enforcement.
Photo Caption: 2013-14 VACP President Chief Tim Longo, Charlottesville Police & Hon. Michael Doucette.
Photo Credit: Erin Schrad, VACP
Contact: Ms. Dana Schrad, Executive Director
Mobile: (804) 338-9512
VACP Installs 2014-2015 Executive Board
September 9, 2014 | VACP
The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police on September 9th installed the 2014-2015 VACP Executive Board during the Valor Awards Banquet of the association’s annual conference in Roanoke, Virginia. The new board members are:
PRESIDENT – Chief Gary Roche, Pulaski – Chief Roche has been Chief of Police in Pulaski since 2001, and has a Master Degree in Administration of Justice. He is a graduate of the FBI Academy and the Professional Executive Leadership School. He has served as president of the Blue Ridge Association of Chiefs of Police, and currently serves on the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT – Chief Timothy J. Longo, Sr. – Chief Timothy Longo has served as the Chief of Police in Charlottesville, Virginia since 2001. Prior to joining the Charlottesville Police Department, Chief Longo served 19 years with the City of Baltimore Police Department, where he rose to the rank of Colonel, serving as Chief of Technical Services. Chief Longo holds a Bachelor of Science from Towson State University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police, Police Executive Research Forum. Chief Longo lectures across America in the fields of Ethics, Professional Standards, Internal Affairs and a variety of legal topics. He has served as adjunct faculty at Towson University and a guest lecturer at the University of Virginia schools of law and business. Chief Longo has been the recipient of the Police Commissioner’s Award of Excellence, and the Webber Seavey Award.
1ST VICE PRESIDENT – Chief David C. Sloggie, Williamsburg – Chief Sloggie has 39 years of experience with the Williamsburg Police Department, and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from Saint Leo College, a Master in Justice Administration from Golden Gate University and a Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech. He is a 1985 graduate of the 140th class at the FBI National Academy, a 1992 graduate of the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection School, and a 1996 graduate of the Police Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond. Chief Sloggie chairs the VACP Awards Committee and has been a member of VACP for 31 years.
2ND VICE PRESIDENT – Colonel Thierry Dupuis, Chesterfield County – Colonel Dupuis was appointed the chief of police for the Chesterfield County Police Department in 2007. Colonel Dupuis has served within all major divisions within the department. He is the 7th chief in the department's history and the first to have held all ranks within the department including officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major and lieutenant colonel. Colonel Dupuis holds an associate degree in applied science from John Tyler Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master degree in business administration from Averett College. Chief DuPuis chairs the VACP Legislative Committee.
3RD VICE PRESIDENT – Chief Christopher S. Perkins, Roanoke City – Chief Perkins has served as Roanoke Chief of Police since 2010, and has been with the department since 1992. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Arts from Hollins University. Chief Perkins is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Police Executive Research Forum, and has received numerous awards for his law enforcement training skills.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Chief Kelvin L. Wright, Chesapeake – Chief Wright was appointed the Chesapeake police chief in 2008, and has been a champion for change in the agency and for crime reduction in the community. Chief Wright has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree, Cum Laude, in Sociology from Saint Leo University; a Master in Public Administration from Troy University and is pursuing a PhD in Public Administration and Urban Policy from Old Dominion University. He is active in developing leadership education programs for the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation. (2011-2015 term)
Chief Douglas A. Goodman, Ashland – Chief Goodman was appointed Ashland police chief in 2008, where he has worked to enhance officer productivity and effectiveness. Under his watch, his agency has increased number of Neighborhood Watch programs by 50% and reduced traffic accidents by 38% over a three-year period. Chief Goodman holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech and a Master in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation. (2011-2015 term)
Chief Stephen L. Sellers, Albemarle County - Chief Sellers was appointed Albemarle County Chief of Police in 2011, after serving from 1997-2011 in progressive positions with the Fairfax County Police Department and rising to the rank of Deputy Chief. He has a Master Degree in Public Administration from Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from National Louis University. Chief Sellers graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2000, and is a member of the Virginia Highway Safety Committee. (2013-2017 term)
Chief A. J. Panebianco, Middleburg – Chief Panebianco has been the police chief in Middleburg since April, 2012. He previously served as Chief of Police in Louisa, Warsaw and Buena Vista. Chief Panebianco has a Bachelor of Science in the Administration of Justice from Bluefield College, and is a graduate of the Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond. He currently serves on the Awards Committee, Budget & Finance Committee member, and Professional Image & Ethics Committee of the VACP. (2014-2018 term)
Chief DeWitt Cooper, Tazewell – Chief Cooper began his career working for the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. He next joined the Warsaw Police Department, where he was appointed Chief in 2002. He was appointed Tazewell Police Chief in 2012. Chief Cooper has attended the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation New Chiefs School, and currently serves on the VACP Legislative Committee. (2014-2018 term)
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 Association provides annual training programs for law enforcement executives, directs a statewide traffic safety program for law enforcement, produces Freedom of Information Act guidelines for law enforcement and lobbies for law enforcement interests at the state and federal level. The Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation is a charitable educational foundation created by the VACP to provide training and education programs for law enforcement.
Front Row – Third VP Chief Chris Perkins (Roanoke); Immediate Past President Chief Tim Longo (Charlottesville); President Chief Gary Roche (Pulaski); First VP Chief Dave Sloggie (Williamsburg); Second VP Chief Thierry Dupuis (Chesterfield County).
Back Row – At-Large Executive Board Members Chief Doug Goodman (Ashland), Chief Steve Sellers (Albemarle County), Chief DeWitt Cooper (Tazewell).
Not pictured – Chief Kelvin Wright (Chesapeake) & Chief A.J. Panebianco (Middleburg).
Photo Credit: Erin Schrad, VACP
Contact: Ms. Dana Schrad, Executive Director – 804-338-9512 (mobile)