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Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Receives 2015 VACP President’s Award

September 2, 2015 | VACP

The Honorable Brian J. Moran, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security, was honored September 1 with the 2015 President’s Award.

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. This year, 2014-15 VACP President, Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche, presented the award to the Honorable Brian J. Moran, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security, at the VACP Annual Conference in Williamsburg.

“Secretary Moran has made a great effort to reach out to the VACP and work with the police chiefs on legislative and policy initiatives," said Chief Roche in his presentation. "In 2015, he played a strategic role in redirecting numerous legislative initiatives on body cameras, license plate readers, drones and data collection to study groups to ensure a thorough examination of all relevant issues.  Secretary Moran headed up the task force on special conservators of the peace and was instrumental in his support of legislation authorizing our established private police departments. His leadership and vision are integral to strengthening the working relationship between the Governor’s office and our law enforcement leaders.  The VACP thanks Secretary Brian Moran for his tremendous commitment to working with and supporting Virginia law enforcement, and it’s my honor to present him with the 2015 VACP President’s Award.”

Secretary Brian Moran has a passion for public service, particularly in the area of public safety and social justice issues. His unique combination of experience as a practicing attorney, former state legislator and leader, and an association executive give him a multi-faceted perspective of how organizations function. Leadership skills are an important part of making any enterprise succeed and Secretary Moran has a demonstrated record of motivating and focusing people in both business and government environments.

The Secretary draws on his experiences as a local County prosecutor and his thirteen years serving in the Virginia legislature. He began his career as a judicial law clerk in Arlington, Virginia learning the intricacies of the court system. In 1989 he started his career as County prosecutor where he prosecuted a variety of crimes including murder and rape. He was elected seven times to represent the 46th legislative district.

While in the legislature, Secretary Moran served on the Courts of Justice Committee, the State Crime Commission, the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee, the Board of the Alcohol Safety Action Program, and the Secure Virginia Panel. As a legislator he focused on numerous public safety issues. He championed and sponsored legislation in the areas of: child abuse, domestic violence, drunk driving, drug interdiction and elder abuse. He forged bipartisan coalitions and support to pass numerous pieces of legislation. Most notably: creating the felony drunk driving law; and Alicia's Law, which provides law enforcement the necessary tools to stop internet sexual predators from preying on our children.

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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: 2014-15 VACP President Chief Gary Roche, Pulaski Police & Secretary Moran.
Photo Credit: Erin Schrad, VACP

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

Eleven Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Receive 2015 VACP/VPCF Awards for Valor | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Eleven Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Receive 2015 VACP/VPCF Awards for Valor

September 2, 2015 | VACP

Officers from Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Norfolk, Pulaski, Richmond and Roanoke County recognized for heroism; Norfolk Police Officer Brian Jones honored posthumously.

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police on September 1, 2015 presented eleven Virginia law enforcement officers from six agencies with the Association’s highest honor, the Award for Valor. The awards were presented at the Valor Awards Banquet at the annual conference of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, held this year at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Honorable Brian J. Moran, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, assisted in the presentation of the awards.  The awards program is a joint effort of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation. 

The Award for Valor recognizes a law enforcement officer who, in the line of duty, performs an act of extraordinary heroism while engaged with an adversary at imminent personal risk. 

Officers receiving the 2015 Awards for Valor are:

Chesapeake Police Department
Officer Michael Hilton

On the evening of January 14, 2015, officers were called to assist the complainant with a person who was reported to be suicidal. Initially, it was indicated that the suicidal subject was in the street threatening to commit suicide by unknown means. Shortly after the call was dispatched, officers were informed that the suicidal male was in possession of a gun. Little additional information about the gun or the location of the subject was available prior to officers arriving.

Due to the potentially dangerous situation, Officer Hilton stopped his vehicle on the side of the road before arriving on scene and retrieved his rifle from the trunk of his police vehicle. He verified the weapon was loaded and made it ready. This would later prove to be the one officer safety decision that would save his life as well as the lives of other officers and residents in the area.

When turning onto the scene, Officer Hilton immediately started taking gunfire from the suicidal subject. The subject was in the middle of the street about 75 yards away, firing a rifle in Officer Hilton’s direction. At the same time, another officer was arriving on scene. Both Captain Draper and Officer Hilton were within the line of fire and were hearing rounds striking objects nearby.

Using patrol techniques and sound officer safety skills, Officer Hilton positioned his vehicle to provide maximum cover from the gunfire. He exited the vehicle and ordered the subject to drop the weapon. When the shooter failed to comply, Officer Hilton took aim at the subject and returned fire and incapacitated him. Unfortunately, the subject died a short time later while being attended to by medical personnel.

Had it not been for his demonstrated habit of preparing his weapon in advance of arriving and mentally preparing for potentially violent situations, many nearby residents — as well as other responding officers — could have been in a potentially fatal situation. Officer Hilton selflessly, calmly, and deliberately utilized his training and experience to stop a serious threat to the safety of the public.

For his courageous act during a dangerous situation and his commitment to the preservation of life while in harm's way, Officer Hilton is presented with the VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.


Colonial Heights Police Department
Master Officer Gregory A. Thinnes

On August 24, 2014, Master Officer Gregory A. Thinnes was operating stationary radar in Colonial Heights when a vehicle passed by going 60 mph in a 35 mph zone.  MPO Thinnes activated his lights and siren and attempted to catch up to the speeding vehicle, which was weaving in and out of traffic.  MPO Thinnes observed the vehicle continue at a high rate of speed and run a red light.  The suspect vehicle continued traveling at a high rate of speed, ignoring the police lights and siren.  The suspect vehicle continued into the driveway of a residence, stopping behind the house in the woods, out of sight of the general public.

MPO Thinnes followed and positioned himself in a traffic stop position and called in the South Carolina tag.  He observed one unknown person in the driver’s seat as he challenged the driver to show their hands.  MPO Thinnes made this command six or seven times, requesting their hands to be placed outside the vehicle, but to no avail.  At this time, MPO Thinnes notified Communications and responding units that he had the subject at gunpoint and that the occupant was not responding to his commands.

As MPO Thinnes waited for backup, the driver’s side door swung open quickly and a female exited the vehicle, pointing a handgun in the direction of MPO Thinnes.  Fearing for his safety, MPO Thinnes discharged his firearm six times, striking the subject twice and incapacitating her.  MPO Thinnes then cleared the area and proceeded to provide aid to the female who had just attempted to shoot him.

Further investigation revealed that the female suspect was wanted out-of-state and had committed a felonious assault in the State of New Jersey.  She was on her way back to South Carolina. The suspect has since been charged with the Attempted Capital Murder of a Police Officer as well as other serious charges.  An internal affairs investigation determined that MPO Thinnes’ actions were in accordance with proper procedure and departmental policy, and that he reacted and performed as professionally trained in a life-threatening situation.  Tonight we are honored to present Master Police Officer Gregory A. Thinnes with the VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.


Norfolk Police Department
Officer Brian Jones (Posthumous)
Officer Curtis Allison
Officer Toofan Shahsiah

On Friday, May 30th, 2014, at 10:40 PM, the Norfolk Emergency Operations Center began receiving multiple 911 calls regarding an individual firing a weapon at citizens, vehicles, and residences while driving a red Jeep Cherokee.  Officers from the 2nd and 3rd Patrol Divisions responded to the areas in the 8300 and 8400 block of Chesapeake Boulevard, minutes later to the Walmart located in the 7500 block of Tidewater Drive.  Information was received that the suspect may be armed with an assault rifle.

Officer Curtis Allison, who was off duty and resides in the neighborhood near the Walmart, heard multiple gunshots near his home.  He grabbed his tactical vest, his police radio, his duty weapon, and rifle, and began to search the neighborhood.  He spotted the suspected red Jeep Cherokee in the front yard of a residence.  The suspect, later identified as James Brown, was observed pacing in the yard at that location.

Officer Brian Jones, who also was nearby and heard the gunshots, responded to the area where he was directed to the location where the suspect was last observed.  Officer Jones drove his police vehicle toward the suspect residence, and Officer Allison followed behind on foot.  Officer Jones stopped his vehicle and verbally challenged Brown. Brown ignored the challenge, entered the residence and almost immediately exited, opening fire on Officer Jones with a high-powered assault rifle.  Officer Brian Jones was struck and mortally wounded.

Officer Allison also was struck by the gunfire as he ran for cover.  Although he had been hit, Officer Allison was able to find cover and return fire using his duty weapon.  Brown returned to his vehicle and fled the scene.  Officer Allison then left his location and went to Officer Jones where he immediately rendered aid.  He was also able to radio the description of Brown’s vehicle and direction of travel.  Officer Jones and Officer Allison were transported to Sentara Norfolk Hospital where Officer Jones succumbed to his injuries.  Officer Allison was treated for a gunshot wound to his right hip.       

Officer Toofan Shahsiah was responding to the 7400 block of Wellington Rd to assist Officer Jones with the report of shots fired.  Officer Shahsiah monitored the suspect vehicle description and direction of travel provided by Officer Allison.  He then observed the suspect vehicle traveling at high speed westbound on Biltmore Street, and gave chase.  The suspect began firing his weapon from his moving vehicle, narrowly missing Officer Shahsiah.  Brown sped through the intersection of Galveston Boulevard and E. Little Creek Road, and struck a vehicle that was traveling eastbound on E. Little Creek Road.  The ensuing crash caused Brown’s vehicle to spin and roll over several times. 

Brown exited his vehicle and took a position of cover behind his vehicle.  Officer Shahsiah was able to observe what appeared to be a handgun being carried by Brown as the suspect moved to a position of cover behind his wrecked Jeep Cherokee.  Officer Shahsiah continued to challenge the suspect who appeared to surrender.  The officer, who still didn’t have back up, attempted to take Brown into custody.  The suspect abruptly attacked Officer Shahsiah and attempted to disarm him.  Officer Shahsiah was able to push Brown slightly away and drew his service weapon.  Fearing for his life and having knowledge that this suspect was involved in the shooting of a fellow Officer, Officer Shahsiah discharged his firearm in an effort to protect himself and bystanders. The suspect was hit several times and fell to the ground mortally wounded.  Officer Shahsiah sustained minor injuries from the struggle with Brown.      

Officer Shahsiah’s incident ended at 10:50 PM.  While this entire event unfolded, the Norfolk Police Emergency Operations Center received a call about a motor vehicle accident with injuries in the 8400 block of Chesapeake Boulevard at 10:48 PM.  Responding units discovered a vehicle that had struck a telephone pole in the median.  Upon examination, the officers discovered a gunshot victim inside, 17-year-old Mark Rodriguez, who was returning home after a high school graduation function.  It was determined that Mark was shot and killed by Brown’s senseless act of random violence.

Officer Brian Jones was assigned as a community resource officer with the 3rd Patrol Division.  He was well known and beloved by members of the community.  He was also respected, and held in high esteem by his peers.  After hearing the gunshots in the area, Officer Jones did not hesitate to respond to Wellington Street where there was every indication that the reported armed suspect was present.  Officer Jones immediately challenged the suspect, who almost immediately fired on the officers before they could take cover.  After being mortally wounded, Officer Jones was still able to report his situation, and provide a description of the suspect vehicle leaving the scene. 

These officers responded to reports of shots being fired in which common citizens were placed in mortal danger, one of whom had already been killed.  They knowingly risked their lives in order to protect the citizens they were sworn to protect.  Each performed their duties with extreme heroism — with little regard for themselves — against a heavily armed individual who was randomly discharging his weapons with no regard to the safety of others.  The bravery exhibited by these officers undoubtedly saved other citizens, and police officers, from being killed or wounded by the suspect.  In light of the tragic events of May 30th, 2014, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation present Awards for Valor to Officer Curtiss Allison, Officer Toofan Shahsiah and to Officer Brian Jones, represented by his widow, Rebecca Jones. 


Pulaski Police Department
Officer Adam M. Abdelaziz

On Tuesday, May 5, 2015 Officer Adam M. Abdelaziz was conducting a safety check on the Pulaski Storage lot when he discovered a pickup truck sitting in a row between the storage buildings.  Initially believing that the truck was unoccupied due to the tinted back glass, he approached it and observed a man — later identified as Robert A. Frost— sitting in the front seat, apparently asleep, with a handgun in his hand resting on his lap.  Officer Abdelaziz backed up a few steps, requested assistance by his radio, and then walked back up to the open window of the truck.  The male occupant suddenly awoke and instantly raised the firearm and began shooting.

Officer Abdelaziz retreated to the rear of the vehicle where he discharged three shots in an attempt to stop the attack.  Mr. Frost then opened the truck door and fell onto the ground.  Police personnel immediately initiated emergency medical first aid while an ambulance was requested.  Mr. Frost was transported to the Lewis-Gale hospital in Pulaski where he later died.  Officer Abdelaziz was not injured. 

The family of the deceased was notified of the incident by Pulaski Police Captain A. C. Meredith.  They indicated to Captain Meredith that they were not surprised that something like this happened as he had been struggling with PTSD and emotional depression for years after returning from military service in Operation Desert Storm.  He had also said that when he “went”, he would make the police kill him.

The investigation revealed that Mr. Frost discharged three rounds from his weapon, which struck the building outside of his vehicle before firing a single gunshot to his chest.  It appears that none of the three bullets discharged from Officer Abdelaziz’s service pistol struck Mr. Frost as two lodged in the rear of the truck cab and one passed through both the back and front vehicle glass.  Officer Abdelaziz’s actions after the initial exchange of gunfire were recorded by his body camera.  The video recording reveals that Officer Abdelaziz demonstrated total professionalism and tactically sound judgement during this encounter and his actions are a model for everyone wearing a badge to emulate.  Tonight, we honor Pulaski Adam M. Abdelaziz with the VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.


Richmond Police Department
Sergeant Tish Edmonds
Sergeant Jayson Walter
Officer Michael Ellison
Officer Timothy Fields

During the early morning hours of May 12, 2014, Richmond Police units were dispatched to the scene of a large fight. Sergeants Jayson Walter and Tish Edmonds and Officers Tim Fields and Michael Ellison arrived and observed a large number of people in the street getting ready to fight.  Officers then began dispersing the crowd.  As they were doing this, a gun battle erupted just south of their location.  Despite the police presence, multiple guns began firing.

Sergeants Walter and Edmonds and Officers Fields and Ellison heard the gunfire and started looking for the shooters.  They quickly located the area with at least two individuals firing weapons.  With shots still being fired toward a crowd of people, the officers — without regard for their safety — began to move in on the shooters, observing one male shooting his weapon multiple times, in an effort to engage them and stop the gunfire. As the officers closed in on the suspects, the suspects continued to fire while being ordered to drop their guns.  All officers showed great discipline and cool heads as they did not have clear fields of fire due to the number of innocent people running from the gunfire.

With the officers getting close, the suspects jumped into a vehicle and attempted to flee.  The officers quickly surrounded the car preventing the suspects’ escape.  Three individuals were taken into custody and two firearms were seized.  One of the males was charged with multiple offenses including discharging a firearm in public, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Additional charges may be filed against the other two males pending lab results.

The quick response by these officers saved lives and prevented at least one group of shooters from escaping. For their actions, Sergeant Jayson Walter, Sergeant Tish Edmonds, Officer Tim Fields, and Officer Michael Ellison are presented with the VACP/VPCF Awards for Valor.


Roanoke County Police Department
Officer Paul D. McMillan

On the evening of July 14, 2014, the Roanoke County Police Department was alerted to a report of an active shooter at a large retirement community facility in the county. A single male suspect was reported to be armed with a rifle and a pistol and a shot had already been fired by the suspect inside one of the buildings.

Officer Paul D. McMillan and other officers began arriving within two minutes of being dispatched. The retirement community consists of several buildings on a large campus and there was some initial confusion over the location of the suspect.  Officer McMillan was flagged down by a nurse outside the Health and Rehabilitation Center and was told that the shooter was inside that building on the second floor. He immediately made a single-officer entry, proceeding inside and up the stairs as other officers began to converge on the building at Officer McMillan's direction.

Upon reaching the second floor, Officer McMillan was told by another nurse that the suspect had just gotten on the elevator headed to the first floor. Officer McMillan headed back downstairs as he updated the other officers by radio.

Coming out of the stairwell, Officer McMillan located the 59-year-old male suspect in the lobby area near the exit where he had stopped upon seeing several officers approaching outside the building. Officer McMillan at this point was still the only officer inside the building. He observed the suspect holding a handgun and what appeared to be a small rifle. Officer McMillan ordered the suspect to drop his weapons, which he did, and to get on the ground.

Officer McMillan's view of the weapons on the floor was obscured by furniture and he could not see them. The suspect initially appeared to be complying with Officer McMillan's command to get on the ground. However, as he bent down, the suspect suddenly grabbed the handgun, a 9mm pistol, and brought it up towards Officer McMillan, firing a shot in his direction. Officer McMillan immediately returned fire with his patrol rifle, firing twice and striking the subject both times.

The suspect fell and was immediately taken into custody. He is currently awaiting trial on multiple felony charges including attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer.

Officer McMillan's fast response and courageous actions brought a quick end to what could have been a much more tragic situation. For his act of extreme heroism, Officer Paul D. McMillan is presented with the VACP/VPCF Award for Valor.

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

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

Schools consider regional effort to handle sexual assault | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Schools consider regional effort to handle sexual assault

August 26, 2015 | Virginia News

By KARIN KAPSIDELIS | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Amid the mounting cost and complexity of new federal mandates to address sexual violence, Virginia’s colleges and universities are considering whether to establish a network of shared resources and investigators to address campus assaults.

The idea was among issues discussed Monday during a meeting of presidents of public institutions at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan said a regional collaboration would help schools with fewer resources meet requirements of federal Title IX investigations of sex-based discrimination and provide a higher level of expertise for the adjudication of cases.

The approach also could make victims of assault more willing to come forward if they could discuss what happened to them with investigators who “are not people they see every day,” Sullivan said.

In an interview Tuesday, Sullivan credited former state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for suggesting the strategy to allow schools to share costs to comply with Title IX. ...

Read the full story...

American Legion Names Culpeper Police Sergeant State’s Top Cop | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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American Legion Names Culpeper Police Sergeant State’s Top Cop

August 24, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image By Wally Bunker | Culpeper Times

Every time Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins talks about Sgt. Norma McGuckin a broad smile creeps across his face. The smile broadened Tuesday as he spoke about her.

“She is a perfect example of someone coming to this country, pursuing the American dream and contributing to the community,” said Jenkins. “She is a role model to the Hispanic community and a major role model within the agency.”

Tuesday, McGuckin, was named the Virginia American Legion’s Virginia Police Officer of the Year.

“I wasn’t even expecting it local, let alone at the state level,” said McGuckin.

However, her journey for that honor took an unusual path.

Norma’s story
As a 16-year-old McGuckin and her father headed north from their rural Mexican town. Her father Jesus was deep in debt. He was seeking employment so that he could earn enough money to pay off his debts and come back home to the family farm. The family lived in a three-room farmhouse without electricity or running water. Jesus cobbled together $1,000 to pay smugglers for documents and transportation for himself and his eldest daughter.

McGuckin offered to help earn money and provide a better life for her mother, four sisters and one brother left behind. McGuckin, now 40, sat in the backseat of a car with her father. Two strangers sat up front.

“I had never seen them before or seen them again,” said McGuckin about the driver and passenger. McGuckin quietly watched the nearing border crossing on the two-lane highway from Tijuana, Mexico into California. She nervously watched the uniformed officers stop cars and check papers.

“They were checking all the cars,” said McGuckin. McGuckin and her father clutched fake documents in their sweating hands. The border patrol agents looked over their papers and waved the quartet through the checkpoint and into the country, without asking any questions.

McGuckin’s life changed forever as did her plans. She and her father, who worked in a textile plant, stayed with relatives in Los Angeles where she attended high school, later attaining her GED.

She witnessed police conducting raids in her Los Angeles neighborhood. She wondered when they would come to deport her.

Just three years after arriving in California, she moved to Virginia and in 2000 married James, whom she met while working in a print shop. They have three grown sons.

McGuckin began working at Wal-Mart in the electronics department. During her employment she met off duty Culpeper police officers who worked off duty security. She served as a translator for Hispanics suspected of shoplifting.

“That’s when I first met Chris (Settle), Andrew (Terrill), Richard (Brooking), Ricky (Pinksaw) and Holly (Hill),” said McGuckin. They suggested that she volunteer as the police department’s translator.

Seeking to help out, she went for an application as a volunteer translator. “That’s when I found out there was a position open,” she said.

Instead, the department gave her two applications, one for police officer and one as a civilian community service officer assigned to write parking tickets.

Always fearing deportation, she cautiously applied for a work permit and “green card.” Not being a U.S. citizen ruled out, at least temporarily, becoming a police officer.

However, just before leaving office, President Bill Clinton granted amnesty to illegal aliens in the U.S. McGuckin had school records and pay stubs to prove residency, making her path to citizenship easier.

Becoming a citizen
From 2001 to 2006 McGuckin studied to become a naturalized citizen. In 2006 in Lynchburg, she was sworn in as a U.S. citizen while her sister and husband looked on. All of her siblings have become naturalized citizens.

In the fall of 2006, she attended the Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy in Weyers Cave to become a police officer. Upon graduation, she was assigned to uniform patrol. McGuckin picked up right where she left off – translating and enforcing laws.

“Not forgetting her native roots or personal background, she has instrumental in assisting town, county and state investigations dealing with Hispanic speaking victims and/or suspects, providing translation and a sense of understanding of the Hispanic population in Culpeper,” Jenkins wrote in his nomination letter to the state American Legion Post Law and Order Committee in Richmond. “In doing so, she became a leader in the Hispanic community. She has become a daily source of knowledge, wisdom and advice to all, with an emphasis on the Hispanic population.”

McGuckin remembers her fear of police and possible deportation when she talks to Hispanic crime victims, urging them to report a crime so a criminal does not go free and prey on someone else.

“I understand why they are scared to contact police because you are telling (police) where you are,” said McGuckin. She said many frightened victims open up when she tells her story about coming to this country.

Jenkins notes that sometimes Hispanics come to police headquarters and knowing only two words of English, “Norma working?”

McGuckin said her cell phone rings constantly, many times displaying unfamiliar numbers or a text message in Spanish. “I get people calling from Fredericksburg,” she said.

Before being promoted to sergeant in 2013, McGuckin worked in the Street Crimes Unit, primarily tasked with drug enforcement.

“She was largely responsible for making several cases and making arrests on those cases when our community was going through a PCP epidemic,” Jenkins wrote. Mass arrests of suspects by DEA and the FBI resulted from her investigation.

McGuckin also mentors other officers and participates in the department’s wellness and physical fitness program, in addition to her duties as a patrol supervisor and departmental translator.

She was recognized earlier this year by American Legion Post 330 as Culpeper’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year and previously as the Town of Culpeper Employee of the Year in 2003.

“Culpeper and this country could use many more folks like Norma McGuckin,” said Jenkins.

Wally Bunker is a freelance contributor with the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Source URL: http://www.northernvatimes.com/culpeper/article/american-legion-names-mcguckin-states-top-cop

Roanoke police launch new anonymous tip texting service | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Roanoke police launch new anonymous tip texting service

August 18, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image The Roanoke Police Department has a new texting program that allows residents to text crime tips anonymously.

Lt. Jeffrey Newman said the program is part of ongoing efforts to improve communication between officers and residents. Starting now, people can send tips anonymously by texting 274637 (Crimes) and entering RoanokePD before the message. The tips go directly to a supervising officer, who can then text the sender back with any questions.

“Some residents want to help the police, but there’s some hesitancy to being a witness,” Newman said. “This anonymous tip program is set up so we can communicate anonymously back and forth.”

The texting program uses TipSoft SMS to route the texts to Roanoke police. Though TipSoft is used by hundreds of agencies across the country, Roanoke police are the first in the area to use it, Newman said.

Newman said the department first adopted the texting program after receiving $75,000 from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services in 2014. The grant was designated to boost patrol numbers and programs for the department’s Drug Market Initiative, which aims to reduce recidivism among non-violent offenders and lower overall crime near Hurt and Melrose parks.

Roanoke police used about $2,800 of the grant to launch the texting program, Newman said.


(Post adapted from article published in Roanoke Times — http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/roanoke/roanoke-police-to-hand-out-ice-cream-saturday-to-promote/article_21c888fe-dec4-5232-a49e-d20d1e5a8d9d.html)

Norfolk police create LGBTQ community liaison, appoint openly gay sergeant to post | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Norfolk police create LGBTQ community liaison, appoint openly gay sergeant to post

August 18, 2015 |

By Gary A. Harki | The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK — A city police officer has been designated as the department's first liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community.

To "foster and maintain the positive relationships between our LGBTQ community and the police department, a liaison position was created to enhance police services and support specific to the needs of gays, lesbians, and allied communities," a news release states.

Sgt. Craig Lovelace, the officer tapped for the job, will work with other divisions to "conduct community outreach, education, recruitment, and involvement in other LGBTQ related issues."

Lovelace is married to a lieutenant in the department. Lovelace and his husband have served openly for more than 20 years, the liaison's Web page says.

Longtime Woodstock police chief dies after battle with cancer | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Longtime Woodstock police chief dies after battle with cancer

August 18, 2015 | VACP

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Northern Virginia Daily

Jerry Miller, who earned the trust and respect of Woodstock as its police chief for 28 years, died Monday morning at his home in Edinburg. He was 64.

Mike Kline, a cousin, retired town officer and part-time bailiff in Shenandoah County, confirmed Miller’s death from complications linked to cancer.

Kline and others who worked for Miller during his long tenure paid tribute to the loyalty he inspired among those who worked for him and the high esteem in which the community held him.

“He was the fairest, the most honest and humblest person I’ve ever known, and I think that speaks for anyone who ever knew him,” Kline said.

Miller was born and raised in Edinburg. After a stint in the Army and with the Aileen Corp., he joined the Woodstock Police Department in 1974 as a patrolman. By 1981, he had been appointed chief, a position he held until his retirement in 2009.

Jeff Coffelt, who retired as a lieutenant from the Woodstock department, said turnover in the department was rare.

“He made improvements over the years in working conditions, pay, benefits and equipment, and he kept trying to say, ‘you all did it,'” Coffelt said. “But Jerry was the one leading us. He never wanted any recognition.”

Kline said he was one of 10 members of the force who worked for Miller for at least 25 years.

“When somebody came to work for Jerry Miller, they stayed there,” Kline said.

Retired Woodstock Sgt. Robert Bowman recalled a traffic stop involving a drunk driver that illustrated the value of the respect according to Miller throughout the town. Bowman said the suspect had turned belligerent and appeared ready for a scrap with him and another officer at the scene.

“I knew we were going to have to fight this individual,” Bowman said of the suspect. “We looked around, and a pickup truck pulled up, and there was Jerry, and he defused the situation. He was just that kind of guy. He respected everybody, and everybody respected him.”

Kline said Miller spent his retirement years living quietly at his home in Edinburg, enjoying the company of his wife, his pets and activities at his church.

“He just liked the community,” Kline said. “I don’t think he ventured too far out of town.”

Kline said members of the Woodstock Police Department, Virginia State Police and the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office are planning a full police procession on Thursday from the Dellinger Funeral Home to the Wakemans Grove Church of the Brethren, site of a gravesite service. The time has yet to be determined.

Bowman said Miller was more than a leader; he was a mentor who taught everyone on the force what it meant to be a police officer.

“Your uniform had to be tight,” Bowman said. “Your hair had to be the right length. He wanted the public to respect you, and it started with your appearance and how you conducted yourself. I’m proud to say that I worked for him, and I would do it again.”

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Dontations
If anyone cannot make it to the service and/or wishes to make a donation in Jerry's name, he's requested one of these respectable and worthy organizations:

Wakeman's Grove Church of the Brethren
668 Wakemans's Grove Road
Edinburg, VA 22824
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Donate by Phone: (800) 805-5856
Donate Online: http://bit.ly/1bqqwbd

Blue Ridge Hospice
333 West Cork Street, Suite 405
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 313-9200

Remembrances
Feel free to email any comments or remembrances to Chief Miller's son at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

DCJS: Comment Period Open on CJ Training Standards, De-Certification of Officers, ICAC Grants | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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DCJS: Comment Period Open on CJ Training Standards, De-Certification of Officers, ICAC Grants

August 17, 2015 | Virginia News

As required by the Code of Virginia and the Commission on Local Government, the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is conducting assessments on three mandates the Department administers that affect local governments. As listed in the Commission’s “Catalog of State and Federal Mandates on Local Governments,” the three are Prevention of Internet Crimes Against Children, De-Certification of Law Enforcement Officers, and Training Standards for Criminal Justice Personnel.

The Commission on Local Government defines the Prevention of Internet Crimes Against Children Program, a grant program that supports localities’ efforts to investigate these crimes, as a mandate because it includes a “non-discretionary condition of aid.” In other words, there are conditions localities must agree to in order to receive funding. De-Certification of Law Enforcement Officers and Training Standards for Criminal Justice Personnel are defined as mandates because each is a “compulsory order.”

The assessment period for these mandates is August 1–October 31. During that period, localities, at their option, may submit comments to DCJS about the mandates, for example, about their purpose and effectiveness, their importance to public safety, their fiscal impact, and whether alternative approaches should be considered. We will reference these comments in the assessments we prepare and submit to the Commission after October 31.

Comments should be e-mailed to Joe Marshall at DCJS, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please be sure to identify the locality submitting the comment and the mandate being commented upon.

Localities may also provide more specific fiscal impact information if they wish, using a form prepared by the Commission. You may request the form by contacting Mr. Marshall at the address noted above, or it can be downloaded via a link on the Commission’s website: www.dhcd.virginia.gov/index.php/commission-on-local-government/mandates-on-local- governments/agency-assessment-of-mandates.html. Fiscal impact forms should be e-mailed to Mr. Marshall.

Submitting any comments or fiscal impact information on a mandate is not required and is solely at the option of the locality.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Marshall by e-mail at the address noted previously, or at 804-786-1577.

August FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Now Online | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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August FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Now Online

August 17, 2015 | National News

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin can be accessed at leb.fbi.gov. Below is a list of articles you can read this month on the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin website.

August Content

Featured ArticleUsing Canines to Address School Violence – Several considerations are necessary for the use of canines to help reduce school violence.

Featured ArticleImproving Motivation and Productivity of Police Officers – Agencies can address issues that affect officers and cultivate happy and productive personnel.

PerspectiveAdvanced Degrees for Law Enforcement Personnel: The Ideal Time to Enter a Higher Education Program – There is no wrong time to pursue a higher degree; with a little foresight and thought, you can determine the best time to get started.

Leadership SpotlightValue of Compassion – A leader who models compassion will see a positive change in the agency’s climate and operation.


The Bulletin is now on Twitter. You can follow us at @FBILEB .

If you need assistance or have any questions or concerns, please contact the staff at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Heroin overdose deaths still rising in Virginia as officials try to boost awareness | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Heroin overdose deaths still rising in Virginia as officials try to boost awareness

August 15, 2015 | Virginia News

By Gary A. Harki | The Virginian-Pilot

The number of people who died in Virginia from overdoses of heroin or other opioids rose in 2014 for the second straight year, despite efforts by law enforcement and state officials to curb the problem.

Further, the state is on pace to have more such deaths this year than last, said Kathrin Hobron, forensic epidemiologist with the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

She said there were 126 confirmed heroin-related overdose fatalities in the first six months of 2015. The comparable figure for all of 2014 was 239 deaths.

“From what I’m seeing, everything is going up right now,” she said of deaths from opioid use.

Opioids include methadone and painkillers such as OxyContin, as well as heroin.

The number of deaths from such drugs started climbing about 10 years ago, in large part because of people battling addictions to prescription painkillers.

The effort to fight the epidemic must include law enforcement, treatment centers and educators, said Capt. Tim Reibel of the state Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Reibel’s 5th Division serves Hampton Roads. ...

Read the full story...

CY2016-2018 V-STOP Grant Application and Guidelines | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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CY2016-2018 V-STOP Grant Application and Guidelines

August 14, 2015 | Virginia News

The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is the administering agency for the Virginia Services, Training, Officers, Prosecution (V-STOP) Violence Against Women grant program. V-STOP offers grant funds to successful applicants for activities that increase the apprehension, prosecution and adjudication of persons committing violent crimes against women.

The funding period begins January 1, 2016 and continues through December 31, 2018.  Copies of the V-STOP guidelines, including the necessary grant application forms and instructions, may be downloaded below.

To aid applicants in their grant preparation, DCJS is sponsoring a grant application training for new law enforcement applicants.

The training for new law enforcement applicants will be held on Friday, August 28, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Eanes-Pittman Public Safety Training Center located at 6610 Public Safety Way Chesterfield, VA  23832.  We encourage all new applicants to attend the training.  Pre-registration is required to attend.  There is no registration fee.

Friday, August 28, 2015                                    Register

All applicants must submit one original and three (3) copies of the grant application as specified in the DCJS guidelines. Applications submitted on-line or via fax will not be accepted.

Grant applications must be received by DCJS, 1100 Bank Street, 12th Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23219, no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 28, 2015.

DCJS staff and subject matter experts will review all applications and make programmatic and budgetary recommendations for consideration by a committee of the Criminal Justice Services Board (CJSB). The committee will meet in early December to review the recommendations and will make final recommendations for consideration by the full CJSB in December.  

I urge you to carefully review the information from our DCJS website, and if you have any questions, please contact Julia Fuller-Wilson at (804) 371-0386 or Julia.fuller-wilson@dcjs.virginia.gov

If Unthinkable Happens, New Child Safety Seat Sticker Could Save a Life | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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If Unthinkable Happens, New Child Safety Seat Sticker Could Save a Life

August 13, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Pertinent Contact, Medical Information Available for 1st Responders

RICHMOND – Imagine this scenario: there’s a serious car crash involving a family; an infant in a child safety seat has a specific medical condition and needs care, but the other people in the car are unable to communicate.

Virginia’s new Child Safety Seat Emergency Identification Sticker is a tool to aid fire, rescue and law enforcement officers in this situation so they can learn important personal and medical information about a child. Also, if the other vehicle occupants in this scenario need medical care and the infant does not, the sticker lists an emergency contact person for the child.

Developed by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) Highway Safety Office, the Child Safety Seat Emergency ID Sticker is reflective and has two parts. Two small square stickers are placed on the sides of the car seat so first responders will know to look for the main sticker. The main sticker -- located on another part of the seat that’s not visible – contains ID and medical information. The two-part design allows the child’s personal information to be protected from view.

A news conference to introduce this important safety sticker to Virginians will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m. in the parking lot at the Children’s Museum of Richmond (CMoR) at 2626 West Broad Street. Speakers from CMoR, DMV, Virginia State Police and Virginia Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services will provide information about the sticker.

In addition, a child safety seat check event will begin after the news conference. Anyone who transports children is invited to have their child seat checked by a certified child passenger safety technician to ensure it is properly installed. Nationally, approximately four-out-of-five car seats are installed incorrectly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In passenger cars, properly installed child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.

A DMV 2 Go mobile office also will be available during the event to conduct a variety of transactions, including Virginia child identification cards, birth certificates and all other DMV-related services.

# # #

Contact: Brandy Brubaker
(804) 367-6834           
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $50M DOJ Award for Crime Victims’ Services | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Governor McAuliffe Announces More Than $50M DOJ Award for Crime Victims’ Services

August 12, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Virginia has been awarded more than $50 million in federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds from the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). This year’s award is more than four times the amount the state received in 2014. Funds will support and improve services for crime victims.

“April marked the 20th anniversary of the Virginia’s Victims’ Bill of Rights. We have made great progress over the years, but there is a great deal yet to do,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “VOCA funds, in tandem with state support, have played a key role in our efforts, and this increase will give us a great opportunity to expand services for crime victims.”

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Brian Moran noted that, “Virginia’s progress in addressing crime victims’ needs is the result of a lot of hard work by local and state agencies, advocacy groups and dedicated individuals.  We’ll be drawing on their expertise as we look at ways to put the additional funds to work.”

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Director, Francine Ecker, echoed the Secretary’s comments:  “We’ll be consulting with our partners to determine the best uses of the additional funds. We see this as an excellent opportunity to address some long-standing needs, and we’re looking forward to collaborating with them as we move forward.”

The 1984 Victims of Crime Act created the Crime Victims Fund, which is one of the major sources of support for victim services each year in Virginia and throughout the United States.  The money in the Fund comes from criminal fines and other sources, not from taxpayers.

DCJS receives and administers VOCA victim assistance funds for Virginia. DCJS uses the money, in combination with state funds, to provide training, technical assistance and grants to support local victim/witness programs, sexual assault crisis centers, domestic violence programs and child abuse treatment programs throughout the state.

Since 2000, Congress has capped the Fund’s available money distribution each year. The annual caps are intended to minimize the impact of fluctuations in deposits into the Fund each year and stabilize it as a source of support for services. The appropriations bill signed by President Obama last December raised the cap from $745 million to $2.36 billion which produced an unprecedented increase in distributed funds.

DCJS will also be conducting public listening sessions throughout Virginia beginning in September.  These sessions will be designed to inform the public of this unprecedented opportunity and to get suggestions on ways to expand and improve services for crime victims.  Details on dates and locations for the listening sessions will be posted on the DCJS website (dcjs.virginia.gov) when they are finalized.

# # #

Office of the Governor
Contact: Christina Nuckols
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Contact: Kay Bullock
Phone: (804) 786-3973
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Governor McAuliffe Announces more than $50 million DOJ Award for Crime Victims’ Services

EDITORIAL: No-bull Durham shows leadership in difficult situation | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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EDITORIAL: No-bull Durham shows leadership in difficult situation

August 8, 2015 | Virginia News

When a white police officer shot and killed a young black man in Richmond a few days ago, things could have gone from bad to catastrophic very quickly. We’ve had plenty of experience lately of young black people dying in police shootings, some under debatable circumstances.

This time, tensions didn’t burst into flame — for three reasons.

For one, the young man who died, Keshawn Hargrove, was armed, and shot first. Even the most ardent civil libertarians recognize that law-enforcement officers have every right to use deadly force in a situation like that. As King Salim Khalfani, a former leader of the Richmond NAACP, put it: “I understand the pain, man, but if what we heard is true, you can’t run down the street firing at police and ducking for cover. Not a smart thing to do.”

Second: The young man’s mother acted like a saint. In a moment of unbearable grief she apologized for her son’s behavior, urged an angry crowd to be patient, extended her thanks to the officers who tried to give Hargrove first aid, and asked only for a fair inquiry into his death.

Last — but far from least: Police Chief Alfred Durham, who has been in office only six months, handled the situation with authority, deftness, and tact far out of proportion to his short tenure.

Following the first rule of crisis management, Durham fully disclosed details of how the episode unfolded. ...

Read the full story...

New prosecutor targeting street gangs dealing heroin | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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New prosecutor targeting street gangs dealing heroin

August 7, 2015 | Virginia News

By Scott Daugherty | The Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK — John Butler planned to take a few months off earlier this year to work on his master's degree.

The veteran attorney had left the Navy after nine years as a judge advocate general - serving in San Diego, Norfolk and Kandahar, Afghanistan. He wasn't really interested in juggling school and work.

But then a dream job fell in his lap: Taking down violent street gangs dealing heroin on the streets of Hampton Roads.

"I could not conceive of a better opportunity than this," Butler said last week from his office in the World Trade Center in Norfolk. "I had to make this happen. I couldn't pass this up."

Butler was hired in February as an assistant attorney general with the state's Major Crimes and Emerging Threats Section, but he's not like other state lawyers. He also serves as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, prosecuting criminal cases full time in federal court.

"He's unique," said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente, noting that most other state prosecutors who work with his office do it only a few days a month. "He is full time, all the time, every day." ...

Read the full story...

Update from DFS: Breath Alcohol Records | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Update from DFS: Breath Alcohol Records

August 6, 2015 | Virginia News

The Department of Forensic Science’s Breath Alcohol Section has made additional Breath Alcohol records available online.

DFS currently receives approximately 400 requests per month for Breath Alcohol records via Subpoenas Duces Tecum and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  Internet availability offers stakeholders and the public convenient and timely access to the most commonly requested Breath Alcohol records.

Instrument Quality Assurance Records have been available online since June 2014. The searchable records now available on the website include expanded Instrument Records, Operator Records, Subject Test Records and Statistical Reports. Personally identifying information has been redacted from all Subject Test Records. This enhanced access to Breath Alcohol records was made possible through a grant administered by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office.

Breath Alcohol records may be accessed from the DFS website here: http://www.dfs.virginia.gov/laboratory-forensic-services/breath-alcohol/ba-records/.

For more information, please contact the Breath Alcohol Section at (804) 786-6971 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg law enforcement agencies establish safe zones for meet-ups | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg law enforcement agencies establish safe zones for meet-ups

August 6, 2015 | Virginia News

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office and the Fredericksburg Police Department — joining law enforcement agencies across the nation — announce an opportunity to have a safe place for individuals to meet up with a stranger to buy or sell items.



The three law enforcement agencies have opened up their parking lots as a safe place to purchase or sell items, often times done on the internet.  These safe zones will allow citizens a chance to conduct their business in a protected environment.  The safe zones will be available to citizens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  While the law enforcement agencies are not responsible for the sale of items, they are committed to providing citizens with an area where they feel safe when making such transactions. The well-lit parking lots also provide video surveillance around the clock.

“If individuals hesitate to make a transaction at one of our headquarters, that can be a pretty good indicator that this may not be the person you want to do business with,” states Sheriff Charles Jett, Sheriff Roger Harris and Chief of Police David Nye.  “We are excited about providing this safe zone venue for the citizens of Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties and the City of Fredericksburg.”

Stafford County Sheriff’s Office – Public Safety Center
1225 Courthouse Road, Stafford, Virginia 22555
PIO Bill Kennedy  540-658-4468

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
9119 Dean Ridings Lane, Spotsylvania, Virginia 22551
PIO Captain Jeff Pearce 540-507-7640 

Fredericksburg Police Department
2200 Cowan Blvd., Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401
PIO Sarah Kirkpatrick 540-654-5701

 

 

 

What happens to the cash, assets seized from captured criminals? | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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What happens to the cash, assets seized from captured criminals?

August 3, 2015 | Virginia News

Unlike the federal program, all asset forfeitures in Virginia require a court proceeding, and the burden is on the state to prove “by a preponderance of the evidence” that the property seized is connected to a serious crime — usually felony drug distribution.

By MARK BOWES | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The more than $62 million in assets seized by Virginia law enforcement from suspected narcotics traffickers and other drug dealers in the past seven years range from the mundane to the insanely extravagant.

On the high end, gold Krugerrand coins, $36,000 diamond-encrusted watches, a $100,000 Porsche, tricked-out chopper motorcycles, $20,000 worth of sneakers, custom 31-foot fishing boats, waterfront homes and piles of cash — as much as $401,200 in a single bust — top the list of loot that police confiscated since 2008 through Virginia’s civil asset-forfeiture program.

Although police seize nearly anything associated with criminal activity, the largest assets in terms of value have been, without exception, cash — totaling millions a year.

Nearly $26 million of the $62 million seized has been disbursed so far in civil asset-forfeiture proceedings across the state, with police using the funds to buy Tasers, body cameras, ballistic protective gear, laptops, forensic equipment and additional training for officers.

But the process under Virginia law that police agencies use to have seized assets forfeited to them has come under increased scrutiny this year by liberal and conservative groups and some members of the General Assembly.

Two bills introduced by Republican legislators in the House and the Senate would have required criminal defendants to be convicted of crimes before any assets they used or gained during the commission of crimes could be forfeited to police. But the legislation ultimately was sent to the Virginia Crime Commission for further study.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe also got involved by proposing amendments requiring a criminal conviction ahead of forfeiture to a third, less controversial bill that simply required police to conduct an inventory of seized assets and provide a copy to property owners. But the assembly passed by the governor’s amendments, effectively killing them, and McAuliffe signed the original bill into law.

Proponents of tightening the law, including the ACLU and the Virginia Tea Party Federation, claim police can seize and keep property unless owners can prove they obtained it lawfully — placing the burden of proof on the property owner instead of the state. They said the system creates a built-in profit incentive for police and state prosecutors who file lawsuits to obtain the assets.

But opponents, such as the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, say the program’s detractors have erroneously and misleadingly confused federal asset-forfeiture law with Virginia law, which clearly places the burden of proof on the state before property can be forfeited. They say statutory safeguards already are in place and that seized assets in contested cases rarely are forfeited by property owners until after they are convicted of a crime.

Some defense attorneys and other critics, however, say the law is unjust in terms of fair representation because some defendants do not have the means to fight for their property. A national libertarian organization has given Virginia’s forfeiture laws a near-failing grade. ...

Read the full story...

Policing an urban university without gates or gatekeepers is VCU Police’s challenge | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Policing an urban university without gates or gatekeepers is VCU Police’s challenge

August 3, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Policing a university the size of VCU comes with far more challenges than departments on small campuses encounter, with no downtime in the summer to regroup and plan.

By KARIN KAPSIDELIS | Richmond Times-Dispatch

A friend snapped a picture of the Virginia Commonwealth University student sleeping soundly on the library floor, beneath a table where he’d left his laptop computer unprotected.

The friend wasn’t there later to capture the image of the thief who took the laptop, but the VCU Police Department’s cameras were.

Chief John Venuti says he needs the “50,000 sets of eyes and ears” on VCU’s two campuses to do his job, but he also has the help of an extensive surveillance system of nearly 600 cameras, 92 sworn officers who wear body cameras on patrol and his new approach to campus policing.

At an urban university with no gates or gatekeepers, where “everybody fits in, everybody belongs,” Venuti said, his department’s success depends on partnerships not just with the students and employees on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses but also with adjacent neighborhoods and law enforcement agencies.

“With an environment like this, with a community this large, you need everyone,” said Venuti, who in June was honored at the Campus Safety National Forum in Washington as a Director of the Year, an award presented by Campus Safety magazine. ...

Read the full story...

Virginia State Police Appoint New Director, Deputy Director of Investigative Bureau | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Virginia State Police Appoint New Director, Deputy Director of Investigative Bureau

July 24, 2015 | Virginia News

RICHMOND – Two veteran Virginia State Police investigators have been appointed to Director and Deputy Director of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). The promotions resulted from the retirement of BCI Director, Lt. Colonel H.C. Davis.

NEWBCI is the investigative arm of the Virginia State Police and consists of seven field offices across the Commonwealth. Within each field office is a General Investigative Section (GIS) and a Drug Enforcement Section (DES). The bureau also consists of the High-Tech Crimes Division, Criminal Intelligence Division, Help Eliminate Auto Theft (H.E.A.T.) Unit, Insurance Fraud Unit, and Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction (CCI) Unit.

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent, appointed Major Rick A. Jenkins, the BCI Deputy Director since 2010, as the new Bureau Director effective July 10, 2015. A native of Fauquier County, Jenkins began his state police career in 1978 as a dispatcher in the Culpeper Division. He graduated from the state police Academy in 1981 with his first patrol assignment as a trooper in Spotsylvania County. During the next 23 years, the highly-skilled investigator and supervisor moved through the state police ranks as a special agent, special agent accountant, and supervisor in the Culpeper Field Office. In 2004, he was promoted to the rank of BCI captain and oversaw that office’s GIS and DES personnel.

Jenkins earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Mary Washington and a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Criminal Justice Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of the Administrative Officers Management Program from North Carolina State University. During his tenure with the Department, Jenkins has also earned numerous awards and recognitions for his investigative expertise and dedication to public service.

Effective July 25, 2015, Captain Gary T. Settle will step into the BCI Deputy Director position vacated by Jenkins. Settle is currently the BCI commander for the Culpeper Field Office. Settle began his law enforcement career in 1984 as a deputy with the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office. He joined the state police in 1986 and was assigned to Frederick and Clarke counties as a new trooper. In 1996, he was elected sheriff in Rappahannock County and in 2000 returned to state police. During his tenure with state police, Settle has served as a special agent, sergeant, first sergeant, field lieutenant, DES lieutenant and captain, while assigned to the state police Culpeper and Wytheville divisions. He was appointed to BCI captain of the Culpeper Field Office July 25, 2010.

Settle earned a Master’s in Homeland Security and Defense from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and holds a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration. He also completed the University of Virginia National Criminal Justice Command College and the National Sheriff’s Institute Executive Management Program in Colorado.

Retiring after a distinguished 39-year career with state police, Lt. Col. Davis has accepted a position with the Virginia Parole Board. Davis joined state police in 1976 and has served in various positions with the Department, to include special agent, assistant special agent-in-charge, deputy assistant and assistant director of the Drug Enforcement Division, and Bureau Director of Administrative and Support Services (BASS). He was appointed to BCI Director in 2007. Davis is a graduate of Danville Community College, Averett University, and Old Dominion University, where he earned a Master of Public Administration degree in 1996. In addition, he has completed the Administrative Officers Management Program at North Carolina State University, the Advanced Police Executive Development Program at Pennsylvania State University, the Virginia Executive Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond. He has also earned numerous awards and recognitions during his law enforcement career, and is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.

# # #

Deborah Cox
Public Relations/Virginia State Police
Office: 804.674.2843/email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Governor McAuliffe to Convene Work Group to Evaluate Criteria for PERK Evidence Testing | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Governor McAuliffe to Convene Work Group to Evaluate Criteria for PERK Evidence Testing

July 23, 2015 | Virginia News

RICHMOND – A group comprised of representatives of victim advocate groups, Commonwealth’s Attorneys, the criminal defense bar, local law enforcement, forensic nurses and others will convene in September to consider what categories of evidence gathered by Physical Evidence Recovery Kits (PERKs) should be forwarded to the Department of Forensic Science for testing, Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced.

A July 1 report issued by the Department of Forensic Science entitled “Physical Evidence Recovery Kit Inventory Report,” pursuant to Chapter 642, 2014 Acts of Assembly, included an inventory of all PERKs in the custody of state and local law enforcement agencies that “may contain biological evidence that were collected but not submitted to the Department of Forensic Science for analysis prior to July 1, 2014.”  A total of 2,369 kits were not submitted for a variety of reasons cited by the law enforcement agencies.

“Legitimate questions are being raised in the legal and law enforcement communities about how the decisions to test PERK evidence are made,” Governor McAuliffe said. “When it comes to handling of critical evidence, we cannot afford to let these questions linger.  Therefore, to address this issue and to help establish clearer guidelines for PERK testing, I am convening this special work group.”

“This diverse group will bring its expertise in this area to make recommendations on procedures that will ensure the appropriate preservation of DNA evidence,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, who will chair the work group’s meetings.

Here is a link to the full report:  http://leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.nsf/By+Year/SD132015/$file/SD13.pdf.

# # #

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
Contact: Greg Davy
Phone: 804-971-3973
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Chief Spare Returns to Warsaw | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Chief Spare Returns to Warsaw

July 23, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Christopher J. Spare retired as Chief of Police from the Town of Warsaw on June 30, 2015. The Warsaw Town Council voted 8-0 on July 20 to offer Chris a contract to be part-time Chief starting August 1.

Chris was born and raised in Williamsburg and is a lifelong Virginia resident.  He graduated from Lafayette High School and served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps.  He has served in law enforcement since 1989 with several agencies: Kingsmill Police Department, King & Queen County Sheriff’s Office, New Kent County Sheriff’s Office and West Point Police Department.

Chris was appointed as Chief of Police for the Town of Gordonsville in March 2005 and then appointed Chief in Warsaw in January 2011.  During his career he earned an Associate’s Degree in General Studies from Rappahannock Community College and a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree both in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Chris has been and still is an Adjunct with Rappahannock Community College.

Chris and his wife Shirley have been married nearly 24 years and have two daughters, Katherine (20) and Elizabeth (18).

Haymarket readies to hire new police chief | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Haymarket readies to hire new police chief

July 16, 2015 | Virginia News

By Dan Roem | Gainesville Times

Gainesville Times At some point in the next month or two, it's likely that the Town of Haymarket will have a new police chief.

On July 9, a special committee made up of two council members, the town manager, the interim police chief and three town citizens met for the the second time to wrap up the process for reviewing applications.

According to town manager Brian Henshaw, 52 candidates applied for the position.

The town is not taking any more applications and the committee is planning to meet again in August to conduct the first round of interviews.

Council members Chris Morris and Kurt Woods sit on the committee which first met May 21. Morris serves as the chairman of the public safety committee and Woods chairs the personnel committee.

The two town staffers are Henshaw and interim police chief Greg Smith, who took over from former police chief Jim Roop last year after the council accepted Roop's resignation amid controversy.

Source URL: http://www.northernvatimes.com/gainesville/article/haymarket-readies-to-hire-new-police-chief

Bradley Marshall, Mike Manning and William Hunt make up the three town representatives, according to Henshaw.

"We're in the process of reviewing candidates and resumes," said Henshaw. "We're assessing candidates' abilities."

Smith joined the force as an interim chief with the plan that he would eventually go back into retirement.

"He is not applying for it. He is still the interim chief. When he came on, he said he'd probably give us about a year," said Henshaw.

"We're quickly approaching that year time. He may be on a little longer."

However, the town manager noted that Smith is "not a candidate for the final selection.”

"I will add though that we're very, very pleased with his time with us," Henshaw added, adding that Smith would like to go back into retirement.

The next full-time police chief will earn $68-92,500, said Henshaw. The exact amount is yet to be determined given that the council is dealing with salary adjustments and raises for town personnel.

Council member pay is not included in those raises, noted the town manager.

The point of the raises is to "try to get us a little bit more competitive with the surrounding jurisdictions,” he said.

As for the committee selecting Smith's replacement, Henshaw mentioned its members will winnow the field of candidates down from 52 to as many as seven and will then recommend two or three to the town council for a second interview.

The town council will ultimately be tasked with approving the next police chief.

Retiring Portsmouth Chief Ed Hargis picked to lead Frederick, Md. police | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Retiring Portsmouth Chief Ed Hargis picked to lead Frederick, Md. police

July 16, 2015 | Virginia News

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- Mayor Randy McClement has chosen the police chief in Portsmouth, Virginia, to lead the Frederick Police Department in Maryland.

McClement announced the appointment of Edward Hargis (HAR'-jiss) as police chief Thursday. He succeeds Thomas Ledwell, who retired in September after about 22 months in the position.

Hargis takes over from Acting Chief Patrick Grossman on July 27.

Hargis has served as chief of police in Portsmouth for six years. McClement says he has focused on crime reduction and community engagement.

Hargis says today's law enforcement agencies must make every effort to develop trust and transparency with citizens.

Portsmouth is a city of about 96,000 people near Norfolk, Virginia.

Frederick is a fast-growing city of about 68,000 located about 45 miles from both Baltimore and Washington.

Portsmouth Welcomes Former Chief Dennis Mook Back as Interim Chief | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Portsmouth Welcomes Former Chief Dennis Mook Back as Interim Chief

July 14, 2015 | Virginia News

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Members of the Portsmouth Police Department welcome the return of Interim Police Chief Dennis Mook who has assumed the role of the city’s Top Cop as of July 1, 2015. A law enforcement veteran with over 40 years of experience in the local, federal and private sectors, Dennis Mook is no stranger to the Hampton Roads area. Dennis began his career as a Portsmouth police officer in February 1974. While in Portsmouth Dennis worked his way through the ranks as a rookie patrol officer and eventually retiring as Chief of Police in June of 1997.

Upon retirement from Portsmouth, Dennis Mook took on the role of Chief of Police for the Newport News Police Department from 1997-2004.  Following retirement with that agency, Dennis joined the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and served in several capacities including Special Assistant to the Executive Assistant Director for the Atlantic and European Regions.  Finally, Dennis served as the President and CEO of Public Safety Advisors, Inc., a Virginia based company dedicated to assisting law enforcement at the local, state and federal level.

During his tenure as police chief in Portsmouth, Dennis is credited with the development of the department’s community policing program.  This was an effort to build upon the strengths of the community to assist the department in solving and preventing crimes while building new and better relationships with citizens.  He continued his community policing efforts in Newport News where the department received a “Weed and Seed” designation from the U.S. Department of Justice for their efforts in eliminating conditions conducive to crime and galvanize the community to create new infrastructure to eliminate the return of that criminal activity. 

Dennis was one of the principal architects and project manager of the award winning and nationally acclaimed law enforcement information sharing system or “LInX” system.  Dennis was also appointed by the Governor to participate in creating Virginia’s Amber Alert plan.  In addition to his many contributions to the law enforcement profession, Dennis has been the recipient of numerous local, regional and national awards to include the 2006 International Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Information Management section award for the Law Enforcement Information Exchange program (LInX).  This is a national award that is given for the best regional technology project. 
    
Enthusiastic about returning to the department where he began his career, Chief Dennis Mook says “I feel like I have returned home.  My goal is to bring the police department closer to the community in which it serves.  I enjoy making a difference in people’s lives and want to continue doing just that”.  Dennis brings to Portsmouth a record of effective and collaborative leadership, as well as a commitment to modernization.  In addition he is well respected for his dedicated involvement with community stakeholders and other law enforcement agencies, ensuring that they work together to address local and regional issues of concern.

Dennis Mook is a graduate of George Washington University with a Master of Arts degree and Baldwin-Wallace University with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He is also a graduate of the 32nd session of the Law Enforcement Executive Development Program and 158th session of the F.B.I. National Academy, The Leadership Institute of the Virginia Peninsula, the University of Richmond’s Professional Executive Leadership School and the University of Virginia’s Management Excellence Program, just to name a few.  Dennis is active in several state and national law enforcement organizations to include the International, Virginia, and Hampton Roads Associations of Chiefs of Police. 

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DFS Publishes PERK Inventory Report | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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DFS Publishes PERK Inventory Report

July 7, 2015 | Virginia News

Pursuant to Senate Bill 658 (Chapter 642 of the 2014 Acts of Assembly), all state and local law enforcement agencies were required to inventory all PERKs in their custody that may contain biological evidence that were collected but not submitted to DFS for analysis prior to July 1, 2014.

The legislation further directed that the Department of Forensic Science was to “receive the reports from such law-enforcement agencies and report the results of such inventory to the General Assembly on or before July 1, 2015.”

The report to the General assembly is posted on the Legislative Information System website and can be found HERE.


State forensics lab submits report on untested evidence kits in rape cases

By FRANK GREEN | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science has released a report on the inventories of 383 law enforcement agencies’ untested evidence kits that can be used to obtain DNA in rape investigations.
Legislation passed last year by the General Assembly required state and local law enforcement agencies to report the number of untested “PERKs” — physical evidence recovery kits — in their possession that might hold biological evidence. The department also collected reasons agencies did not submit them for testing.

“The issue of untested PERKs has generated national attention. One of the reasons cited nationally for why many PERKs have not been submitted for testing has been that crime laboratories have significant backlogs and, in many instances, were not accepting new evidence for testing as a result. This is not the case in Virginia,” the department reports.

The department said it handles the DNA testing in roughly 700 kits per year with a turnaround time of 72 days.

More than 99 percent of Virginia law enforcement agencies in Virginia responded to the department as of June 30, the department reported. Of those 383, 247 said they had no kits in their custody, and 136 reported a combined 2,369 untested kits.

The most commonly cited reason for not submitting a kit for testing, in 598 cases, was that testing was not relevant to the investigation or needed for prosecution — for example, the suspect claims sexual relations were consensual.

In an additional 522 cases, the victim decided not to participate in the investigation and/or prosecution. The reason was listed as “other” in 460 cases, of which 250 were said to be unfounded or false.

The kits were collected in an additional 120 cases for what were described as routine death investigations.

The report suggests Virginia does not have a backlog problem found in some other states. According to a recent Rape Kit Action Project report, there were 3,000 untested kits in Phoenix, 11,000 in Detroit, and 12,000 in Memphis, Tenn.

Fairfax County — the state’s most populous jurisdiction, with more than 1.1 million residents — had the highest number of untested kits, 347. Richmond reported 257 untested kits; Henrico County, 39; and Chesterfield County, 153.

Resources for Virginia Law Enforcement on New Laws Effective July 1, 2015 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Resources for Virginia Law Enforcement on New Laws Effective July 1, 2015

July 2, 2015 | VACP

Below are a collection of publications and other documents for law enforcement detailing changes made to state law during the 2015 General Assembly Session.

”Selected Acts of the 2015 Virginia General Assembly" Report from Virginia State Police (PDF)
This volume of Selected Acts contains legislation passed by the 2015 Session of the Virginia General Assembly that is relevant to criminal law and highway safety.
 

2015 DMV Legislative Bulletin (PDF)
Report on legislation related to highway safety and vehicle licensing and registration
 

2015 Commonwealth Attorney's Services Council New Laws Update:

Buena Vista Hires New Police Chief | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Buena Vista Hires New Police Chief

June 24, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Keith Hartman, a 23-year veteran of Newport News Police, began his new job June 1

Buena Vista has a new police chief. Richard Keith Hartman, a 23-year veteran of the Newport News police department who most recently served as captain of the city’s North precinct, [began] his new job Monday, June 1. Hartman said he’s looking forward to beginning work in Buena Vista. He said he’s anxious to meet everyone that he’ll be working with, and welcomes the many challenges and opportunities that will come with his new job.

Hartman, 52, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., holds a master’s degree in public administration from Troy University and a bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo University. He’s undergone training at various law enforcement schools, including the FBI National Academy in Quantico. He said he and his wife Beth are the parents of five children and also have five grandchildren.

Hartman was selected from among seven candidates who applied for the job. Taking part in the selection process was a committee composed of two retired police chiefs from outside the area, two members of City Council, City Manager Jay Scudder and interim Police Chief Garth Wheeler. 

Wheeler served as Buena Vista’s interim chief for a little more than a year. A 33-year veteran of law enforcement, Wheeler came to Buena Vista in April of last year, shortly after he stepped down as director of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. In that position, he was an appointee of former Gov. Bob McDonnell. Darrell Slagle and Jay Patterson had been chief and assistant chief, respectively, of the Buena Vista police department, before both retired last year.

Justices Rule Police Must Obtain Warrant to Search Hotel or Motel Registries | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Justices Rule Police Must Obtain Warrant to Search Hotel or Motel Registries

June 23, 2015 | National News

By ADAM LIPTAK | NEW YORK TIMES

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Los Angeles ordinance that allowed the police to inspect hotel and motel guest registries without permission from a judge. In a second decision, the court clarified the standards for excessive force claims against corrections officers from people awaiting trial.

Both cases were decided by 5-to-4 votes, with the court’s more liberal members in the majority.

The case concerning hotel registries is likely to have a broad impact, as dozens of cities allow warrantless searches, which law enforcement officials say help them catch fugitives and fight prostitution and drug dealing.

A group of motel owners challenged the Los Angeles law. They said they were not troubled by its requirement that they keep records about their guests. But they objected to a second part of the ordinance, which allowed the police to look at the registries at any time without the owners’ consent or a search warrant.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the majority, said most owners were not likely to object. But those who do, she said, must be given the opportunity to make their case to a “neutral decision maker” before they are forced to turn over the records or risk arrest.

“Absent an opportunity for precompliance review,” Justice Sotomayor wrote, “the ordinance creates an intolerable risk that searches authorized by it will exceed statutory limits, or be used as a pretext to harass hotel operators and their guests. Even if a hotel has been searched 10 times a day, every day, for three months, without any violation being found, the operator can only refuse to comply with an officer’s demand to turn over the registry at his or her own peril.”

Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the majority opinion.

If a police officer fears the owner will tamper with the records while a judge considers the matter, Justice Sotomayor wrote, “he or she can guard the registry until the required hearing can occur, which ought not take long.”

In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia called that approach “equal parts 1984 and Alice in Wonderland.”

He added that the majority had struck a needless blow against a valuable and barely intrusive practice.

“Motels not only provide housing to vulnerable transient populations, they are also a particularly attractive site for criminal activity ranging from drug dealing and prostitution to human trafficking,” he wrote in an opinion joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas. “Offering privacy and anonymity on the cheap, they have been employed as prisons for migrants smuggled across the border and held for ransom and rendezvous sites where child sex workers meet.”

Given that, Justice Scalia wrote, “the limited warrantless searches authorized by Los Angeles’s ordinance are reasonable under the circumstances.” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. filed a separate dissent in the case, Los Angeles v. Patel, No. 13-1175.

The excessive-force case, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, No. 14-6368, concerned a lawsuit against Wisconsin jail officials who used a stun gun on a detainee after he was handcuffed and taken from his cell for refusing to remove a piece of paper covering a light fixture in his cell.

The detainee, Michael B. Kingsley, was awaiting trial on a drug charge.

The question for the justices was whether Mr. Kingsley had to prove that the officials subjectively believed that they had crossed a line in using too much force or that, as Justice Breyer put it for the majority, “a pretrial detainee must show only that the force purposely or knowingly used against him was objectively unreasonable.”

The second showing was enough, Justice Breyer wrote in an opinion joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan.

The standard should not be applied mechanically, Justice Breyer cautioned. “A court must make this determination from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, including what the officer knew at the time,” he wrote, “not with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts.

Justice Scalia said the majority’s approach was flawed.

“It is illogical,” he wrote, “automatically to infer punitive intent from the fact that a prison guard used more force against a pretrial detainee than was necessary. That could easily have been the result of a misjudgment about the degree of force required to maintain order or protect other inmates.”

“An officer’s decision regarding how much force to use,” Justice Scalia wrote, quoting an earlier decision, “is made ‘in haste, under pressure and frequently without the luxury of a second chance.’” Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas joined Justice Scalia’s dissent. In a separate dissent, Justice Alito said he would have dismissed the case and awaited another that presented the central questions more directly.

Garth Wheeler is new Middlesex County chief deputy | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Garth Wheeler is new Middlesex County chief deputy

June 11, 2015 | Virginia News

Middlesex Sheriff David Bushey and Major M.E. Sampson have been searching for a chief deputy to replace Lt. Jim Ellis who retired earlier this year.

Source: Southside Sentinel

 

Virginia’s Annual Crime Analysis Report Now Available for 2014 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Virginia’s Annual Crime Analysis Report Now Available for 2014

June 11, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2014 is now available online at the Virginia State Police Web site at http://www.vsp.virginia.gov, under “Forms & Publications.” The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses by the reporting agency as well as arrests by jurisdiction.

The following 2014 crime figures within Virginia are presented in the report:

  • Virginia experienced an increase in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) of 1.0 percent compared to 2013; this is in contrast to a 1.6 percent decrease comparing the same violent offenses between 2013 with 2012; The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.

  • Property crime such as burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft continued to decrease for the previous year (5.8 percent); a 3.9 percent decrease occurred between 2013 and 2012. The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.

  • The homicide rate per 100,000 population experienced a slight increase (4.05) compared to the previous year (3.84). Based on the ages reported, victims tended to be older than offenders; 21.4 percent of homicide victims were 50 years of age or older, while just 10.2 percent of offenders were in the same age group of 50 and older.

  • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 9.3 percent compared to the previous year.  Of the 7,696 motor vehicles stolen, 4,249 or 55 percent were recovered. Trucks and automobiles stolen had the highest percent recovered (66.2%, 63.4%, respectively), while recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) had the lowest percent recovered (34.2%, 33.3%). Four out-of-ten (41.6%) of all motor vehicle offenses were reported stolen from the location of residence or home. The value of all motor vehicles stolen and attempts to steal was $61,492,619, while the value recovered was $34,980,122 (56.9%).

  • Drug and narcotic offenses showed a slight decrease compared to the previous year (2.5 percent). Increases can be noted for 2013 (3.8 percent) as well as 2012 (9.4%) and 2011 (7.1%).

  • Fraud offenses increased by 12.5 percent when compared to 2013.

  • Robbery decreased 5.3 percent. Of the 4,313 robberies and attempted robberies, one-third (33.5%) took    place between 8 pm. and midnight. The days of the week showed little variability in terms of the number of robberies that took place.

  • Of the weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were the most frequently used in homicides (69.2%) and robberies (54.5%) followed by aggravated assaults (28.7%). 

  • There were 128 hate crimes reported in 2014. Two-thirds (66.4%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation was next highest with 17.2 percent while bias toward religion comprised 14.1 percent. The remaining 2.3 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. The offense of assault was associated with over half (52.3%) of all reported bias motivated crimes while destruction/damage/vandalism of property was associated with 36.7 percent of all reported bias motivated crimes.        

The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.

For Group A offenses, between 2013 and 2014, adult arrests in Virginia decreased 4.3 percent. Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses decreased 6.5 percent statewide during the same period of time. For Group B arrests, there was a decrease of 7.2 percent for adults, and a decrease of 8.6 percent for juveniles between 2013 and 2014. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 325,504 arrests in 2013 compared to 305,648 arrests in 2014, representing a decrease of 6.1 percent.

Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and are sent to the FBI who modifies and incorporates them in their annual report, Crime in the United States.

 

Scholarships Offered to Mid-Rank LEOs to Attend IACP Conference | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Scholarships Offered to Mid-Rank LEOs to Attend IACP Conference

June 11, 2015 | National News

NIJ has partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to offer 10 merit-based scholarships for mid-rank law enforcement officers to attend the 2015 IACP Annual Conference and Expo in Chicago, Illinois, as part of the Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) program. If selected, the officers will have access to exclusive education and networking opportunities in addition to full access to conference workshops, including:

  • NIJ’s Saturday session: What Works and What Matters in Policing.
  • Participation in the IACP Research Advisory Committee meeting.
  • Exclusive roundtable with NIJ Director Nancy Rodriguez and NIJ Deputy Director Howard Spivak.
  • Attendance at the IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Awards banquet.
  • Opportunity to network with the previous LEADS scholars.

If you are selected to participate, NIJ will cover your cost of travel, conference registration, per diem expenses and accommodations.

Take advantage of this opportunity, learn how to apply.

Deadline: July 10, 2015

 

 

Adding to Law Enforcement’s Toolbelt | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Adding to Law Enforcement’s Toolbelt

June 4, 2015 | Virginia News

Town of Warrenton Police Receive Crisis Intervention Training

by Debbie Eisele, Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine

Recently, members of the Warrenton, Va. community conducted the Valor Awards Dinner, which recognizes law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders. Many who attended were afforded the opportunity to hear actual stories of how these amazing public servants help our community throughout each year.

Every year, local law enforcement officers, dispatchers and security personnel may become involved in situations pertaining to those in crisis. This means that depression, mental health issues or substance abuse has been an issue that has negatively impacted a person and created a situation that may be dangerous to themselves or others around them. Between July 2014 and September 2014, law enforcement officers addressed this very important issue with 438 citizens, in a five county area. Approximately 71 of these cases were hospitalized either in Fauquier County Hospital or UVA Culpeper County Hospital. In Warrenton alone, 25 separate instances occurred in which individuals were assisted in 2014 and 4 already in 2015. Officials in our area have taken the opportunity to initiate a training program that is designed to help officers, dispatchers and security personnel understand how to react to the challenges these types of situations may present. Through his desire to truly help citizens, Warrenton Chief Louis Battle became involved with Crisis Intervention Training program (CIT).

CIT is an intensive 40 hour training session designed specifically to teach officers strategies and methods on how to cope with tough situations involving individuals in crisis. The training is designed to help those in need with the local community by avoiding an escalation in a situation that could turn violent.

The training “provides officers with another tool in their toolbelt,” Chief Battle of Warrenton Police Department said as he shared the information on the CIT. The primary goal of this comprehensive training is “to give the officers the strategy and ability to communicate with individuals in crisis and with mental health issues. The communication allows them de-escalate a situation and obtain voluntary compliance. This allows officers to individually participate in the assistance of people requiring help for their substance abuse or mental health treatment. Instead of processing individuals into the criminal justice system, they are placed in programs that can truly assist them with their specific needs and get them the help that so many of them require to get well.”

CIT was initially started in this region through the Rapidan Rappahannock Crisis Intervention Team - comprised of regional members from Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison and Orange Counties. Chief Battle has been an avid supporter of this program and instrumental in CIT gaining traction within the Town and County.

Currently, the CIT Steering Committee includes Brian Duncan, Executive Director Rappahannock Rapidan; Chief Lou Battle, Town of Warrenton; Sallie Morgan, Mental Health Association; Eric Fling & Mike Spory, Department of Corrections; Tom Pavelko and Katie Heritage, Fauquier County; Robert Weigle, National Alliance on Mental Illness. The Steering Committee has secured funding for a CIT Coordinator for the Rapidan Rappahannock Region for fiscal year 2016. Members of the Committee are hoping to have a candidate hired and in place by July 2015. This CIT Coordinator will help strengthen the relationships between the necessary training and local professionals who can assist those with substance abuse or mental health problems.

According to Brian Duncan, “the group is reaching out to local hospitals, such as the UVA Culpeper Hospital, to discuss the potential of securing drop-off locations for individuals in crisis (known as an Assessment Center). These locations will have appropriate staff in place to medically assist those in need. We are hoping to designate a drop-off location as soon as possible.” Recently, this team was involved with submitting a grant application in the hopes of securing the necessary funds for the creation of an Assessment Center.

Currently, in Fauquier County and surrounding areas, many officers as well as dispatchers are in the process of completing or have completed this program. As of May, all law enforcement officers in the Town of Warrenton have successfully completed this intensive training. The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office has four deputies and four dispatchers certified and plans to continue enrolling individuals. Sheriff Fox has set a goal to have all dispatchers trained by the end of the year and eventually have all sworn personnel trained in CIT.

The Town and County law enforcement officers are committed to assisting those in need and welcome the opportunity to work with others in the medical professions in order to obtain the care and assistance for individuals with addiction, mental health, or depression issues. As Chief Battle explained, “The purpose of this training is to assist law enforcement officers in creating a calmer atmosphere, where a potentially violent one may exist, and in essence strives to protect all involved including the affected individual, others in the community near the situation and also law enforcement officers.”

Crisis Intervention Training is an important aspect of law enforcement. Implementing this program indicates the positive impact that public servants wish to have in the community. “This is a valuable training program that will enable officers, dispatchers and security officers at local colleges and hospitals to handle very difficult situations in a way that serves not only to protect citizens, but to help those in need,” said Brian Duncan, Executive Director for Rappahannock Rapidan.

The local CIT works in conjunction with the Virginia Crisis Intervention Team (VACIT) Coalition, which is a collaborative group. According to VACIT’s website, their mission is “to promote and support the effective development and implementation of CIT programs in Virginia in order to improve the criminal justie and mental health systems and to help prevent inappropriate incarceration of individuals with mental illness.” The members of this organization will work with local members to “share ideas and resources all for the betterment of the citizens of the Commonwealth.” To learn more about the VACIT Coalition, please visit their website http://www.vacitcoalition.org/programs.

VIEW PRINT ARTICLE (PDF)

June Begins “Move Over Awareness Month” in Virginia | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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June Begins “Move Over Awareness Month” in Virginia

June 4, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image RICHMOND – Virginia is for the “Move Over” law, especially during the month of June, which is now designated as “Move Over Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth. The designation is the result of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session and continues the effort to raise drivers’ attention about this lifesaving law.

JUNE BEGINS “MOVE OVER AWARENESS MONTH” IN VIRGINIA

RICHMOND – Virginia is for the “Move Over” law, especially during the month of June, which is now designated as “Move Over Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth. The designation is the result of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session and continues the effort to raise drivers’ attention about this lifesaving law.

According to statistics about causes of law enforcement officers’ deaths, 22 public safety professionals across the nation were struck and killed by a vehicle in 2013-2014. Since 2005, there have been a total of 123 law enforcement personnel killed as a result of being struck by a vehicle in the U.S.* For more information about officer deaths in 2015, visit http://www.nleomf.org/facts/recently-fallen/recently-fallen-2015/

Officer safety is one component of the Virginia State Police’s Drive 2 Save Lives campaign which is aimed at decreasing traffic fatalities overall to include lowering the number of public safety professionals and highway workers who are injured or killed. The “Move Over” law is part of that initiative.

Virginia’s “Move Over” law went into effect thirteen years ago to protect first responders working on the highway. The law was further expanded in 2010 to include highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with amber lights. Across the nation, every state has a “Move Over” law.

During the month of June, Virginia State Police will post to the Department’s Facebook page weekly photos of sworn members, their families and colleagues about why “moving over” matters. Additionally, the Fredericksburg Regional Traffic Incident Management Coalition created a 2015 public service announcement about the law as part of “Move Over Awareness Month.” You can find it here: http://www.vsp.state.va.us/psa-moveover.shtm

For additional PSA’s, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vsp-photos/. For more resources about Move over laws and what you need to know, visit: http://www.moveoverlaws.com.

# # #

*Source: Nat’l Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund www.nleomf.com

Virginia’s new TNC law goes into effect on July 1 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Virginia’s new TNC law goes into effect on July 1

June 3, 2015 | Virginia News

Expect to see TNC registration decals as early as June 4

RICHMOND -- Virginia law, effective July 1, 2015, regulates transportation network companies, more commonly called TNCs.

These companies – Uber and Lyft – use a smart phone app to match passengers with nearby drivers through GPS technology. TNC drivers, called partners, operate their personal vehicles. Ride arrangement and payment is all done through the app. Street hails are prohibited.

Although the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles oversees TNC regulations, DMV special agents and local and state law enforcement share the duty of enforcing the new law.

Per the Code of Virginia, Title 46.2, Chapter 20, any person who knowingly and willfully violates any TNC regulation is guilty of a misdemeanor and could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 per violation and civil penalties of up to $1,000 per violation.

There are several things to look for to make sure a TNC partner is operating in compliance with the new law.

TNC Vehicles

For starters, TNC vehicles must display TNC registration decals and trade dress appropriately at all times the vehicle is in TNC operation, i.e., when the app is on. Vehicles with Virginia license plates will display black and gold TNC decals on their license plates, in place of standard year registration decals. Out-of-state vehicles will display a black and gold TNC decal on the outside of the upper left corner of the rear window.

Vehicles may be used to provide TNC services without TNC registration decals for 30 days from the date the vehicle is registered with DMV for TNC use. TNC registration status, including the 30-day temporary status, can be validated through the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN).

The trade dress must be that of a licensed TNC operator in Virginia. A list of approved TNCs can be found at https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/general/#auth_mc.asp.  TNC-issued trade dress can be placed anywhere on the vehicle as long as it is visible in accordance with state law, Va. Code 46.2-2099.50(c).

In addition, the vehicle used to provide TNC services:

  • Must be a personal vehicle.
  • Must have and retain evidence of a valid Virginia safety inspection annually, even if the vehicle is registered in another state.
  • Cannot seat more than eight people, including the driver.
  • Must be lawfully titled and registered in Virginia or another state.
  • May not have been issued a certificate of title, either in Virginia or another state, branding the vehicle as salvage, non-repairable, rebuilt or any equivalent classification.
  • Must be covered under a TNC insurance policy meeting the requirements of Va. Code 46.2-2099.51 or 46.2-2099.52, as applicable.

When reporting a crash involving a TNC vehicle, please note the following in the “Crash Description” section on the Virginia State Crash Report (FR300): the company for which the partner is operating and the name of the TNC insurance provider and the policy number.  Officers should continue to report the partner’s personal insurance information in the “Vehicle” section of the form.

TNC Drivers (Partners)

TNC drivers, called partners, must be licensed drivers at least 21 years of age. The driver can be licensed in another state, as long as the vehicle is registered as a TNC partner vehicle in Virginia and has a valid Virginia safety inspection.

The partner must carry a valid driver’s license, TNC registration, a TNC-issued identification credential and insurance coverage information. The TNC-issued ID credential and insurance coverage information can be made available through the app.

Partners may not accept street hails, solicit ride requests or accept any other ride request that has not been prearranged by the app. They also can’t operate on airport property unless authorized by the airport operator.

In addition, partners:

  • May not discriminate against matched passengers based on their pick-up or drop-off locations and must comply with all applicable laws relating to nondiscrimination and the accommodation of service animals.
  • Must submit to a background check performed by the TNC for which he drives and notify the TNC of any changes to his criminal or driving record.
  • Must not use a vehicle for TNC services that has not been registered for TNC use.
  • May not loan or lease a TNC-registered license plate or trade dress to a non-TNC partner, allow a non-partner to use a TNC-registered vehicle to offer TNC services, or allow a TNC partner to use a TNC-registered vehicle unless that partner has been affiliated with the vehicle by a TNC.

If your agency needs assistance, please contact:

DMV Law Enforcement Division
Phone: (804) 367-1678 or (804) 367-1997
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Consumer complaints should be referred to:

DMV Motor Carrier Services
Phone: (804) 249-5130
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

WE’VE MOVED! | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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WE’VE MOVED!

May 28, 2015 | VACP

On June 1, 2015, the VACP/VPCF/VACLEA offices relocated to northern Henrico County.

For more than twenty years, the VACP (and later VPCF and VACLEA) offices have been located in the Forest Office Park in Henrico County on the west side of Richmond.  While this location has served us well with close proximity to the Henrico County Division of Police and the University of Richmond (where PELS is held), our space needs have changed in recent years and the expiration of our lease this summer gave us the opportunity to explore other alternatives.

After much research and many office space tours with a very patient tenant representative, we were thrilled to finally find a location in northern Henrico County near the interchange of I-95 & I-295 that met all our criteria for a new space!  With easy access off the two major interstates, numerous amenities surrounding us, a better space layout and lower rental rate, we couldn't be happier with our new home.  We are located in the lower level of an owner-occupied building with our own parking lot at the back of the building right outside our front door.  Our landlord occupies a suite upstairs on the main level facing a parking lot at the front of the building. The only other tenants of the building are our new IT company, Archer Integration, and they also occupy a suite upstairs.  We love our new landlords and they are excited to have us moving in!

Effective immediately, please update your address books and finance departments with our new mailing address:

880 Technology Park Drive, Suite 100
Glen Allen, VA 23059

Our phone and fax numbers and email addresses remain unchanged.

We're pretty well settled in the new space now so we would love to have you come visit us!  See the map below for directions.  For general reference, we are just north of where VSP Division 1 Headquarters are located on Route 1, about 5 miles south of Ashland. 

 

 

Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 5 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 5

May 18, 2015 | VACP

News Image In Part 4, we talked about Defending against cyber stalking. At that time, and in most of the other parts of the series, we’ve talked about ways you can minimize the amount and type of your personal information that is available to be acquired by information brokers and others. The techniques we’ve shared and others we could talk about are certainly useful in reducing your exposure.

At the end of the day, however, the most effective means of protecting your personal information and, by extension, your privacy and physical and financial security, is by removing your sensitive data from unauthorized sites and sites that sell your personal information on the internet.  To that end today’s session is entitled, How to manage the removal of your personal information from unauthorized sites and sites that sell your personal information.

As we mentioned in Part 1, there are literally dozens of information brokers selling personal information on the internet today.  Before you begin the step by step approach outlined below to removing your information from these sites, if you’d like to get some idea of how much of your information is available for sale on the internet, visit https://vacp.manageurid.com and click on the Free Search tab for a Free Risk Assessment (takes about a minute).  If you find that your information is out there, as you almost certainly will, you can manage its removal by carefully taking the following steps:

  • Step 1 - Identify all of the sites that are maintaining and selling your personal information.  Use the key words referenced in Part 1 in an effort to identify the URLs you will need.  Do not relax your efforts with this step until you have identified around 50 sites.  The total number of sites varies from time to time as information brokers spin off satellite sites in an effort to differentiate themselves and garner a greater share of the market.

  • Step 2 - Dig through each of the sites to locate the particular set of instructions for opting out of that site.  Each site is different in terms of how readily you will be able to locate the opt out instruction sequence and in how complicated they have made the opt out process.  Some sites require only a single step while others will insist on a multiple step process.

  • Step 3 - Complete each of the required processes, submit the necessary form or forms, and provide the additional information they require to respond to your opt out request – which can include a photo ID.

  • Step 4 – After you have issued the full set of opt out instructions, revisit each of the sites to confirm they have complied with your request.  Some sites will comply immediately.  Others may take seven to ten days to react; and, still others can take as long as 30 days or more.  Some will even ignore your first request.  So, it is vital that you follow up to assure they have complied, and, in some cases, reissue your removal request until they do comply.

  • Step 5 – More than a step, this is an on-going process.  Even after many of these sites have complied with initial your removal instructions, they will repopulate your information over time.  Our digital world has made that a virtual inevitability.  So, periodically (at least every 30-45days), you should return to Step 1 and repeat the above outlined process.       

Unfortunately, protecting your personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming, but very necessary process for individual and family safety – especially today.  At the VACP, we have partnered with ManageURiD to help make reclaiming your privacy and better protecting your physical and financial security an easy and affordable process.

Visit https://vacp.manageurid.com to learn more.
Anyone who signs up for the service through the above portal will receive a 50% discount on the cost of the service AND will also help support the VACP!

Jay Farr Named New Arlington County Chief of Police | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Jay Farr Named New Arlington County Chief of Police

May 14, 2015 | Virginia News

Farr is a 25-year veteran of ACPD with 35 years in law enforcement.

Following a national search, Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan has appointed Murray “Jay” Farr as Chief of Police. Chief Farr has served as the Acting Chief of Police since the retirement of M. Douglas Scott on March 20, 2015. Chief Farr has served in the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) since 1990 in various capacities to include Deputy Chief of Police for Systems Management, Operations and Criminal Investigations. He has also served as Arlington County Acting Deputy County Manager.

“Jay has demonstrated a commitment to excellence during his more than two decades in Arlington,” said Donnellan. “He brings strong leadership skills, an outstanding professional background, and a true passion for connecting communities with law enforcement. He is the right man to lead the department into the future.”

Prior to joining the Arlington County Police Department, Chief Farr worked with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service where he conducted complex criminal investigations concerning fraud against the United States government. Chief Farr is also a U.S. Marine veteran, where he served with the Presidential helicopter unit.

“I am honored at the opportunity to lead this great department and will maintain an unwavering commitment to community policing,” said Chief Farr. “I strive to instill a sense of teamwork with our communities, officers and regional law enforcement partners.”

Chief Farr earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from George Mason University and he has undertaken study in a number of educational programs, including Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security, FBI National Academy, and Senior Institute for Police Management–Boston College in conjunction with John F. Kennedy School of Business Management, Harvard University. Additionally, Chief Farr is enrolled in the Certified Public Manager’s program at George Mason University. He is a graduate of Leadership Arlington.

Currently, Chief Farr is an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, where he teaches a curriculum of criminal justice and emergency management for law enforcement; he also teaches at University of Phoenix.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.

Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 4 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 4

May 11, 2015 | VACP

News Image In Part 3, we reviewed Protecting your email information with security tools. Today, our subject is an increasingly troubling and even dangerous phenomenon commonly referred to as cyber talking and some thoughts on Defending against cyber stalking.

Online stalking or cyber stalking is unfortunately not new.  There are 15-20 year old websites relating to the topic that continue to receive inquiries. With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, however, online stalking has become more common and more dangerous. Growing numbers of people are reporting being pursued by stalkers via cell phones, internet services, GPS systems, wireless video cameras, and other technologies. Many of these are in the law enforcement and military communities.

Generally speaking there are two types of online stalkers: one time offenders who hold a grudge or otherwise have developed an obsession, and serial stalkers who are always on the lookout for new victims. Although there are many variations on the theme, typically cyber stalkers will become more demanding over time and may eventually try to force you into doing what they want by threatening to or actually publishing defamatory, malicious information or private, personal data that could hurt you, your relationships, and/or your career. 

The best way to defend yourself against cyber stalking is to make it hard for stalkers to find you and your private information in the first place. 

  • When on the internet, never use your actual name – use a name or sign that is as unrelated to you as you can invent.
  • Never give out personal details like phone numbers or physical addresses.
  • Do not send any confidential information via a personal computer.  If absolutely necessary, use a library computer which a stalker is less likely to be able to track. 
  • Remove any personal information from social media sites.

Perhaps most importantly, it is critically important to effectively manage the information broker community.  People finder data bases that contain vast amounts of sensitive personal information and readily sell that information on the internet make it very easy for stalkers to not only find and harass you, but equally easy to extend their activities to family members, relatives and associates.  Hence it is a fundamental imperative that you manage your personal information and direct its removal from those data bases that might publish or sell your information. In fact, that’s the focus of our next session.   

In Part 5, we’ll talk about How to manage the removal of your personal information from unauthorized sites and sites that sell your personal information

Protecting YOUR personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming, but very necessary process for individual and family safety – especially today.  At the VACP we have partnered with ManageURiD to help make reclaiming your privacy and better protecting your physical and financial security an easy and affordable process. 

 

Visit https://vacp.manageurid.com to learn more.
Anyone who signs up for the service through the above portal will receive a 50% discount on the cost of the service AND will also help support the VACP!

Former state police commander is new Colonial Beach chief | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Former state police commander is new Colonial Beach chief

May 10, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image BY DAWNTHEA PRICE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Colonial Beach’s new police chief hopes to entice younger officers that will enjoy working and living in the beach community.

Chief Danny Plott will begin at the helm of the town’s Police Department of 12 full-time and four part-time officers on Monday, May 18.

Plott, 58, was recently selected by the Colonial Beach Town Council. The position has been filled by interim Chief Bruce Hough since January, when former Chief Libby Legg’s resignation took effect.

“I was lucky enough to be chosen,” Plott said during a news conference Thursday.

He comes to the Westmoreland County town from a private contractor that worked with the Virginia Department of Transportation. Prior to that, he was a division commander with the Bureau of Field Officers in the Virginia State Police’s Division Five, overseeing uniformed officers in southeastern Virginia.

His salary is $81,900, not including reimbursables.

Though Plott said he had no immediate plans for the department other than getting to know his staff and the community, he hopes to be seen as a supportive chief whom any officer could come to with problems.

In a marked departure from previous police chiefs, Plott will report directly to Town Manager Val Foulds—not the Town Council—on day-to-day operations. But “hiring and firing authority” remains with the council, according to his contract.

Previously, police chiefs reported to the council as a body.

No explanation was provided for the change, though Mayor Mike Ham offered nothing but positive comments about Plott’s hiring on Thursday.

“We’re looking forward to next Monday,” he said.

Plott’s wife and three daughters will join him in Colonial Beach.

With a laugh, Plott said he has no plans to purchase a personal golf cart to travel in Potomac River town, where the vehicles are popular, but that he looks forward to making “full use” of the department’s golf carts.

 

Source URL: http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/former-state-police-commander-is-new-colonial-beach-chief/article_d8b368a5-7b06-5fa9-9331-38f0c36c3ca4.html

Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 3 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 3

May 4, 2015 | VACP

News Image In Part 2, we discussed Dealing with tracking software. Today, we’ll talk about Protecting your email information with security tools because email is yet another one of the ways your information is being acquired.

We’re going to look at this issue in two dimensions today.  To begin with, when emailing to unknown parties: posting to newsgroups, mailing lists, chat rooms and other public spaces on the Net; or publishing a Web page that mentions your email address, it is best to do this from a separate pseudonymous or simply alternate address that can be easily acquired at no charge from email service providers such as Yahoo Mail or Hotmail.  And, do not use any part of your name in the “throw away” email address.  Addresses that are posted (even as part of message headers) in public spaces can be easily discovered by spammers (online junk mailers) and added to their list of targets.  If this address is spammed enough to become annoying, you can simply delete it, and create a new one.  Reserve your main or preferred email address for use with small, members-only lists and with known, trusted individuals.

On a separate note, most people think of the content of their email messages when they hear or read about email traffic being monitored or intercepted.  Few, however, realize that the metadata content – the record of who you are communicating with and how often – is equally as important to some.  Of course, we’ve recently learned that government agencies have been logging metadata on email communications for quite some time – and, in recent years, that data has included information on American citizens.  In addition, the government has been acquiring contact lists from around the world to the tune of some 250 million people a year.

Interestingly, as a result of the spying tactics that are all too possible in the digital age, several small companies emerged that provided encrypted email services as a possible defense, but have since shut down when asked to provide their encryption keys.  Additionally, while they were able to encrypt email message content, the use of email protocols such as SMTP, POP3 and IMAP left the metadata exposed.  In the end, they felt the risks to their client base were too great – and may have yielded a false sense of security.  New services are emerging which will encrypt both content and the metadata, but they will require the sender and the receiver to be using the same service, and will not be particularly useful until (and if) they become ubiquitous.

While typical email protocols do not permit protecting metadata content, there are steps you can take to secure the content of messages you send.  First, if you are using webmail, be sure that you are using the common internet security protocols, SSL and TLS. You’ll know that you are if the browser’s address starts with https – and you should see a small padlock.  On the other hand, if you are using a desktop email client, make sure you are connected via SSL/TLS over IMAP or POP3. If you are not, your email messages are being sent in clear text that can be easily read by others. Finally, the big three email services Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook, offer a security feature known as two-factor authentication.  Be sure to activate that feature in your system.

In Part 4, we’ll talk about Defending against cyber stalking

Protecting your personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming, but very necessary process for individual and family safety – especially today.  At the VACP we have partnered with ManageURiD to help make reclaiming your privacy and better protecting your physical and financial security an easy and affordable process.

Visit https://vacp.manageurid.com to learn more.
Anyone who signs up for the service through the above portal will receive a 50% discount on the cost of the service AND will also help support the VACP!

Governor McAuliffe Announces Actions on Legislation Following 2015 Reconvened Session | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Governor McAuliffe Announces Actions on Legislation Following 2015 Reconvened Session

May 1, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image RICHMOND – Today Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the actions he has taken on legislative items sent to his desk following the Virginia General Assembly’s consideration of his amendments during the 2015 Reconvened Session.

“As I evaluated the bills the General Assembly returned to me following the Reconvened Session, I applied the same standard I did at the conclusion of the regular session.” said Governor McAuliffe. “If I determined that the bill moved Virginia forward, I signed it. If it did not contribute to economic growth, stronger communities or a higher quality of life, I vetoed it.

“I am proud that the General Assembly adopted so many of the amendments I submitted to them and that they chose not to override any of my vetoes for the second year in a row. This session was marked by bipartisan accomplishment on issues that matter to Virginia families, and I look forward to continuing those important efforts as we work together to build a new Virginia economy.”

*** Highlighted bills are those of specific interest to law enforcement. ***

On April 15th, the General Assembly voted to ACCEPT the Governor’s amendments to the following bills, allowing them to become law:

  • HB1275 — Veterans Care Center projects; funding of projects.
  • HB1276 — Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center; funding of project.
  • HB1402 — Highway maintenance; payments to City of Richmond for moving-lanes converted to bicycle lanes.
  • HB1444 — Vision care plans; reimbursement for services.
  • HB1457 — Direct access to physical therapy.
  • HB1458 — Naloxone or other opioid antagonist; pharmacist may dispense in cases of opiate overdose.
  • HB1564 — Schedule I drugs; adding several substances to list.
  • HB1601 — Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA); amends Act to modify current version.
  • HB1612 — School service providers; protection of student personal information.
  • HB1639 — DUI; persons convicted under laws of other states or federal law.
  • HB1776 — Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority; created, report, eliminates ABC Board.
  • HB1826 — Virginia Racing Commission; powers, definitions, advance deposit account wagering revenues.
  • HB1833 — Naloxone; administration by law-enforcement officers.
  • HB1854 — Virginia Public Procurement Act; small, women-owned, minority-owned, etc., businesses.
  • HB1857 — Weber City, Town of; amending charter, extends terms of council members, mayor, etc.
  • HB1908 — Alcoholic beverage control; adds powdered or crystalline alcohol, penalty.
  • HB1917 — Governmental agencies; contracts for items listed on commercial activities list.
  • HB1930 — Higher educational institutions; review committees, reporting of acts of sexual violence, report.
  • HB1955 — Cigarette laws; administration and enforcement.
  • HB2036 — Nicotine Vapor products; prohibits purchase, etc., by minors, packaging, civil penalty.
  • HB2062 — Elections administration; pre-election and post-election activities.
  • HB2316 — Southwest Virginia Health Authority; review and approval of proposed cooperative agreements.
  • HB2368 — Involuntary civil admissions; evaluations.
  • SB675 — Northern Virginia Veterans Care Center; funding of project.
  • SB676 — Hampton Roads Veterans Care Center; funding of project.
  • SB712 — Higher education; handling of sexual assault cases.
  • SB776 — Physical therapy; certain experience and referrals required to practice.
  • SB848 — Commonwealth's Twenty marksmanship award; established.
  • SB891 — Mechanics' liens; subcontractor's waiver of lien rights.
  • SB1049 — Regional jails; reimbursement of capital costs, regional contracts for cooperative jailing.
  • SB1052 — Developmental disabilities; definition.
  • SB1097 — Virginia Racing Commission; powers, definitions, advance deposit account wagering revenues.
  • SB1186 — Naloxone; administration in cases of opiate overdose.
  • SB1201 — Stormwater; procedure for approval of dredging operations in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • SB1232 — Administration and enforcement of cigarette laws.
  • SB1309 — Charitable Gaming Board; membership.
  • SB1325 — Nicotine Vapor products; prohibits purchase, etc., by minors, packaging, civil penalty.
  • SB1380 — Schedule I drugs.

 

Today, the Governor announced that he has SIGNED the following bills, which contained amendments that the General Assembly voted not to accept:

  • HB 1570 (Identical to SB 1168) — HB 1570 is the omnibus child day care bill. It requires fingerprint-based background checks for licensed day care centers and family day homes. It requires employees and volunteers to notify the provider if they are convicted of a barrier crime or are the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect.  It also expands the list of barrier crimes specific to family day homes. The bill lowers to four from five the number of children unrelated to the provider who can be cared for in a family day home without a license. Local Commissioners of the Revenue must report to the Virginia Department of Social Services the names of child day or family day homes that obtain a business license.   It requires child day care centers and family day homes that provide day care services (through DSS) funded by the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant to comply with federal laws and regulations.

  • HB 1702Authorizes a federally-licensed firearms dealer to obtain a criminal history records check on an individual purchasing a firearm from the dealer’s personally-owned inventory or collection.

  • HB 1835 (Identical to SB 1371) — Adds independent agencies of the Commonwealth to the definition of public body under the Virginia Public Procurement Act.

  • HB 1842 — Reauthorizes tranches of Virginia Investment Partnership, an economic development incentive fund that encourages capital investments by existing Virginia businesses, and accelerates the Major Eligible Employment (MEI) grant payments to three years from six.

  • HB 1984 (Identical to SB 1196) — Raises the age of mandatory retirement for judges from 70 to 73.

  • HB 2070 (Identical to SB 1424) — The omnibus ethics and conflict of interest reform legislation.

  • HB 2125 (Identical to SB 1301) — Specifies when a warrant is required for the use of unmanned aircraft systems by law enforcement.

  • HB 2148 (Identical to SB 1333) — Includes Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as “minority owned businesses” for DSBSD certification and VPPA purposes.

  • HB 2206 (Identical to SB 1195)Revises the Special Conservators of the Peace (SCOP) regulatory program.

  • HB 2286 — Deals with the possession or transportation of firearms, ammunition, stun weapons, and explosives.

  • HB 2323 — Moves certain authorities and responsibilities for state information technology management from the Secretary of Technology to the Chief Information Officer.

  • SB 721 — Requires agencies that have seized property for forfeiture to provide an inventory to the property owner.

  • SB 1193 — Requires certain institutions of higher education  to include a prominent notation on the transcript of each student who has been suspended for, has been permanently dismissed for, or withdraws from an institution while under investigation for a violation of the institution’s code, rules or set of standards governing student conduct.

  • SB 1195 — Revises the Special Conservators of the Peace (SCOP) regulatory program.

 

Today, the Governor announced that he has VETOED the following bills. Each bill is accompanied by a statement from the Governor explaining his reason for veto:

  • SB 1066 (as well as identical HB1296) — Elected offices; term of officer elected to fill vacancy, filling vacancies in U.S. Senate & House.
    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1066, which prohibits a special election to fill a congressional vacancy from being held on the same day as the general election in which that office is regularly scheduled to be filled.

    As written, the bill appears to create a potential conflict with Virginia Code §24.2-228.1 that requires the court to issue a writ for a special election on a general election date for certain constitutional office vacancies.  While §24.2-228.1 requires a special election to be held on the same date as a general election, the new provisions of §24.2-682, as contemplated in Senate Bill 1066, would prohibit the court from ordering a special election on the same day as a general election.

    I cannot, in good conscience, sign a bill that would create the aforementioned conflict with §24.2-228.1.

  • SB 1161 (Statement Identical for HB 1879) — Coal tax; limits amount of credit that may be claimed for coal employment and production incentive.
    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1161, which would extend both the ability to claim and to allocate the coal employment and production incentive tax credit and the allowance of the coalfield employment enhancement tax credit by two years without any meaningful reform.

    In January 2012, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (“JLARC”) published its final report, Review of the Effectiveness of Virginia Tax Preferences, Senate Document No. 4.  In JLARC’s report, it found that tax preferences collectively reduced annual taxpayers’ liability by approximately $12.5 billion.  It also found that the effectiveness of tax preferences designed to promote specific activities appeared to be mixed.  The purpose of these two tax credits was to slow the decline of coal production and employment.  Due to both coal production and coal employment declining at the same or even faster rates than predicted had the credits not been enacted, JLARC’s report concluded that the economic activity had not moved in the desired direction and that the credits had not achieved their goal.

    Specifically, from 1988 until 2014, coal mine operators, electricity generators and other coal-related companies claimed more than $573 million in tax credits.  However, during the same period, the number of coal miners in Virginia has declined from 11,106 to 3,600. The extension of these tax credits without meaningful reform is inconsistent with these findings.

    Each day, I work tirelessly to build a new Virginia economy and ensure that Virginia is the number one place in which to do business.  In order to attract new jobs, I must assure business leaders that Virginia has both fair tax policies and is the best choice for employees and their families.  The effective and efficient use of revenues raised by these tax policies is an essential part of that assurance.  Given the findings of the JLARC study and the lack of meaningful reform in the face of these findings, I believe it is unwise for me to sign this legislation. Accordingly, I veto this bill.

  • SB 1350 — Voter registration; cancellation of registration by notifying Dept. of Elections to remove his name.
    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1350, which requires general registrars to cancel the registration of any voter for whom the registrar receives notice that the voter has moved from the Commonwealth in accordance with the Driver License Compact at § 46.2-483 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.

    As written, the bill is not compliant with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requirements related to list maintenance because it requires the immediate removal of Virginia voters from registration lists prior to sufficient notice to the voter.  On March 27, 2015, I recommended line amendments to this bill for the purpose of giving general registrars the ability to comply with the NVRA and state law.  These amendments were rejected putting Virginia law in conflict with federal statute.

    I am committed to protecting the voting rights of all eligible Virginians.  Therefore, it would be imprudent for me to sign legislation that may unduly impede the rights of Virginia citizens to vote.  Accordingly, I veto this bill.

  • SB 965 (Statement is identical for HB 1673) — Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act; limitation on collection.
    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 965, which would significantly restrict the use of License Place Readers (LPRs) and lead to many unintended consequences affecting public safety, transportation and the efficient conduct of business in the Commonwealth.

    Despite their proven success in locating stolen vehicles, identifying drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents, locating missing children and enhancing overall public safety, this bill would drastically limit the use of LPRs by law enforcement agencies. In order to use a LPR without a warrant under this legislation, agencies must prove the LPR is being used for  “known relevance” data collected that are intended for prompt evaluation and that there is suspected criminal or terrorist activity.  This provision is extremely narrow and could impede day-to-day operations.

    This bill also sets a strict, seven day retention period for all data collected by LPRs.  Many localities in Virginia retain this data for 60 days to two years.  Seven days is a substantial reduction.  Additionally, law enforcement agencies demonstrate that crimes are often not reported until several weeks later.  Under this bill, essential data would not be available at the time of those reports.  This is particularly concerning when considering implications for the National Capitol Region, where cross-state collaboration and information-sharing are essential to responding to potential criminal or terrorist activity occurring near Virginia’s borders.

    Furthermore, defining vehicle license plate numbers as “personal information” could dramatically impact state and local agency operations and create public confusion. State law requires that license plates be attached to the front and rear of every vehicle, and license plates must be clearly visible and legible.

    This new definition of personal information would likely prevent the live Internet transmission of video from VDOT’s traffic cameras as a violation of the state’s Government Data Collection and Dissemination Act.

    The bill could potentially cripple the use of innovative, electronically-managed tolling lanes that improve the quality of life for Virginians by reducing commute times and expediting the tolling process.  These projects use cameras that record license plate numbers for billing purposes, saving travelers the time they would spend waiting in line at a toll booth.  The billing mechanism could be in violation of this legislation, eliminating the use of these time-saving travel options.

    It would be unwise for me to sign legislation that could limit the tools available for legitimate law enforcement purposes and negatively impact public safety, or derail major transportation projects and jeopardize time-saving technologies that are essential to our economy, our citizens, tourism and the efficient conduct of business. Accordingly, I veto this bill.

  • HB 1315 — Jury commissioners; retention of information obtained from those not qualified to serve.
    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 1315, which requires the jury commissioner to retain information obtained from those persons not qualified to serve as jurors for specific reasons and make that information available to the general registrar for that locality.  The bill also requires the general registrars to use the requested information received to identify voters who are no longer qualified to vote and to initiate list maintenance procedures pursuant to current law.

    My Administration is committed to protecting the voting and civil rights of all Virginians.  I believe additional study is needed regarding the use and dissemination of the data before it becomes a permanent part of our court and election processes.  Accordingly, I veto this bill.

  • HB 2322 — Health benefit plans; essential health benefits waiver.
    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2322, which allows for limited benefit plans to be offered if federal subsidies or other provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act are eliminated.

    Currently, more than 385,000 Virginians have enrolled in the Marketplace.  Eighty-four percent of those enrolled are receiving premium subsidies.  In June, the Supreme Court will decide on the lawsuit King vs. Burwell, which will determine if subsidies can be received for participation in a federally-facilitated exchange.

    House Bill 2322 presupposes that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of King and federal premium subsidies will be eliminated for the 385,000 Virginians relying on the Marketplace for coverage.  This legislation is premature and decreases the state’s flexibility and options in reaction to such decision.  Accordingly, I veto this bill.

# # #

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Virginia Chiefs of Police Partner with CARFAX | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Virginia Chiefs of Police Partner with CARFAX

April 27, 2015 | VACP

CARFAX is partnered with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police to provide an integrated solution for law enforcement agencies. Your agency can get FREE, unlimited access to the CARFAX suite of Investigative Tools through our data exchange program.

POWERFUL INVESTIGATIVE TOOLS

  • VIN Alert - Monitor vehicles and get email notifications when there is activity reported to CARFAX.
  • Vehicle History - Search, scan or view vehicle history on your desktop or mobile device.
  • Crash Center - Search our national database of accident reports to find persons of interest.
  • CARFAX tools are free to your agency as part of our information exchange program.   When your agency shares its vehicle crash data with CARFAX, you will receive unlimited access to their 14 billion record vehicle history database and investigative tools.

The information CARFAX provides can help find additional clues and intelligence ranging from vehicle color to recent service history to accident reports and more.  The unique CARFAX database grows by more than 4 million records daily from more than 92,000 public and private data sources.

Recently, the CARFAX database was used to help generate a lead for a major case in Colorado.  A police department there was looking for a suspect in a first degree assault/attempted murder case.  They had exhausted their resources and the case was getting cold.  Months later, one of our CARFAX representatives met with the department to introduce them to our investigative tools.  As part of the demo, they provided a VIN that was related to the suspect and plugged it into our VIN Alert program.  The VIN was run through our database and returned a vehicle history report with a record that showed the vehicle had been at a service facility in Kentucky getting its fluids checked just days after the incident had occurred in Colorado.  This information gave investigators a new lead to locate their suspect.

In addition to this partnership, your agency has the option to enroll in the CARFAX E-Commerce solution to sell your accident reports online to citizens and insurance companies, saving your agency time and money.

E-COMMERCE SOLUTION- NO CONTRACT or ANY FEES

Selling accident reports has never been easier for your records and administrative staff. CARFAX can build a customized website for your agency to sell accident reports and generate additional revenue.

Zero Fees when selling your crash reports (just the charge that your department issues)

  • Analytics - User-friendly dashboard shows total reports sold, revenue generated, recent uploads, purchase history and sales trends.
  • Dedicated Support - Your dedicated account manager will get you setup, train your staff and assist you throughout the program.
  • Secure Uploads

To activate your CARFAX account through the VACP partnership, contact Matthew Simpson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (610) 858-7304.  For more information on CARFAX, visit www.carfaxforpolice.com.

Blacksburg and Virginia Tech police chiefs to receive award for No Hokie Left Behind | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Blacksburg and Virginia Tech police chiefs to receive award for No Hokie Left Behind

April 27, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image BLACKSBURG, Va., April 27, 2015 – Anthony Wilson, chief of the Town of Blacksburg Police Department, and Kevin Foust, chief of the Virginia Tech Police Department, will receive the Alfred C. Payne Service Award for their effort in establishing the No Hokie Left Behind campaign.

The two will receive the award from the Alpha Omicron Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, in the War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Tech.

The annual award recognizes an individual or individuals who have performed exceptional service to the greater Blacksburg community. It is named for the Rev. Alfred C. Payne, the former Virginia Tech counselor of religious affairs, assistant dean of students, secretary of the YMCA, and former faculty secretary of the Omicron Circle who died in 2003. Payne Hall was also named in his honor.

No Hokie Left Behind is a collaborative safety effort that encourages students to watch out for each other in town and on campus. The message is simple: "Go with Friends, Stay with Friends, and Leave with Friends."

Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society for college students, recognizes and encourages superior scholarship, leadership and exemplary character. The Virginia Tech Alpha Omicron Circle was founded in 1933.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth's most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Related Links
1) Virginia Tech police officer and others recognized for life-saving actions
2) 'No Hokie Left Behind' safety effort kicks off


This story can be found on the Virginia Tech News website: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2015/04/042715-vpa-payneaward.html

# # #

CONTACT:
Bob Spieldenner
540-230-4942
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 

Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 2 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 2

April 27, 2015 | VACP

In Part 1 of this series, we talked about WHO is selling your information and why. Our subject for today is Dealing with tracking software - one of the ways your personal information is being acquired.

The internet has become an extraordinarily useful tool for finding information of all sorts.  However, the internet browser you use is bidirectional.  That is, you can readily learn about what you are interested in, but others are also learning about you while you are online.

Internet users are often surprised (even pleasantly so at times) when a site “remembers” the last time a user visited the site and even some of his or her preferences.  This is accomplished by websites, or ads running on websites, installing cookies, beacons, and other tracking files on an Internet user’s computer, tablet or smart phone.

Cookies generally perform harmless tasks such as allowing websites to remember user names and passwords for future logins.  Some cookies, though, track the websites you visit, and beacons can actually track what you are doing on a website.  This can consist of tracking and recording buttons that are clicked, words that are typed, voice searches that are made, etc.

Some tracking files may even record and locate sensitive information such as income, location, medical conditions, etc.

At one time The Wall Street Journal reported that approximately two-thirds of the tracking files employed by the top 50 most visited websites were dispatched by tracking companies that compile Internet users’ personal information into consumer profiles. These profiles are then sold to Internet companies to assist them in developing more personalized web services and advertisements in the best case, and to exploit consumers in the worst.

The Internet may have opened the world to everyone, but it has also literally exposed everyone to the world in ways they never anticipated.

To provide some level of defense against this means of acquiring your information, it would be wise for you to regularly clear your cookies and your browser cache.  This process will provide some measure of protection for now, but new methods of tracking online usage and activity may be more difficult to defeat.  For example, some companies may begin looking for distinctive computer settings such as installed fonts and time zone details in order to zero in on a user’s identity.  It has also been reported that Google and Microsoft are working on new forms of cookie-less identification.  So, in the future, it may be wiser to deal with the control and protection of your personal information in an entirely different way.  More on that in a future post. 

In Part 3, we’ll talk about Protecting your email information with security tools.

Protecting your personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming, but very necessary process for individual and family safety – especially today.  At the VACP we have partnered with ManageURiD to help make reclaiming your privacy and better protecting your physical and financial security an easy and affordable process.

Visit https://vacp.manageurid.com to learn more.
Anyone who signs up for the service through the above portal will receive a 50% discount on the cost of the service AND will also help support the VACP!

Governor McAuliffe Appoints Expert Review Panel for Improving ABC Law Enforcement | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Governor McAuliffe Appoints Expert Review Panel for Improving ABC Law Enforcement

April 24, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image 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.

The following individuals will serve on the Expert Review Panel established under Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Order Number 40 for Improving ABC Law Enforcement:

Chairman for the Expert Review Panel

Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security

Members of the Expert Review Panel

Travis Hill, Chief Operating Officer for the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Ryant Washington, Special Policy Advisor on Law Enforcement for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Fran Ecker, Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services
Wesley Reed, Sheriff of Prince Edward County
Donald Goodman, Chief of Police for the City of Radford
Kevin Foust, Chief of Police at Virginia Tech
Michael Herring, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond
Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police
Robert Archer, President and Chief Executive Officer for Blue Ridge Beverage
Hayes Humphreys, Chief Operating Officer for Devil’s Backbone
Laura Wood Habr, Co-Owner of Croc’s Restaurant
Paige Allen Hawkins, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist at James Madison University
Christopher Konschak, Manager at Virginia Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Kurt Erickson, President at Washington Regional Alcohol Prevention
Abraham Axler, President at University of Virginia Student Council
Christopher Jones, Mayor of the City of Harrisonburg
Mamie Locke, Virginia State Senator, 2nd District, Hampton
Ryan McDougle, Virginia State Senator, 4th District, Hanover
David Albo, Virginia State Delegate, 42nd District, Fairfax

The first meeting of the Expert Review Panel will be held on May 4, 2015, in the Virginia State Capitol, Senate Room 3, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.


###
 

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office
Contact: Denise Burch
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Police body cameras seen as inevitability | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Police body cameras seen as inevitability

April 22, 2015 | Virginia News

By Michael Martz | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The cost and value of equipping law-enforcement officers with body cameras may be debatable, but growing public sentiment may be making them inevitable.

A security panel newly appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe wrestled for four hours Tuesday with the challenges of using a rapidly changing technology that would require major public investments in equipment, training and data management, as well as policy decisions to protect people’s privacy.

But the panel was focused more on how than whether to require law enforcement to wear cameras to document their encounters with the public.

“This needs to happen,” said Carmen Taylor, president of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, one of 31 members of the Secure Commonwealth subpanel on public safety and technology.

Lynchburg City Manager Kimball Payne called the use of body cameras “just inevitable. We’re going to have to deal with this.”

The push for expanded law-enforcement use of body cameras has intensified with a series of violent encounters between police and the public across the country, sometimes captured by private video.

“This is a challenging but very topical and necessary discussion,” Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran said in his opening remarks for the panel’s first meeting. ...

Read the full story...

Governor McAuliffe Directs Secure Commonwealth Sub-Panel To Study Law Enforcement Technologies | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Governor McAuliffe Directs Secure Commonwealth Sub-Panel To Study Law Enforcement Technologies

April 21, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image The 31 members will examine public safety and privacy issues

RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced the creation of a special sub-panel of the Secure Commonwealth Panel that will focus on the use of emerging technologies by law enforcement agencies.

The 31 members of the group will explore constitutional, personal privacy, economic and public safety issues related to the use of new and increasingly sophisticated technologies, weighing their benefits as well as their challenges.

“The Secure Commonwealth Panel is the ideal group to lead this initiative,” Governor McAuliffe said.  “This bipartisan group includes a broad-based group of experts from my Administration, the legislature, law enforcement and the private sector. The citizens of our Commonwealth, and those who protect them, are best served with a deliberate and thoughtful approach to these complex public policy issues.”

The sub-panel will work with community, technology and public safety stakeholders to identify, evaluate and make recommendations for implementing evidence-based programs throughout Virginia.

During the first two meetings, the sub-panel will explore the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers.  Members of the sub-panel will address topics such as data storage and retention, equipment, and rules for handling evidence.

“The sub-panel members represent a wealth of diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and points of view that will help us achieve an appropriate balance,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran.  “As we explore the use of these technologies, we must recognize personal privacy as well as public safety interests.”

Members of the Sub-Panel are as follows:

Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Chair
Karen Jackson, Secretary of Technology
Tonya Vincent, Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
Sen. John Watkins, Co-Chair, Secure Commonwealth Panel
John Bell, Deputy Chief of Police, Virginia Beach Police Department, Co-Chair, Secure Commonwealth Panel
Wendell Fuller, President, 100 Black Men of Greater Richmond
Fran Ecker, Director, Department of Criminal Justice Services
Banci Tewolde, Associate Director, Department of Planning and Budget
Kevin Carroll, President, Fraternal Order of Police
Douglas Middleton, Chief of Police, Henrico County Police Department
David Johnson, Executive Director, Indigent Defense Commission
Hassan Aden, Director of Research and Programs, International Association of Chiefs of Police
Arthur Townsend, Sheriff, Lunenburg County
Carmen Taylor, President, Virginia Chapter, NAACP
Michael Goldsmith, Chief of Police, Norfolk Police Department
Linda Bryant, Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General
Lt. Col. Barry Barnard, Police Executive Research Forum
Alfred Durham, Chief of Police, Richmond Police Department
Henry Chambers, Professor, University of Richmond School of Law
Aryn Frazier, Incoming President, University of Virginia Black Student Alliance
Hudaidah Bhimdi Ahmed, Secretary, Virginia Asian Advisory Board
Dana Schrad, Executive Director, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
Nancy Parr, President, Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys
Bill Robertson, Virginia Association of Counties
Lynda O’Connell, Executive Director, Virginia Center for Policing Innovation
Vivian Sanchez-Jones, Member, Virginia Latino Advisory Board
Kimball Payne, City Manager, City of Lynchburg, Virginia Municipal League
Jay Speer, Executive Director, Virginia Poverty Law Center
John Jones, Executive Director, Virginia Sheriffs’ Association
Col. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent, Virginia State Police
D.J. Smith, President, Virginia State Police Association

 

###

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
Contact: Greg Davy
Phone: 804-971-3973
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Extension of a Traffic Stop for Use of a Canine – How Long is Too Long? | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Extension of a Traffic Stop for Use of a Canine – How Long is Too Long?

April 21, 2015 | National News

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rodriguez v. United States today that absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop in order to conduct a dog sniff violates the Fourth Amendment.

By Daigle Law Group, LLC

An officer observed a motor vehicle veer onto the shoulder of the road and then jerk back onto the road. The officer stopped the vehicle for a state law violation, prohibiting travel on the shoulder of a road. The officer was a K-9 unit who had his work dog with him that evening. The officer asked why the driver had veered onto the shoulder of the road to which the driver responded that he was trying to avoid a pothole. The driver produced his license, registration and proof of insurance as requested. The passenger also produced his license and answered the officer’s questions, as requested. The officer issued the driver a written warning, provided the occupants with the documents taken from them and explained the warning. The officer then asked permission to walk his dog around the vehicle. The driver refused. The driver was instructed to turn off engine, exit the vehicle and wait in front of the cruiser until a second officer arrived. After a second unit arrived, the officer then led the dog around the vehicle twice. The dog alerted to the presence of drugs and a subsequent search revealed a large bag of methamphetamine. Approximately 7 or 8 minutes elapsed between the time the warning was issued and the dog sniff was conducted.

The driver moved to suppress the evidence on the ground that the officer had no reasonable suspicion to conduct the dog sniff. The District Court found that there was no reasonable suspicion, but that the extension of the stop by 7 or 8 minutes was only a de minimis intrusion on the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights, and was permissible. The Eighth Circuit upheld the decision and the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review the decision.

The Court began its analysis by restating the proposition that “A seizure for a traffic violation justifies a police investigation of that violation.” Routine traffic stops are more similar to a Terry stop than to an arrest. “Like a Terry stop, the tolerable duration of police inquiries in the traffic stop context is determined by the seizure’s “mission”—to address the traffic violation that warranted the stop, and attend to related safety concerns.”

In Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U. S. 405 (2005), the Supreme Court held that a dog sniff conducted during a lawful routine traffic stop does not violate the Fourth Amendment, as long as it does not lengthen the roadside detention beyond the time reasonably required to complete the mission. During the course of the stop, an officer may, of course, do other things which are incidental to the traffic stop (e.g. checking the driver’s license, determining whether there are outstanding warrants, and inspecting the vehicle’s registration and proof of insurance). The Court advised that conducting a dog sniff is not, however, an ordinary incident of a traffic stop. It is “a measure aimed at ‘detect[ing] evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing’.” The Court was cautious to advise that this was not a situation where the driver was ordered to exit the vehicle during a routine traffic stop based upon the officer’s safety, which of course, would be justified. The purpose of conducting a dog sniff, however, is for an investigation into other crimes.

“We hold that a police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures. A seizure justified only by a police-observed traffic violation, therefore, “become[s] unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete th[e] mission” of issuing a ticket for the violation.”

Recommendations

Keep in mind that this decision does not stand for the proposition that officers can incrementally prolong the stop to conduct a dog sniff as long as the officer is reasonably diligent in pursuing the traffic-related purpose of the stop, and as long as the overall duration of the stop is reasonable in relation to other similar stops. The Supreme Court flatly rejected that argument, stating that officers are not entitled to quickly complete the purpose of the stop so that they could use the “extra time” to conduct a dog sniff. As a result, officers should be instructed that in a normal traffic stop environment, the officers cannot prolong the stop beyond the time reasonably required to effectuate the purpose of the stop. The use of the term “reasonably” means that this determination will be a subjective one, so officers should also not be instructed to make the stop last longer just to conduct a dog sniff. Lastly, this decision does not affect the ability of officers to use a dog sniff during the course of the traffic stop, provided it does not lengthen the duration of the stop. For instance, it still seems permissible for a K-9 officer to conduct a dog sniff while another officer attends to the purpose of the motor vehicle stop, as long as the dog sniff does not lengthen the duration of the stop.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-9972_p8k0.pdf

This publication is produced to provide general information on the topic presented. It is distributed with the understanding that the publisher (Daigle Law Group, LLC.) is not engaged in rendering legal or professional services. Although this publication is prepared by professionals, it should not be used as a substitute for professional services. If legal or other professional advice is required, the services of a professional should be sought.

Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 1 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Keeping Your Personal Information Private: Part 1

April 20, 2015 | VACP

News Image This is Part 1 of a five part series on the importance of Keeping Your Personal Information Private.

The ready availability and sale of your personal information on the Internet invades your privacy and represents a treat to your physical and financial security.  The objective of this series is to provide you with some tips and proven approaches for controlling the amount and type of your personal information that is being compiled and sold on the Internet without your knowledge or consent.

Today we’ll start with a look at who is selling your personal information and why.

Literally anyone can search for a person on the Internet using such key words as:

  • find someone
  • locate a person
  • people locate
  • license plate records
  • bank account locate
  • employment locate
  • phone record search
  • social security number trace
  • property record information
  • and, more.

Searching on these key words will yield the URLs of hundreds of internet-based data broker companies that provide various levels of consumer information on line.  Some even provide a good deal of information at no charge.  Most provide a teaser amount of information and then charge a fee for the more interesting (and potentially damaging) data.  Experiment a little and you’ll quickly discover that you don’t need to hire a private investigator to obtain almost any level of personal information about virtually anyone.  And, of course, if you can find detailed sensitive information about someone else, than anyone can find your information as well. 

The simple (and sad) fact of the matter is that information brokers, analytical companies and others are compiling vast amounts of your personal information – addresses, family members, relatives, interests, preferences, personal phone numbers and email addresses, financial history and, much more – all without your knowledge or consent.  This information is then often combined with public records data to create comprehensive individual profiles which are then sold to virtually anyone willing to pay a small fee.

Internet-based information brokerages and data providers are surfacing all over the country.  Why?  Because it’s big business – a multi-billion dollar business that includes the three national credit bureaus, many marketing companies and entities like Been Verified, Spokeo, Private Eye and dozens of others.   To be fair, many of these companies use your personal information for relatively benign marketing purposes.   However, fifty or so of the newer market entries were formed for the exclusive purpose of selling your detailed sensitive information to anyone on the Internet without regard for your privacy.  Unfortunately, these businesses are neither licensed nor regulated.  As an example, a convicted felon in California is operating one of the largest information brokerage businesses in the country – because he can.

The important take away from today is that virtually anyone can find just about everything they might want to know about you on the internet for any purpose – targeting, stalking, bullying, revenge, embarrassment, identity theft and much more.

In the next segment, we’ll begin to provide you with important steps you can take to regain control of your private information and, in so doing, significantly enhance your physical and financial security.

Next week, Part 2: Dealing with tracking software.

Protecting your personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming, but very necessary process for individual and family safety – especially today.  At the VACP, we have partnered with ManageURiD to help make reclaiming your privacy and better protecting your physical and financial security an easy and affordable process.  

Visit https://vacp.manageurid.com to learn more.
Anyone who signs up for the service through the above portal will receive a 50% discount on the cost of the service AND will also help support the VACP!

Verizon’s Powerful Answers Award – Public Safety/First Responders | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Verizon’s Powerful Answers Award – Public Safety/First Responders

April 20, 2015 | National News

Expanding its ongoing commitment to innovation and social responsibility, FBI-LEEDA partner Verizon is now accepting ideas for its 2015 Powerful Answers Award program. We are very excited to announce the chance to win up to $1M for ideas that solve problems in Emergency Response.

Now in its third year, Verizon's Powerful Answers Award offers innovators, developers and entrepreneurs a total of $6M in cash prizes, plus the opportunity for winners to participate in an Accelerator program designed to help develop their ideas and bring solutions to market faster.

Potential contestants include private companies, start-ups, and individual entrepreneurs who are creating products and services.  Government agencies and employees may only be eligible to participate if permitted by their own policies and applicable regulations.

The program seeks ideas that leverage cutting-edge technology to create solutions that deliver social good. The 2015 program is seeking ideas in three subcategories of Emergency Response:

  1. FIRST RESPONDERS: How can technology be used to help first responders, such as emergency medical technicians, firefighters and police, cut down on response times and increase situational awareness?

  2. SEARCH & RESCUE: Whether it’s over water, snow, mountains, forest or rubble, time and accuracy mean everything when it comes to search and rescue. It is critical to utilize technology to enhance existing resources and tools – and enable new ones.  How can technology be employed to help search and rescue crews target, locate and help those in need before time runs out?

  3. LONG-TERM RELIEF: Following an emergency or disaster, what happens once the initial response is complete? How can technology help ensure that relief supplies and support get to the people who need them most, that the living conditions remain safe, and that those affected are able to return to  a normal routine as quickly as possible?

You can find out more about the contest and submit ideas until June 18th, 2015 at http://powerfulanswersaward.com

Download a PDF with more information here.

Saltville hires Bristol detective as its police chief | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Saltville hires Bristol detective as its police chief

April 20, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Saltville Town Council announced and welcomed Chris Wilcox as the new chief of police during Tuesday’s meeting.

Wilcox comes from the Bristol Virginia Police Department, where he had served as a detective since 2012 and a police officer from 2008 to 2012. A native of Warrensville in Ashe County, N.C., he served as deputy sheriff in Watauga County, N.C., from 1998 to 2000, a Virginia state trooper from 2000 to 2005, a detective with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Department from 2005 to 2007 and again as deputy sheriff in Watauga County for a year before moving to the Bristol Police Department.

“My ambition was to become an administrator,” said Wilcox about applying for the chief’s position in Saltville. “And this town is a lot like where I grew up.”

Wilcox will be moving from Abingdon. where he lives with his wife, Colette, and children, son Ian, 8, and daughter Ella, 4.

With over 16 years of law enforcement experience, a bachelor of arts degree in political science/administration of justice, and a master’s of business administration with concentration in accounting, Wilcox said he is ready for the administration job of a police chief.

“In addition to my 16 years of law enforcement experience, I have over two years of management experience,” said Wilcox. “I understand the challenges that face policing in small towns and I am prepared to utilize my experience in order to make this police department one of the most professional departments in the commonwealth while carrying out the duties of the police department with a genuine focus based on community policing.”

In the vote to accept Wilcox as the new chief, council member Randall Brickey voted no, saying during discussion he thought the town could save money by keeping Erik Puckett in the position of interim chief until the next municipal election, allowing the new council to then hire a new chief. During council comments at the end of the meeting, Brickey said his vote was not personal against Wilcox, saying he and Puckett were the best candidates for the job, and that he welcomed Wilcox to the town and would support him as the new chief.

Source: Smyth County News & Messenger

Clark: License plate readers help police, don’t hurt privacy | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Clark: License plate readers help police, don’t hurt privacy

April 19, 2015 | VACP

By Chief Rick Clark, Galax Police; Past President of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police

In the most recent session of the Virginia General Assembly, both the House and Senate passed bills that addressed the use of Automated License Plate Readers.

The bills as passed raised and continue to raise serious concerns among law enforcement in Virginia. License plate readers provide an important investigative tool that advances public safety and security.

License plate readers capture video images of license plates that are converted to text and stored in a data base. To understand the issues it must be realized that 1. LPR data is anonymous, and 2. LPR data can reveal personal information only by cross-referencing it with DMV data already protected by a federal law called the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

Virginia police agencies can access personal information only through the Virginia Crime Information Network, which is closely monitored by the Virginia State Police. That data is restricted to legitimate police purposes.

Contrary to popular belief, law enforcement is not authorized to randomly query license plate numbers to obtain personal information, nor does the current LPR technology automatically provide personal identifying information.

Virginia’s General Assembly should focus on the real issues that potentially impact driver privacy — proper access and security of the data.

A version that closely resembles the “permissible purpose” language of the Federal Driver’s Protection Policy Act would be appropriate.

The seven-day limit on the retention of data in House Bill 1673 is not realistic because some investigations have not gotten under way until after seven days. The ability to document a vehicle’s presence in a particular area might provide invaluable information.

Virginia law enforcement agencies are committed to the citizens of the commonwealth and recognize the importance of their trust while balancing the importance of utilizing emerging crime-fighting technologies.

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police encourages legislators and citizens to be cautious as they consider broad sweeping changes that may reduce and hamper law enforcement’s ability to provide for the safety and protection of the public.

Jacocks: It’s not fair to paint all police officers with a broad brush of brutality | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Jacocks: It’s not fair to paint all police officers with a broad brush of brutality

April 14, 2015 | National News

By A.M. “JAKE” JACOCKS JR.

THE INEXPLICABLE decision by a South Carolina police officer – fortunately now an ex-police officer – to shoot a fleeing suspect in the back is permanently etched in the minds of all of us who have seen the video.

We couldn’t forget what we saw if we tried. We should not try.

The release of cellphone video showing the use of pepper spray and a Taser by a Virginia Beach police officer, while minor compared to the South Carolina incident, is also troubling, even though police say the suspects were uncooperative and reportedly in possession of drugs.

At this point, though, we don’t know the whole story in Virginia Beach. So we must reserve judgment. I have every confidence that this incident will be fully investigated and the appropriate action will be taken by the department.

Nevertheless, policing in America can ill afford such negative publicity. Without effective policing, unattainable without community support, we would have anarchy. This incident does anything but generate community support.

Some will use the killing in South Carolina to somehow conclude that this is standard procedure, the norm, commonplace.

Whether by design or because it is often easier to follow the outspoken and often ill-informed rather than look at the big picture, some will make an effort to paint all police officers in America with a broad brush of brutality, racism and ineptness.

That’s patently unfair and wholly inaccurate, and here’s why:

There are approximately 18,000 state and local police departments in the United States and more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement positions when you combine university, local, county, state and federal agencies. Given this large pool of human beings, some mistakes and poor decisions will undoubtedly occur, but history tells us these are the exceptions rather than the rule.

In spite of stringent screening practices and hiring standards – often including psychological testing – people ill-suited for the incredible responsibilities of a law enforcement career sometimes will be hired.

Further, according to the FBI’s 2013 report Crime in the United States, “Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 11,302,102 arrests in 2013. Of these, 480,360 were for violent crimes, and 1,559,284 were for property crimes.”

The FBI does not collect data on traffic summonses, but based on my 38-plus years in law enforcement, it is safe to assume the number is nearly double the arrests. Conservatively, the number of official police interactions with citizens is upward of 30 million.

The number of interactions in which no documentation exists is many, many millions more. And yet the incidents of egregious, abusive and/or unlawful misconduct by police is a far smaller number.

During my career, including many years in SWAT and countless interactions with officers from departments all over the country, I never met a police officer who wanted to shoot someone.

Fatal or not, a police shooting is a life-changing event for everyone involved. Policing, by and large in America, is performed by professional men and women who are well-trained, dedicated and trying hard to help and protect our citizens. Courageous, often heroic actions by officers are the norm. All too often, they are killed doing what we’ve asked of them.

Is there room for improvement? Of course.

We need more community outreach and engagement, increased staffing, increased training, broader deployment of less-than-lethal weapons and body cameras, rigid hiring standards, better supervision and an unrelenting approach by police leaders to both honor officers who perform to high standards and hold them accountable when they go outside the lines.

In no way do I minimize the killing in South Carolina, or those in Cincinnati, Milwaukee or Anytown, USA. I am disgusted because those episodes do not reflect what professional law enforcement in America is all about.

Instead of lashing out at all American law enforcement, those who are as disgusted as I am by these incidents should be demanding accountability, change and justice as a response to specific incidents.

You can’t do that with a broad brush.

A.M. “Jake” Jacocks Jr. retired as chief of the Virginia Beach Police Department and is now a law enforcement consultant.

Published as a guest column in the Opinion section of The Virginian-Pilot. 

Lynchburg police chief set to retire Oct. 1 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Lynchburg police chief set to retire Oct. 1

April 14, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Chief Parks Snead has been the department’s chief since September 2008. He was a police officer for 24 years before that.

By Eleanor Roy | Lynchburg News & Advance

Lynchburg Police Department Chief Parks Snead is set to retire before the end of the year, according to department spokesman Lt. Malcolm Booker.

Snead announced the decision to department employees last week. The retirement will be effective Oct. 1.

Snead couldn’t be reached for comment Monday because he is out of the office, Booker said.

Snead has been the department’s chief since September 2008. He was a police officer for 24 years before that.

City Manager Kimball Payne said the process of hiring a new chief will be the same as when Snead was hired.

“What we did last time that I filled this position is develop a job profile through discussions with the community and have an open application,” Payne said in a phone interview Monday.

He expects the job profile to take one to two months to complete. The profile will be created through discussions with community groups and the department’s officers.

“Just trying to make contact with people who might have thoughts on what sorts of issues a new chief might have to address and what they’re looking for in a new chief,” Payne said.

Payne said he had discussions with Snead about retiring in the past.

“A couple weeks ago he actually gave me a letter of his intention to do that,” Payne said.

He said he wasn’t too surprised about Snead’s decision because 60 percent of the city’s department heads are eligible to retire now or within the next three years.

He said there’s a “pretty aggressive succession plan going on here in the city.”

Payne said he enjoyed working with Snead over the years and is looking forward to the next six months.

“The accolades will come later, but I think he’s been a good police chief,” Payne said.

Contact Eleanor Roy at (434) 385-5554 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Facebook: The News & Advance Crime and Public Safety Beat.

Monti Lee promoted to deputy chief of Roanoke police | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Monti Lee promoted to deputy chief of Roanoke police

April 2, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Capt. Monti Lee, who’s been with the Roanoke Police Department for 30 years, has been promoted to deputy chief of uniform operations.

Lee takes over the position vacated by Curtis Davis, who became chief of police for the Farmville (Virginia) Police Department on March 16.

Lee joined the Roanoke Police Department in 1985, and he is the department’s longest tenured captain, according to department spokesman Scott Leamon.

He has accrued an abundance of experience, including working in patrol, vice, evidence collection and major crimes.

He was the first person to oversee the Community Response Bureau following the department’s reorganization last year.

Lee is a graduate of the Professional Executive Leadership School, the Institute for Leadership in Changing Times, the Reid School of Interview, the Forensic Science Academy and the Executive Education Leadership Training Program at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University.

Among other promotions at the department:

  • Holly Willoughby was promoted to sergeant from the rank of detective. She joined the department in 1993.
  • Kenneth Sauls was promoted to sergeant from the rank of officer. He joined the department in 2001.
  • Jeffrey Newman was promoted to lieutenant from the rank of sergeant. He joined the department in 2005.
  • Chris Bolling was promoted to lieutenant from the rank of sergeant. He joined the department in 1993.
  • Eric Charles was promoted to captain from the rank of lieutenant. He joined the department in 1992.
  • Theresa Jenkins, a civilian employee, was recognized as senior animal warden. She joined the department in 2005.
Prince George County Police Chief Ed Frankenstein Announces Retirement | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Prince George County Police Chief Ed Frankenstein Announces Retirement

April 2, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Frankenstein to Retire October 1 After 30 Years of Service in Law Enforcement

PRINCE GEORGE, VA – On Wednesday, April 2, 2015, Colonel Edward Frankenstein, Chief of Police for Prince George County, Virginia, announced that he would retire effective October 1, 2015.

Colonel Frankenstein established his career in law enforcement as a Deputy Sheriff in the combined Prince George Sheriff/Police Department on September 6, 1985.  He was promoted through the ranks to Patrol Sergeant in 1992.  With the separation of the Prince George Sheriff’s Office and Police Department in 1995, he remained a Patrol Sergeant with the Police Department.

In 1996, Edward Frankenstein was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Patrol Division where he commanded all Patrol functions of the department.  From February 3, 1998 to September 1, 1998, the Board of Supervisors appointed Edward Frankenstein to Interim Chief of Police for the first time.  On September 1, 2000, the Board of Supervisors appointed Edward Frankenstein as Interim Chief of Police a second time, a position he held until he was appointed to Chief of Police on May 1, 2001.  After fifteen years as Chief, he continues to provide exceptional leadership to the Police Department and outstanding service to County citizens.  He is responsible for managing a budget of approximately $6.4 million and for directing the activities of approximately 75 employees of the Police Department, Animal Services and the 911 Communication Center along with 12 Auxiliary Police Officers.

Colonel Frankenstein holds a Police Science Degree from John Tyler Community College and is a graduate of the 199th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.  He is currently a member of multiple civic, community, and national organizations including the Community Criminal Justice Board, Hopewell/Prince George Crime Solvers, 1B Drug Task Force, Prince George TRIAD, and Law Enforcement Curriculum Review Committee at John Tyler Community College.  He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy.

Colonel Frankenstein has served in the past on many different Public Safety Committees in the region to include the Board of Directors for the John Tyler Alcohol Safety Action Program (JTASAP), a member of the Executive Committee for the Tri-City Regional Strike Force as well as a member of the Central Virginia Law Enforcement Chief Executive Association (CVLECEA) just to name a few.  In 2005, he served a five-year term when he was appointed by Governor Warner to serve on the Wireless E-911 Services Board.

Ed Frankenstein and his wife Karen have two sons, Shawn and Kyle.  He is very active in the daily activities of his family and, in the past as need arose, lent his coaching skills to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

In January of 2014, a huge milestone for this department and Prince George County was accomplished when the Police Department was formally presented the Certificate of State Accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. This significant accomplishment was a result of the hard work and commitment to professional service by all of the men and women of the Police Department.

Bill Robertson, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, stated, “Edward Frankenstein has dedicated his life to law enforcement in Prince George County and has served the citizens well as Chief.  Through the years, he has supervised many new and innovative improvements in his department.  He leaves the Prince George Police Department well trained, equipped and respected for the next Chief.”

Percy Ashcraft, County Administrator, stated, “Chief Frankenstein has made strong contributions to the department and community over the last three decades.  State Accreditation for our Police Department was a capstone for a career of dedication and service.  We thank Chief Frankenstein and wish him well in retirement.”

Prince George County will begin the process of recruiting and selecting his replacement in the very near future.  Percy Ashcraft, County Administrator, will lead the search for Chief Frankenstein’s replacement.

Doxxing: The New Threat, Part 2 — Protecting Against Doxxing | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Doxxing: The New Threat, Part 2 — Protecting Against Doxxing

March 31, 2015 | VACP

This is Part 2 of a two part series on the subject of “Doxxing”. In Part 1, we defined Doxxing, discussed how it is being used, and reviewed the risks and threats Doxxing represents to law enforcement officials and their families. In this part we will talk about what can be done to best protect yourself against Doxxing.

DOXXING REITERATED

To reiterate, Doxxing is loosely defined as an Internet based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information (such as names, addresses, phone numbers, spouse, children, relatives, financial history, and much more) about an individual.  The process of doxxing is facilitated by the ready availability of sensitive personal information on the Internet.

The simple fact of the matter is that information brokers have compiled comprehensive information profiles about just about everyone.  This information is then made available for anyone to acquire on the Internet.  These sources feed the practice of doxxing and can lead to many different types of assaults including the following – which do not need to be life threatening to be debilitating:

  • Targeting     
  • Physical Stalking
  • Cyber Stalking
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Embarrassment
  • Identity Theft
  • Coercion
  • Extortion
  • Vigilante “Justice”, etc.

This is, of course, a very serious issue.   Many have been victimized already.  So, what can be done?

PROTECTING AGAINST DOXXING

With respect to protecting yourself against doxxing, and other misuses of your personal information, there’s lots of good advice out there regarding the use of the Internet, such as:

  • Don’t use your actual name on the Internet;
  • Never give out personal information like phone numbers or physical addresses;
  • Don’t send sensitive information from a personal computer;
  • Remove personal information from social media accounts;
  • Clear cookies and browser cache on a regular basis; and
  • Countless suggestions regarding safe email usage, etc.

At the end of the day, while all of this is useful and well intended, the only practical solution is to remove your personal information from these sites.  But, that task is easier said than done.

The unfortunate reality is that removing personal information from these sites is intentionally convoluted and difficult.  While it is technically possible, most people do not have the time or patience to execute each of the following steps:

Step 1 - Identify all of the more than 200 sites that compile, maintain and sell personal information, and then zero in on the 50 that can really hurt you.

Step 2 - Dig through each of the sites to locate the particular set of instructions for opting out of that site.    

Step 3 - Follow each of the required processes, prepare and submit the necessary form or forms, and provide the additional information necessary (including a photo ID in some cases) to complete the opt out request.

Step 4 – After the full set of opt out instructions have been submitted, revisit each of the sites to verify they have complied with the opt out request.

Step 5 – More than a step, this is an on-going process.  Even after many of these sites have complied with the initial removal instructions, they will repopulate personal information over time.  So, periodically (at least every 30 days), it is necessary to return to Step 1 and repeat the entire process.

Protecting YOUR personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming, but very necessary process for individual and family safety – especially today.  At the VACP we have partnered with ManageURiD to help make reclaiming your privacy and better protecting your physical and financial security an easy and affordable process.

Visit https://vacp.manageurid.com to learn more.
Anyone who signs up for the service through the above portal will receive a 50% discount on the cost of the service AND will also help support the VACP.

 

Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order to Improve Law Enforcement at Virginia ABC | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order to Improve Law Enforcement at Virginia ABC

March 25, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image RICHMOND - Today Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order 40, which takes four preliminary steps toward improving law enforcement in the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

Last week Governor McAuliffe called for an independent state police investigation into an ABC arrest in Charlottesville in which a student was injured. As the comprehensive investigation moves forward, the Governor’s Executive Order takes steps to address broader concerns about ABC law enforcement by:

  • Requiring more training for all ABC special agents in the areas of; use of force, cultural diversity, effective interaction with youth and young adults, and community policing.

  • Improving accountability and oversight by requiring that the ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement will now report to the Chief Operating Officer of the ABC, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of all agency functions.

  • Examining the need for additional steps by directing the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to convene an expert review panel to report to the Governor on the agency’s mission, structure, policies and training and make recommendations regarding any identified changes needed.

  • Improving cooperation and communication with local communities and Virginia colleges and universities by directing the ABC to engage with communities that are home to state institutions of higher education about its enforcement role in each locality. The ABC will update or enter into agreements that delineate an agreed-upon enforcement role for the ABC that is in cooperation with each community’s law enforcement approach.

Below is the full text of Governor McAuliffe’s Executive Order 40:

NUMBER FORTY 2015
IMPROVING ABC LAW ENFORCEMENT

Importance of the Initiative

Keeping Virginia families and communities safe is the highest responsibility of the Governor and state government. In performing that duty, we also have a responsibility to ensure that agencies charged with public safety have the training, resources and oversight they need to do their jobs professionally and in a way that promotes and protects the public trust.

Recent events involving special agents of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in Charlottesville have underscored longstanding concerns about the agency’s Bureau of Law Enforcement and exposed the need for more extensive training and oversight. While we must await results from the investigations by Virginia State Police and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Charlottesville before drawing conclusions about that particular incident, it is not too soon to take proactive steps to improve ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement.

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, I hereby direct the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Chief Operating Officer and the Commissioners of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, in conjunction with the Department of Criminal Justice Services, to take the following immediate actions:

  1. The ABC Board shall require the immediate retraining of all ABC special agents in the areas of use of force, cultural diversity, effective interaction with youth, and community policing, to be completed no later than September 1, 2015.  This training shall be implemented and certified by the Department of Criminal Justice Services utilizing evidence-based training curricula and education practices that meet nationally-accepted standards.

  2. Effective immediately, the ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement shall report directly to the Chief Operating Officer of the ABC, who is responsible for the day-to-day management of all ABC functions.

  3. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall convene an expert review panel of representatives of local and campus law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s offices,  Commonwealth’s Attorneys, the Governor’s Policy Advisor on Law Enforcement for ABC, the Chief Operating Office of the ABC, the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services and such other individuals representing relevant stakeholder groups, as he may deem appropriate in order to review the agency’s mission, structure, policies and training and make recommendations regarding any identified changes needed.  A report of the review panel shall be completed and presented to me no later than November 1, 2015.

  4. The ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement shall immediately review, update or enter into appropriate Mutual Aid Agreements, or other Memoranda of Understanding, with local law enforcement agencies serving communities with state institutions of higher education, with the goal of improving collaboration, communication and delineation of expectations regarding enforcement activities performed by ABC special agents in these communities.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 25th Day of March, 2015.



                                                                        ___________________________________
                                                                        Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor
 

 

###

 

Office of the Governor
Contact: Brian Coy
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Lynchburg Police officers now are in autism awareness | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Lynchburg Police officers now are in autism awareness

March 24, 2015 | Virginia News

The Lynchburg Police Department is the only police department in the Commonwealth to have all officers trained in autism awareness.

By Ashlie Walter | Lynchburg News & Advance

Over the past two weeks, officers have taken a two-and-a-half hour course about responding to emergency situations involving people with autism, Master Police Officer Ronnie Sitler said.

The law enforcement officers learned how to interact with people on all points of the autism spectrum. In most cases, people with autism will have problems following verbal commands, reading body language and deficits in social understanding.

The course was developed in partnership with the Commonwealth Autism Board and local police departments in case they have to respond to a call for service involving a person with autism. The officers learned how to identify the behavioral symptoms of an adult or child with autism and basic response techniques.

Sitler said everyone “from the Chief down” has taken the training, which was a part of the department’s annual officer training and is updated every other year.

“Most people associate autism with children but now many of them are adults and the cops have to deal with them,” he said. “We don’t normally deal with 5 or 6 year olds, we deal with the adults.”

Sitler said calls for service involving an autistic subject have become more prevalent and an individual with autism is seven times more likely to have an incident with an officer because of behavioral issues.

School resource officers in the city school system also have received the training.

The department was recognized by Commonwealth Autism at the 14th annual Autism Conference for their first responder training on March 11 in Richmond.

Source URL: Lynchburg News & Advance

Read the full story...

Yonce named Hillsville’s police chief | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Yonce named Hillsville’s police chief

March 24, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image Around eight months of speculation about Hillsville’s Town Council naming a full-time police chief was decided at its regular meeting Monday night with interim chief Wesley Yonce named to the department’s top spot.

Vice-Mayor Ed Terry commented afterwards that six months into his tenure as interim chief it was “apparent he was doing an outstanding job.”

Terry explained council worked through interviews during that time frame without identifying a candidate meeting their requirements for availability and price. He said this prompted them to ask Yonce if he’d consider the post.

Yonce was previously named interim police chief for Hillsville during the Hillsville Town Council meeting on July 14, 2014. Following a two-hour closed session at that time, Terry made a motion naming Yonce for the position and Sulphur Springs Councilman Bill Tate provided the second. Pipers Gap Councilman David Young voted in favor of the motion and Laurel Fork Councilman Greg Yonce abstained, since the nominee was his brother.

Following that meeting, Terry said, “One of the reasons behind council’s decision was Yonce is not interested in pursuing the permanent position of police chief. That clears the way for other officers to seek the position.”

Terry, at that time, said council was very satisfied with Yonce’s time with the department and pleased with the actions of the department under the leadership of Cpt. Junior Alderman. After Police Chief Greg Bolen submitted his resignation on June 30 of last year, Alderman, the department’s second in command, took charge of police operations for a brief time.

At that meeting Terry said Bolen’s resignation “was by no means coerced by council. We asked Bolen to stay on and work with council before he tendered his resignation.” Yonce, who has been a member of the police department for 15 years, echoed Terry’s earlier statements.

“I’m not filing for the police chief position. I just want to continue to work as a patrolman and then retire,” said Yonce at the time.

Yonce said his mind was changed by the way council members and the town came together to encourage him to reconsider the position, which is effective immediately. Yonce’s wife, Trina, and his step-daughter Cayla Horton were on hand for the announcement.

“I have an hour and 45 minutes left in my first day,” Yonce joked after the late announcement Monday. “We’re going to run this department as a team. I’m going to let things settle for a day or two and then call all of us together to talk. It’s not an I department but a we department. We’re going to get together to make it the best department in Virginia to work in. People will be knocking the door down to get in.”

David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

Source URL: http://www.thecarrollnews.com/news/home_top-news/152525031/Yonce-named-Hillsvilles-police-chief

 

Deciding when to use force can be difficult, local police say | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Deciding when to use force can be difficult, local police say

March 22, 2015 | Virginia News

By Dani Kass | Charlottesville Daily Progress

The night after Martese Johnson was bloodied and arrested by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents, protesters marched from the university to the Charlottesville Police Department.

Johnson, 20, has been charged with obstruction of justice and public intoxication after being denied entry into Trinity Irish Pub. Witnesses then say he was thrown to the ground by an ABC agent, where a picture of him with a bloodied face was taken.

The officers involved are currently on administrative leave and are being investigated by the Virginia State Police at the request of the governor and Charlottesville’s commonwealth’s attorney.

City police were uninvolved in the arrest that sparked questions about use of force in Charlottesville, having arrived to serve as backup only after Johnson was in custody.

However, records from the department show that there have been 68 incidents involving the use of force by officers over the last three years.

Two of these incidents in 2014 were found to be unjustified — one where the action was legal, but avoidable and the other where the officer didn’t have probable cause for arrest, according to Sgt. Brian O’Donnell in the Office of Professional Standards of the Charlottesville police.

“It happens from time to time,” Police Chief Timothy J. Longo said about officers using unjustified force. “It’s a rare occasion that it happens, but it does in fact happen.” ...

Read the full story...

Altria fights cigarette trafficking from Virginia to New York | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Altria fights cigarette trafficking from Virginia to New York

March 22, 2015 | Virginia News

Investigators scour urban streets to trace the path of a festering black market from Virginia to New York City.

By John Reid Blackwell | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Twice a year, about a dozen people working for a company hired by Altria Group Inc. fan out in New York City neighborhoods on a scavenger hunt, of sorts.

Over a roughly three-week period, they comb the streets looking for and collecting empty cigarette packs that smokers have discarded around the city.

It isn’t a trash-cleanup project. Rather, officials with Henrico County-based Altria, the nation’s largest tobacco manufacturer, say the collection program is a key piece of intelligence gathering in the company’s efforts to track and disrupt illegal smuggling of its cigarette brands.

When a discarded pack is found on a city sidewalk or a trash bin, it is placed into an evidence bag and shipped back to Altria’s offices.

“In a city like New York, we will collect about 5,000 packs of cigarettes,” said Michael Thorne-Begland, a lawyer who is the director of Altria’s brand and trade channel integrity department, a 20-person unit tasked with protecting the company’s valuable brands from counterfeiters and traffickers.

In analyzing the discarded packs, “we look at whether they are counterfeit or genuine,” Thorne-Begland said. “Do they have a tax stamp on them and where did it come from? Is the tax stamp counterfeit or genuine? If it is not intended for sale in the U.S., where was it supposed to be sold?”

Thorne-Begland said Altria has conducted similar discarded-pack collections in multiple cities in recent years. “We have collected over 325,000 empty packs of cigarettes and analyzed all of them,” he said, adding that the collections give Altria “a fairly robust data set” on the origins of cigarettes being smoked in a region at a particular time.

Altria’s information gathering in the Big Apple confirms what law-enforcement agencies already know: New York City, with the nation’s second-highest combined state and local cigarette tax of $5.85 per pack, is being saturated with black-market smuggled cigarettes from low-tax states.

The source of those cigarettes is primarily Virginia, which has the nation’s second-lowest cigarette excise tax at 30 cents per pack.

The price difference makes smuggling a highly profitable criminal venture. A carload of about 600 cartons bought in Virginia and sold without paying New York taxes can produce a profit of $20,000, according to Altria’s own calculations. ...

Read the full story...

Doxxing: The New Threat — Posting the Personal Information of Officers & Their Families | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Doxxing: The New Threat — Posting the Personal Information of Officers & Their Families

March 22, 2015 | VACP

This is Part 1 of a two part series on the subject of “Doxxing”. In this first part we will define Doxxing, discuss how it is being used, and review the risks and threats Doxxing represents to law enforcement officials and their families. In Part 2 we will talk about what can be done to protect yourself from Doxxing.

DOXXING DEFINED

Doxxing is loosely defined as an Internet based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information (such as names, addresses, phone numbers, spouse, children, relatives, financial history, and much more) about an individual.  The practice of doxxing is not new.  It actually dates back to the 1990s and was often used for constructive purposes such as helping law enforcement locate suspects and /or dangerous criminals, in business analysis, and the legitimate vetting of individuals.  Doxxing, however, strays into a very dark area when it is used for other purposes.

DOXXING AS USED BY ONLINE VIGILANTES

There are countless modern examples of doxxing that millions of Americans read about every day, often without realizing that doxxing is at the heart of what they are reading.  In the last two years, the Social Security number of First Lady Michelle Obama, Beyonce's home address, Aston Kutcher's personal phone number, and the credit report of Los Angeles PD chief Charlie Beck were all posted online following acts of doxxing.

While these events were troubling enough to the individuals involved, the more recent use of doxxing has taken an even darker turn. 

Following recent events in Fersuson, the group called Anonymous acquired the sensitive personal information of Colonel Ronald Replogle, posted it on the Internet, and then Tweeted the location of this information to thousands of people. 

Literally anyone – an ill-intended individual, gang member, escapee, former arrestee, protestor, etc. can follow the provided link to acquire a home address, phone number, email address and much more.  These kinds of acts essentially put the individual involved and his family at immediate risk. 

Erica Garner, one of the daughters of Eric Garner who was killed in a chokehold event by a New York City police officer, tweeted out the address of one of the officers present at the time (Justin D’Amico).  Her Tweet linked to a web page with addresses for D’Amico and for “five” possible relatives.  Erica Garner has more than 5,000 Twitter followers and her post was retweeted about 500 times. 

 

Following the fatal shooting of a homeless man on Skid Row in Los Angeles in early March, LAPD confirmed that at least two police officers were the victims of doxxing.  An unknown individual or group posted the officers’ names, addresses, and details about their kids’ schools on the Internet.

THE RISKS AND THREATS OF DOXXING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS

Law enforcement officials often find themselves in risky situations.  It comes with the territory.  Doxxing, however, is a new kind of threat and one that can manifest itself in many dimensions and extend the risk beyond the individual involved to include family members and relatives. 

The bigger problem here, of course, is the ready availability of sensitive personal information on the Internet to feed the practice of doxxing.  More than 50 entities, loosely defined as data brokers, have compiled comprehensive information profiles about most of us.  This information is then made easily available for anyone to acquire on the Internet.  These sources feed the practice of doxxing and can lead to many different types of assault including the following – which do not need to be life threatening to be debilitating    

  • Targeting
  • Physical Stalking
  • Cyber Stalking
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Embarrassment
  • Identity Theft
  • Coercion
  • Extortion
  • Vigilante “Justice”, etc.

This is a serious issue with many having been victimized already.  So, what can we do about this at both individual and organizational levels?  The only practical solution is to remove your personal information from these sites.  But, that task is easier said than done.  More on that subject in Part 2 next week. 

For more information in the interim, please visit https://vacp.manageurid.com

Virginia Tech fraternities join program with police | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Virginia Tech fraternities join program with police

March 21, 2015 | Virginia News

The Blacksburg Police Department’s Adopt-A-Cop program has worked closely with fraternities at Virginia Tech.

By Karin Kapsidelis | Richmond Times-Dispatch

At Virginia Tech this month, the leaders of 28 fraternities are getting a different sort of schooling.

They’re enrolled in the second year of the Blacksburg Police Department’s six-week Adopt-A-Cop Academy — part of a program designed to foster a safer social environment in off-campus fraternity houses by establishing municipal police officers as mentors and advisers for each chapter.

“We have successfully navigated some tough water with them,” Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson said.

The department’s proactive approach comes amid increased scrutiny of fraternities nationally as a result of recent shocking — in one case literally so — incidents.

Just this month, Washington and Lee University suspended the Phi Kappa Psi chapter for three years after a member used a Taser on a new brother and intimidated others with it.

At the University of Oklahoma, Sigma Alpha Epsilon members riding on a party bus were caught on video singing a racist song with a line about lynching.

At Pennsylvania State University, members of Kappa Delta Rho are under police investigation for a secret Facebook page displaying photos of nude women who were either sleeping or unconscious.

And Thursday night, the North Carolina State University chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was suspended after the discovery of what appeared to be a pledge book filled with jokes about rape and lynching.

The incidents renew debate over whether the Greek system is an outdated vestige of another century, or whether fraternities are unfairly maligned for the misbehavior of a few. ...

Read the full story...

New Market Selects Rinker as Next Police Chief | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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New Market Selects Rinker as Next Police Chief

March 16, 2015 | Virginia News

The town of New Market officially appointed Sgt. Chris Rinker as its new chief of police Monday night.

The town council approved Rinker’s appointment as acting Chief of Police with a unanimous 5-0 vote. Rinker will begin duties of acting chief starting Wednesday, before officially taking over the position starting July 1.

“I guess I need to take it all in first. I mean, I’m excited,” said Rinker, who has served in the New Market Police Department for almost 16 years.
Rinker added, “It’s been a goal of mine to be the police chief for the town of New Market.”

Rinker will take over from the town’s current chief, Charles Peery. Peery has served as chief since 2007, and gave the town his notice of retirement last fall.

According to Peery, this appointment was actually something he had been prepping for a couple years leading up to Monday night.

“I’ve worked with Chris [Rinker] for 15 years, the last two or three I purposefully sent him to schools to give him the training that he needs,” Peery said, noting that grooming Rinker for the position was his goal.

Peery added, “He didn’t really understand that sometimes, but I had a motive.”

According to Peery, he saw Rinker’s “maturity, his desire to do the job and his dedication to” the job when considering him for the position. “Those are hard characteristics to find nowadays.”

Of Rinker’s appointment, New Market mayor Douglas Bradley, said, “First of all, I think it’s healthy for the department and I think it’s healthy for the community.”

According to Bradley, Rinker is highly regarded amongst the residents of New Market. “He’s very well-known and very well-respected … that was what we based it on.”

Bradley also noted that the town did not look at any other candidates for the position.

“I’m sure he’s the best candidate that we could have interviewed, I know that,” Bradley said, adding, “Everyone was on board, I don’t think there’s any disappointing areas in it at all.”

In his newly appointed role, Rinker simply stated that he wants to “be a good leader.”

“[Chief Peery] is a great leader,” Rinker said, adding, “I can’t describe everything that he’s taught me and he’s been a great leader.”

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Source URL: http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2015/03/new-market-names-new-chief/

Lynchburg Police basketball program builds relationships | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Lynchburg Police basketball program builds relationships

March 13, 2015 | Virginia News

By Ashlie Walter | Lynchburg News & Advance

For some children in Lynchburg’s inner-city neighborhoods, the first time they touch a basketball is at the Lynchburg Police Department’s Badges for Basketballs program.

Close to 10 officers work as coaches in the program which extend into friendships with many of the children. Members of the force volunteer their time to coach the six teams of middle-school-aged children.

Senior Officer R.E. Coleman III, program organizer, said participation in the program nearly doubled this season.

“I think last year was a little bigger than the year before. We played private schools last year…this year we’re so big we play ourselves,” he said.

The program was been around for the past 3-4 years, Coleman said. The program’s purpose is to get the youth more involved with police on a positive note instead of “seeing us at their house late at night or arresting their parents.”

This season was Coleman’s second year with the program, last year he was a coach.

“They really enjoy it, they enjoy playing basketball and getting to know them on a personal level,” he said.

When he was a coach, Coleman was used to seeing many of the program’s children at their homes and often developing that personal relationship led to a calmer environment during incidents.

The league began in January and will culminate in a championship tournament starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at Dunbar Middle School.

The Boys and Girls Club works in association with the basketball program by providing grant funding.

Admission to the tournament is free and open to the public.

Source URL: Lynchburg News & Advance

Nominations sought for 2015 ADL Shield Awards; Due April 24 | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Nominations sought for 2015 ADL Shield Awards; Due April 24

March 12, 2015 | Virginia News

The Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) SHIELD Awards were created to annually recognize law enforcement professionals for significant contributions towards protecting the American people from hate crimes, domestic and international terrorism, and towards promoting civil rights. The Awards were created in 2010 by ADL’s Washington, DC Regional Office (serving DC/MD/VA/NC) and are presented to law enforcement serving this region.

The name of the award is an acronym for the core values of the profession: Service, Honor, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership, and Dedication. The awards were established to honor law enforcement’s dedication and commitment to protecting the communities they serve and to increase public awareness of the values and sacrifices of the men and women in law enforcement.

The awards recognize law enforcement in DC, MD, VA and NC. Recipients are chosen by a committee of more than twenty-five agency heads in the Washington, DC region.

Click here for more information about the SHIELD Awards, including details about past winners and the members of the selection committee.

Click here for a nomination form

Richmond area police chiefs say community relationships critical | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Richmond area police chiefs say community relationships critical

March 11, 2015 | Virginia News

On Thursday evening, March 12, 2015, the Richmond Times-Dispatch hosted their 55th Public Square - Meet Your Chiefs. The event was held in the Times-Dispatch's downtown offices and featured Chesterfield Police Chief Thierry Dupuis, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham, Henrico Police Chief Doug Middleton, and Hanover Sheriff David R. Hines.

By BRANDON SHULLEETA | Richmond Times-Dispatch

The region’s top local law enforcement leaders emphasized the importance of strong community relationships, collaboration between agencies and investments in law enforcement personnel and equipment during a public forum hosted by the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Thursday evening.

Henrico County Police Chief Doug Middleton said The Times-Dispatch’s 55th Public Square marked the first time, to his knowledge, that all of the top law enforcement leaders of the region’s four largest localities have appeared together as panelists in a public forum.

“I do think the relationship piece … is the critical piece,” Middleton said during the Public Square, a program created in 2005 to encourage civil community discussion.

The other panelists were Chesterfield County Police Chief Thierry Dupuis, Hanover County Sheriff David R. Hines, and Richmond’s new police chief, Alfred Durham.

The law enforcement executives said they’re in close communication with each other and often share ideas, and they also said they have established close relationships in the communities — relationships they’re hoping to build on.

Dupuis said that while some refer to police and the community as two separate entities, he believes that in this region, “it’s not two different things. We are one.” ...

Read the full story...

IRS to Warner: Uniforms for Public Safety Officials are Not Taxable | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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IRS to Warner: Uniforms for Public Safety Officials are Not Taxable

March 11, 2015 | Virginia News

In response to request from Sen. Warner, IRS provides clarity to Virginia firefighters and police that the cost of clothing provided to wear on duty is not subject to taxation

WASHINGTON – In a letter to U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that firefighters and police officers will not be expected to pay taxes on common clothing items that they are required to wear while on duty.

“I am pleased that the IRS has clarified its policy on taxing police and fire department uniforms,” said Sen. Warner. “Now our firefighters and police officers can stop worrying about getting taxed for their clothing and concentrate on what they do best: keeping us safe.”

“On behalf of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, I want to thank Sen. Warner for standing up for our members all across Virginia,” said Lunenburg Sheriff Arthur Townsend, Virginia Sheriffs’ Association President. “He continues to demonstrate a clear understanding of our needs and a willingness to support the sheriffs and deputies who put their lives on the line and protect the public.”

Last year, Botetourt County, Va., was audited by the IRS and found to owe $91,000 in back taxes, stemming in part from an IRS finding that the locality erred in not taxing deputies for the value of certain common clothing items that are part of their uniforms.

In January, Sen. Warner wrote to the IRS, seeking the clarification on behalf of Virginia law enforcement concerned about the tax treatment of certain clothing items that are required as part of a uniform.

“Virginia sheriffs applaud Sen. Warner’s persistence and work on this important issue on behalf of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association,” said Virginia Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director John W. Jones. “I also want to commend Sheriff Brian Roberts of Brunswick County, who visited Washington with me, for carrying a display of various uniforms used by deputy sheriffs that are being taxed to show firsthand how modern day uniforms used by deputy sheriffs are functional, less expensive than traditional uniforms, and should not be subject to taxes by the IRS.”

“Sen. Warner’s swift action on this matter will save Virginia’s sheriffs and deputies from unfair taxation during tough budget times,” said Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts.

Under IRS regulations, uniforms are considered to be nontaxable if they are required as a condition of employment and the item(s) are “not suitable for everyday wear.” Due to the high costs of traditional patrol uniforms, to save money many departments issue some deputies clothing items such as polo style shirts, non-steel toe boots, or shorts to wear while working if their stations – such as providing jail security – do not require a full service uniform. These standard uniform items often come with distinctive agency logos and officials are prohibited by their departments from wearing them off duty. However, in the absence of clear guidance from the agency, many individual IRS agents have determined that these common public safety uniform items are suitable for everyday wear and are therefore subject to taxation.

Responding to questions from Sen. Warner, IRS Associate Chief Counsel Andrew J. Keyso wrote, “Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive list of clothing, or labels or markings on clothing, that make the clothing suitable or unsuitable for everyday wear in all circumstances.” However, “In cases where a law enforcement agency or fire department has a policy of prohibiting off-duty wearing of uniforms, the uniform is properly viewed as not suitable for everyday wear and the value of the uniform is not includible in the employees’ income.”

A PDF of the IRS letter is available here. A PDF of Sen. Warner’s initial letter to the IRS is available here.

Permalink: http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2015/3/irs-tells-warner-uniforms-for-public-safety-officials-not-taxable

The New Threat: Targeting Law Enforcement Personnel In Their Homes | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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The New Threat: Targeting Law Enforcement Personnel In Their Homes

March 4, 2015 | VACP

The VACP is pleased to announce the formation of a partnership with ManageURiD – a company that was formed for the exclusive and urgent purpose of controlling the amount and type of personal information that is being compiled and made readily available about all of us on the Internet.

The personal privacy of virtually everyone is routinely being violated today in a way that especially threatens the physical and financial well-being of law enforcement officers and their families. This issue has become seriously aggravated by the stated targeting of police by organizations like Anonymous, various protest groups, and others, and has made the protection of the personal information of law enforcement personnel an officer safety and force protection imperative.

Family Members Are Also Targets

An article published in the December issue of The Police Chief stated in part, “Law enforcement officers’ home addresses are no longer confidential information. Many free websites exist where a search by last name or phone number provides a listing of a person’s current and prior addresses. This is unfortunate and should be considered as a family and home security issue as any arrestee can now go to the web and find out where you live.”

Within the last few days and less than 48 hours after of the fatal shooting of a homeless man on Skid Row, the LAPD confirmed that at least two police officers were victims of what is called “doxxing.”  That is, someone posted their private personal information online, including names, addresses and details about their children’s schools.

Removing This Information Is Difficult

The only practical solution to this problem is to remove relevant sensitive personal information from the many sites offering it available. The unfortunate reality, however, is that removing personal information from these sites is intentionally convoluted and extremely difficult. While it is technically possible, most people do not have the time, patience, interest or skill to successfully accomplish the task as the process would virtually require a full time commitment.

The Solution

While protecting personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming process, it is a very necessary process for individual and family safety, especially for high profile public figures such as law enforcement and public safety officials. Unfortunately, once personal information has been accessed by the wrong individual or group, it cannot be retrieved.

ManageURiD was formed — and the ManageURiDProtect service developed — for the exclusive and urgent purpose of empowering our clients to regain control of this process and, most importantly, control the amount and type of their personal information that is being compiled and made readily available on the Internet. We do this with a fully automated process to help our clients and their families reclaim their privacy and better protect their physical and financial security.

ManageURiD is owned and operated by military veterans with extensive knowledge of the “sensitive personal information” space, and a highly successful track record of supporting intelligence, military, law enforcement agencies.

The VACP has partnered with ManageURiD to bring this identity protection service to you at a discount.  Anyone who signs up for the service through the VACP's ManageURiD portal will get a 50% discount on the cost of the service AND will also help support the VACP. 

For more information and to start protecting your personal information, visit: https://vacp.manageurid.com.

Jack Reis
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
(703) 421-9682

Update from the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Update from the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation

February 26, 2015 | VACP

News Image The Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation (VPCF) is a 501(c)3 and is the charitable and educational arm of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. The primary purpose of the VPCF is to provide leadership education and training to law enforcement. The foundation is funded by grants, donations, fundraising events, and training fees.

Training Programs

The New Chiefs/Deputy Chiefs Training School is being held next week.  This training is full.  The next one will be held in March 2016.

Media Relations Training is being held March 31-April 2 in Glen Allen. 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. Click here to register

The First Line Supervisors Training School is being held April 7-9 in Glen Allen. 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. Click here to register

The VPCF also runs an Internal Affairs Investigators Basic Training School.  We just finished the 2015 school, the next one is being planned for February 2016.

PELS Alumni Section Annual Training is being held at the Holocaust & Marine Corps Museums April 21-23.

The Institute for Leadership in Changing Times (ILCT) is our mid-level leadership education program.  It is held at the Roanoke Police Academy for one week in June and 3 days in September.  The application deadline is April 1.

The Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) is our Executive level leadership education program.  You must be a lieutenant or above to attend this program.  The program is held for 3 weeks, one week a month for 3 consecutive months.  The next session starts in SeptemberThe application deadline is July 1.

Scholarships

VPCF College Scholarship Program is for dependant children of active police officers employed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  This is a needs-based scholarship and the amount of each scholarship awarded varies between $500 and $1,000.  Application deadline is April 1, 2015.

Thanks to the Altria Group, Inc., we have 2 partial scholarships available to attend PELS and 2 full scholarships available to attend ILCT. Follow the links for more information.

We also have another partial scholarship for PELS available through the Lex T. Eckenrode Scholarship Fund.

In addition, we currently have funding available to provide discounts for agencies with limited resources to attend VPCF programs. Click here for more information.

Upcoming Fundraising Events

Our annual Captains Choice Golf Tournament is being held May 13 at the Draper Valley Golf Club. Registration is forthcoming, but will be posted at http://www.vapolicefoundation.org/support/outreach.html.

The PELS Alumni Section Annual Silent Auction will be held in conjunction with the VACP Annual Conference.  We are looking for donated items for the auction:

  • Home & Garden
  • Electronics
  • Tools
  • Sporting Goods
  • Challenge Coins!!

Questions?

For questions about our programs or scholarships, please contact our Programs Manager Stephanie Diaz at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (804) 285-8227.

NAWLEE Announces 20th Anniversary Membership Drive | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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NAWLEE Announces 20th Anniversary Membership Drive

February 26, 2015 | National News

The National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE) has launched a new membership drive as part of their celebration of their 20th anniversary.

NAWLEE is the first organization established to address the unique needs of women holding senior management positions in law enforcement.

According to Chief Barbara O’Connor, President of NAWLEE and Chief of the University of Connecticut Police Department: “Our mission is to serve and further the interests of women executives and those who aspire to be executives in law enforcement.  Our association is comprised of members at all levels from 1st year officers to seasoned Chiefs, which enables us to serve all women in policing.  In addition to growing our membership, we are also looking at growth beyond North America”.

NAWLEE’s general purpose is to promote the ideals and principles of women executives in law enforcement; to conduct training seminars to train and educate women executives in law enforcement; including but not limited to the areas of leadership, management, and administration; to provide a forum for the exchange of information concerning law enforcement and generally fostering effective law enforcement.

They provide mentoring opportunities for women in mid-level management positions and those new to senior management roles. NAWLEE provides opportunities for men and women in senior management positions to better understand how to retain and mentor women in their organizations.

The association’s Executive Director, Dave Weisz, emphasized that: “We are involved with many key issues that all law enforcement leaders and their agencies face including participation in the Presidential Task Force on 20th Century Policing.  NAWLEE is also very active with National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence and requests for our view on certain issues has been increasing as we continue our strong growth.” 

Membership is open to women and men in law enforcement as well as other individuals in the industry.  To learn more about the association and to join online, please visit www.nawlee.org.

Deadline for 2015 VACP/VPCF Award Nominations extended to June 12! | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
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Deadline for 2015 VACP/VPCF Award Nominations extended to June 12!

February 22, 2015 | VACP

News Image Please take the time to nominate your deserving officers or citizens for the 2015 VACP Awards for Valor, Lifesaving and Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement. An officer or citizen's actions need only have occurred prior to the deadline to be eligible for nomination by a VACP member. (In other words, they are not limited to the 2014 calendar year.)

The nomination form clearly describes the criteria for the three separate categories of awards. Please read them carefully and make sure that the officer or officers you wish to nominate fit the criteria AND you select the most appropriate award category for the nomination. In particular, the Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement Award is very unique and is not simply a “catch-all” category for anything that doesn’t fit the Valor or Lifesaving Award criteria.  We recommend reviewing the recipients of past OCLE Awards to see the type of contribution that is worthy of recognition with this award.

Please include sufficient explanation in the supporting documentation to show that the actions of the officer(s) meet the criteria for the selected award. Again, nominations for the 2015 awards are open to all actions occurring prior to the June 12, 2015 (THIS IS A CHANGE) deadline, so long as they have not been previously submitted for consideration. (Read about previous VACP Award recipients here.)

2015 VACP Awards Nomination Form: Download as Word doc | Download fillable PDF

To nominate your officer or officers, submit a completed award nomination form along with no more than three pages of supporting documentation, including the description of the action and any letters of support. Supporting documentation must provide enough detail for the judges to make a determination without having to speculate. Press clips on their own may not be sufficient because details needed by the judges to make a determination may have been excluded by either the reporter or the public information officer. We prefer that nominations be submitted by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if possible, but will accept faxed or mailed nominations as well.

The Awards Committee will review the nominations in June or July and award notices will be sent to the agency heads no later than early August. Recipients of Awards for Valor and Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement will be presented with their plaques at the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in Williamsburg, August 30 – September 2, 2015.  Lifesaving Award recognitions will be presented to the agency heads for presentation to the officer at a departmental ceremony. Please be prepared to provide a high-resolution digital photograph of your Valor Award nominee(s) as they will be requested upon notice of selection for inclusion in the awards program.

We look forward to receiving your award nominations.  Please feel free to contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or VACP Communications Manager Erin Schrad .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone at 804-285-8227 if you have any questions.

New Market Police Chief Set to Retire | Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police