Governor McAuliffe Announces CJS Board Appointments
July 23, 2014 | Virginia News
On July 18, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed the following individuals to the Criminal Justice Services Board:
John Anthony Manuel Boneta of Vienna, Managing and Founding Partner, Law Offices of John A. Boneta & Associates, PLLC
Jeffrey S. Brown* of Disputanta, Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police, Hampden-Sydney College
The Honorable Vanessa Reese Crawford of Petersburg, Sheriff, City of Petersburg
The Honorable Michelle R. Mosby of Richmond, Member, Richmond City Council, 9th District
Kevin Pittman of Manassas, Deputy Sheriff, Fairfax County
Bobby Russell* of Roanoke, Superintendent, Western Regional Jail
Kelvin L. Wright of Chesapeake, Chief of Police
Stephanie M. Wright, MSW of Alexandria, Co-Founder of Together We Bake, a nonprofit designed to serve women in need who are transitioning from the corrections system
* – Denotes reappointment.
Town of Bedford police chief retiring
July 21, 2014 | Virginia News
By Steve Hardy, Lynchburg News & Advance
After 34 years in law enforcement, Bedford police Chief Jim Day is handing in his gun and badge.
Day, 62, recently told the department he will retire at the end of September.
“I’ve had a good run, been happy with [the job], enjoyed wearing the uniform,” he said Monday.
As a young man, Day worked as a real estate agent in Roanoke. During an economic slump, he joined the Roanoke police, figuring he would work there for two or three years.
His tenure ended up stretching more than a quarter century. In 2006, he was named chief of the Bedford Police Department.
During his tenure, he thinks the department improved its organization and planning. The force also made an effort to improve communication through social media and public meetings, Day said.
The chief oversaw Bedford’s reversion to a town, which increased his department’s jurisdictional area without adding officers. The chief thinks his department — 24 officers and three civilians — handled the transition well.
“I haven’t heard one single complaint,” he said.
Day plans to stay active in his retirement. He hopes to work more with the Agape Center, a Moneta-based Christian ministry where he volunteers. He’s heading to Montana this week to help open a new church and give the pastor a hand renovating his house.
Town manager Charles Kolakowski will lead the hunt for a new chief. On Monday, he said it was not yet clear if the new chief would come from within the department or through an outside hire.
Day does not plan to endorse a potential successor publicly.
Kolakowski praised the outgoing chief for his professionalism and integrity.
“He will certainly be missed. He’s done a very good job for the department and for the town,” Kolakowski said.
“We’re sorry to see him go.”
Day said he plans to remain in the area and believes the department is in good hands with the current staff.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here and I plan on enjoying my retirement,” he said.
IACP Weekly Legislative Update: July 21, 2014
July 21, 2014 | National News
Weekly wrap-up of legislative issues and things to watch at the national level from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
Military Surplus Program (1033 Program)
Thank you to everyone that sent the IACP examples of how your agency uses the Military Surplus Program (1033 Program). Discussions continue in Congress around legislative proposals that would reform the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) 1033 Program that permits the Secretary of Defense to transfer excess DoD supplies and equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies for use in their law enforcement duties. Potential reforms could include, preventing the transfer of the following: automatic weapons, those that are .50 caliber or greater; tactical vehicles, including highly mobile multi-wheeled vehicles, armored vehicles, and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles; armored Drones; and aircrafts.
The IACP was able to use the examples you provided as positive uses of the program and to help demonstrate the continued importance of the program. If your agency has procured equipment from the Military Surplus Program, it is important that you inform your congressional delegation of the programs importance to your agency and how the equipment under questions has been beneficial in your operations.
The IACP will continue to work with Congress as they discuss draft legislative proposals to reform the Military Surplus program.
U.S. Sentencing Commission Endorses Shorter Prison Terms for Current Inmates
On July 18, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted 7-0 to apply lower drug sentencing guidelines to eligible inmates already in prison. The U.S. Sentencing Commission’s move is highly supported by many Senate Judiciary Committee leaders on Capitol Hill. More than 46,000 federal drug offenders could potentially be released if the judge that reviews their case to get out early decides to rule in their favor. The releases would start in November of 2015 and be phased in over a period of several years. To read more, click here.
What to Watch This Week
With Congress out of session for the month of August and a limited number of days when both chambers will be in session in September, the time remaining to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 spending bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30 is quickly running out.
We will likely see a government wide continuing resolution, with Congress resuming work on the appropriations bills after the November elections.
IACP Opposes Any Proposal to Dissolve the ATF
There is a legislative proposal in the works that would dissolve the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) strongly opposes any proposal that would abolish or diminish the ATF.
The ATF is, and has always been, a vital partner to state and local law enforcement in the shared mission of safeguarding citizens and reducing violent crime in our nation’s communities. The close working relationship between the ATF and state and local law enforcement agencies is essential in continuing efforts to protect our neighborhoods from violent criminals and organized criminal organizations, prevent the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, and combating the illegal use and storage of explosives and bombs that can be used in acts of terrorism. Years of effective partnership between ATF and state and local law enforcement have created a force multiplier that has been highly successful in reducing violent crime.
By dissolving the ATF, state and local law enforcement would lose a key federal partner and potentially leave our communities vulnerable to further violence.
House and Senate Appropriators are offering sharply different visions of their emergency supplemental to address the influx of unaccompanied children trying to enter the United States illegally. Due to the differences in the House and Senate proposals, Congress will likely not consider an emergency supplemental until after the August recess.
The House and Senate are in session this week. Outlined below is a schedule of this week’s hearings and markups that are of interest to the IACP.
- House Committee on Homeland Security hearing entitled, “The Rising Terrorist Threat and the Unfulfilled 9/11 Recommendation.”
House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency hearing entitled, “Threat to the U.S. Homeland: Emerging Nexus Between Foreign Actors, Transnational Criminal Organizations, and Terrorist Organizations in Latin America.”
House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence hearing on Jihadist safe havens and efforts to detect and deter terrorist travel.
Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia hearing entitled, The Path to Efficiency: Making FEMA More Effective for Streamlined Disaster Operations.”
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs hearing on the nomination of Joseph L. Nimmich to be Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The story behind the CIA’s ‘light-hearted, humorous’ Twitter account
July 16, 2014 | National News
Some disagree with the strategy, but the intelligence agency is no longer clandestine on social media.
At first glance, it may look like the CIA’s accounts on Facebook and Twitter are part of a bogus scheme, maintained by an unaffiliated comedic troll. But the intelligence agency has confirmed they are the real deal, part of its effort to educate the public about what it does – at least the parts it can talk about.
The CIA officially joined Twitter and Facebook on June 6 to "build its online presence beyond" its public website, mobile portal, and official Flickr and YouTube accounts, according to a statement.
The social media accounts are helping the CIA’s office of public affairs, which is responsible for both internal and external communications at the agency, to fulfill one of its core missions: to inform and educate the public, CIA spokesperson Kali Caldwell told PRWeek.
A small, Web-focused team is responsible for the CIA’s online presence, and one officer oversees both accounts as part of her overall Web-content-management job.
The agency’s first tweet, which stated, "We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet," garnered over 300,000 retweets and was favorited nearly 200,000 times.
When asked why the CIA decided recently to create a Twitter account, Caldwell explained that social media is not only a tool that helps the agency reach people who might not otherwise visit its website, but it also helps to "dispel myths about who [the CIA is and what it does]."
"We’ve historically had a number of CIA imposters using social media platforms to disseminate inaccurate information," she said. "We wanted to have an official voice on these platforms that could provide accurate information on our mission and history. If we don’t tell our story, others will, and often they’ll get it wrong."
2014 IACP National Law Enforcement Challenge Winners Announced
July 16, 2014 | VACP
The results of the 2014 National Law Enforcement Challenge have been announced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Virginia leads the nation with eight winning agencies!
The Law Enforcement Challenge awards recognize agencies' comprehensive highway safety efforts over the previous calendar year (the 2014 Challenge recognizes 2013 efforts). In the National Challenge, agencies are evaluated against other agencies of similar size and type from across the country. A state Challenge awards program is also conducted to recognize the top traffic safety programs in Virginia. (Results still to be determined.)
There were 33 Virginia agencies that entered the National Law Enforcement Challenge and Virginia's eight winning agencies and their nine awards are the MOST of all states. California was second with six awards, four of which went to one agency – the California Highway Patrol. Maryland was third with five awards.
The VACP congratulates the Virginia winners in the 2014 National Challenge!!
- Ashland Police Department
- Roanoke County Police Department
- Roanoke City Police Department
- Henrico County Division of Police
- Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office
- New Kent County Sheriff's Office (also won a Special Award for Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety)
- Stafford County Sheriff's Office
- Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department
The judging for the Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge still has to take place. We hope to have that process finished by the first week of August.
For more information about the National Law Enforcement Challenge, visit http://www.theiacp.org/NLEC. You can review the list of questions on the application form and read the "How To" guide for submitting an entry from that web page. If your agency did not participate this year, we hope you will review the program and plan to enter in 2015! There is still lots of time in 2014 to participate in highway safety education and enforcement initiatives and document those activities for an entry in the 2015 National & Virginia Challenges.
Germanna police chief chosen to head state campus law enforcement group
July 15, 2014 | VACP
Germanna Community College Chief of Police Craig Branch has been chosen as 2014-2015 president of the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators—a state campus police chief group.
He had served as vice president previously. The new vice president is Virginia Commonwealth University Chief John Venuti.
“This is truly humbling,” Branch said. “It’s an honor to know that my colleagues think highly enough of me to entrust me with such a prestigious position in our profession. I am also fortunate enough to have a wonderful executive director in Dana Schard along with her passionate staff and a phenomenal executive board. My goal is simply to continue with our mission; to promote professionalism in campus public safety through training, collaboration and education.”
“We’re proud of Chief Branch,” said Germanna President David A. Sam. ”The professionalism and leadership he’s exhibited in overseeing Germanna’s transition from a college security department to a campus police department will serve the association well.”
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Branch, a Chesterfield County resident, to the state Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice earlier this year.
Branch, a Chesterfield County resident, came to Germanna as chief in 2011. He has over 20 years of law enforcement and security experience in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Prior to coming to Germanna, he worked for the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Police Department where he served as an Interim Chief and Deputy Chief of Police. Prior to his employment at J. Sargeant Reynolds, Branch served as a Watch Commander, Special Operations Commander, and Special Events Coordinator with the Virginia State University Police Department where he supervised police officers, security officers, and a narcotics canine officer. He went on to work for the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department where he served as a police supervisor on the night shift.
Branch has worked as a patrol officer, field training officer, community policing/crime prevention officer, law enforcement supervisor, police academy Instructor, law enforcement manager, gang/narcotics investigator and physical security specialist.
He’s a graduate of Virginia State University with a B.S. in Health Physical Education and Recreation with a concentration in Sports Marketing and Recreation Supervision. He is also a graduate of Virginia State University’s Supervisor Management Institute, the VCCS Classified Staff Leadership Academy and the Virginia Police Chiefs Foundation’s New Chiefs School.
New Technology Helping Danville Police Department
July 15, 2014 | Virginia News
Danville, VA -- New technology at Danville's Police Department is helping them do their jobs. The department recently received a Smart Board. Officers use it in their morning meetings, where they can access the internet, see pictures, and use the interactive technology to better catch criminals.
A pen and paper is all that the officers had just a few months ago during their meetings. Now they use a huge monitor that allows them to be interactive in their investigations. For example, they can see suspects' pictures and get more information for a particular case.
Captain Dennis Haley says that's not all they use the Smart Board for. Officers have used it for training, planning a SWAT mission, and planning search warrants. And they can access the information from the Smart Board in their patrol cars. Haley says the Smart Board cost the department $8,000, which was paid for using drug seizure money. Haley tells us this technology has been extremely helpful.
"Actually use Google Earth and pull up the outside of the house, show its location. It provides very user friendly means of providing a lot of information for the officers before they go out," said Haley.
Another exciting improvement to the department is that all of the officers are in the process of receiving body-worn cameras. The Street Crimes Unit has had them for a while, but soon all officers will be equipped.
Police agencies seek accreditation
July 13, 2014 | Virginia News
Many area law enforcement agencies strive to become accredited at either the state or national level, or both for at least one local police department. Accreditation in law enforcement is similar to accreditation of other fields, such as hospitals and colleges. It means the agency has met specific standards of excellence and operates according to norms established by state and national law enforcement practitioners.
Generally, accreditation is a self improvement process of law enforcement agencies. The purpose is to allow an agency the opportunity to demonstrate that it meets nationally-recognized law enforcement practices.
In the Mountain Empire, agencies are accredited at the national level by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Both Tennessee and Virginia each have their own accrediting agencies that are based on CALEA standards.
Last week, the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office was reaccredited through the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC).
“Very few law enforcement agencies have been able to maintain 100 percent compliance on all 190 standards,” Sheriff Fred Newman said. “The reaccreditation of our sheriff’s office is a significant accomplishment that is made possible by the dedicated men and women who work for our agency.”
Washington County first received accreditation at the state level in June 2006 and was reaccredited in 2010.
Newman said from that point on, the sheriff’s office has worked diligently in maintaining the 190 standards needed for compliance for accreditation.
One area agency, the Bristol Virginia Police Department, lost its accreditation after deciding not to pay for the process due to budget cuts.
Major Sean Carrigan said Bristol Virginia had been accredited by CALEA, but lost its accreditation several years ago. CALEA costs thousands of dollars, while state-level accreditation costs hundreds of dollars.
Despite not being a state-level or national-level accredited agency, Carrigan said the department still follows state and national standards. It just hasn’t had an outside organization to review the department.
But Bristol recently began the accreditation process through the state of Virginia. Carrigan said the department is now thoroughly reviewing its policies and comparing them with other jurisdictions. He is not sure how long it will take to obtain accreditation.
Prince William cops, after raids, arrange treatment for drug users, get some takers
July 13, 2014 | Virginia News
Officers from Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park raided 19 locations and arrested 53 people over three days last month as part of an ongoing battle against heroin and illegal prescription-drug dealing. Nothing unusual there.
But after each arrest, a detective or other officer sat down with the suspects and made this offer: We have a chaplain available right now to take you to a drug treatment center, where counselors are ready and waiting — right now — to get you into the treatment you need. And for a police officer to make that offer — and to have arranged the path from jail to treatment — is groundbreaking, police experts said.
There were six takers, according to Vickie Taylor, a division manager for the Prince William County Community Services Board. Four showed up on the day of their arrest, and two more called and set up appointments after they posted bond, not always an easy task for people charged with selling heroin or Percocet or OxyContin. Even more remarkable, Taylor said, is that everyone who first made contact with her counselors has since showed up for subsequent appointments or treatment.
“These are obviously people who are struggling with major addiction problems,” Taylor said. “Every person said, ‘The police officer encouraged me to get help.’ They were amazed and really grateful for the opportunity. And I think that’s pretty special.”
The concept of police directly offering treatment to drug users and dealers is just emerging in law enforcement as police departments look for new ways to approach the drug problem. In Seattle and Santa Fe, N.M., police take drug users and low-level drug dealers to treatment before their arrests. Police in Collier County, Fla., take people to treatment whom they come across during drug raids but don’t arrest.
Marion strives to increase police visibility, bolster citizen access
July 11, 2014 | Virginia News
A new initiative to heighten the visibility of Marion police officers and enhance citizen access to them is under way. Police Chief Rex Anders told the Marion Town Council Monday evening that the department is initiating high-visibility patrols and scheduling officers so that more are working on weekends, especially in the downtown area.
Anders said these techniques are being undertaken to deter problems before they start, achieve a faster response time when needed, and make officers easier to find when they are needed. If a problem develops, Anders said, he wants Marion PD officers to be accessible.
Over the next six months, Anders plans to evaluate the initiatives and adjust as necessary to improve their effectiveness.
The Marion PD staff includes 19 sworn officers and two support personnel in administration and animal control.
Councilman Jim Barker told Anders he was pleased to see the extra patrols on the streets and officers walking throughout downtown. ...
Washington Co. Va. Sheriff’s Office renews accreditation
July 11, 2014 | Virginia News
ABINGDON, Va. -- The Washington County Sheriff’s Office received reaccreditation earlier this week from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission.
Sheriff Fred Newman announced Thursday that his office received its second reaccreditation certification from the commission. The department had 100 percent compliance on all 190 standards.
The WCSO first received accreditation in June 2006 and was reaccredited in 2010.
Newman said in a news release that the department has been working diligently since 2010 to maintain the 190 standards needed for accreditation.
“Very few law enforcement agencies have been able to maintain 100 percent compliance on all 190 standards,” Newman said. “The reaccreditation of our Sheriff’s Office is a significant accomplishment that is made possible by the dedicated men and women who work for our agency.
Bedford children learn the ropes of being a police officer at camp
July 10, 2014 | Virginia News
By Steve Hardy, Lynchburg News & Advance
Bounding over walls, diving under obstacles and dragging a mannequin across the grass, the children took turns running the course, crossing the finish line to cheers as the police officer announced their times.
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Bedford Police Department’s Cop Camp.
As some campers ran the obstacle course — meant to simulate the drills officers perform — others wheeled around on patrol Segways with Abingdon police.
“Those were a lot of fun,” Chris Bagby, 12, said.
Campers, who range between 9 and 14 years old, received an up-close look at law enforcement this week. They even got front-row seats to a demonstration by the state police bomb squad.
Troopers blew up a watermelon as well as a pig’s foot.
“Oh my gosh, that was scary,” 11-year-old Kyle Ashman said.
Meant to simulate a human hand, children saw the mangled foot and were reminded of the dangers of handling explosives.
Officers also let the kids behind the wheel of a golf cart while wearing goggles designed to create the effect of drunken driving. ...
National drug czar visited Roanoke Wednesday
July 10, 2014 | Virginia News
President Barack Obama’s top drug policy adviser is keenly interested in Roanoke’s expanded drug-control strategy and plans to spend most of today checking it out.
Michael Botticelli, acting director of national drug control policy, plans stops at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare, Hurt Park and Total Action for Progress. Drug court judges, police, prosecutors and mental health experts will brief the federal drug official.
The six or so hours Botticelli will be here will place a national spotlight on Roanoke. While in the city, he plans to also release the 2014 edition of the federal drug control strategy, his schedule says.
This past spring, the White House declared Roanoke, Salem, Roanoke County and Vinton a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a hot spot for illegal drugs and the violence and property crime associated with them. But officials say they are pleased with how the valley has been tackling the issue.
“Roanoke’s response to heroin and prescription drug abuse is a powerful illustration of how communities are not powerless against drug use and its consequences,” said Rafael Lemaitre, spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Every day in Roanoke, public safety officials are working hand-in-hand with public health officials to support innovative programs that are saving lives and making Roanoke stronger.”
The 2014 national drug control strategy, which runs 102 pages, mentions Roanoke police for confronting problems in several drug- and violence-plagued neighborhoods. One of the most talked-about efforts, known as drug market intervention, steers suspected nonviolent drug dealers to education, support and employment assistance in lieu of arrest and prosecution. Botticelli will hear all about it while here.
The broad aim of federal policy is to reduce drug use by 10 percent to 15 percent by 2015. Obama has said addressing drug abuse with medical science, not just punishment, makes the most sense.
“Addiction is a disease of the brain — one that can be prevented, treated, and from which people can recover,” according to Obama’s cover letter to Congress that accompanies the plan. ...
Guns allowed on planes, if packed properly
July 9, 2014 | National News
By Peter Bacque, Richmond Times-Dispatch
You can bring a weapon when you fly on an airliner.
“We want people to know they can travel with firearms,” the Transportation Security Administration’s Lisa Farbstein said.
You just have to do it legally, the TSA spokeswoman said Tuesday at Richmond International Airport. “You can fly with weapons, as long as you pack it properly and check it with the airline,” Farbstein said.
However, a lot of people don’t.
“We’re seeing an increase in the number of firearms showing up at checkpoints,” Farbstein told local news media at the Richmond International Airport, demonstrating with dummy guns and sturdy cases how to secure weapons before bringing them to the airport.
Weapons confiscated at airport security checkpoints in the United States have almost doubled in number since 2009, according to TSA figures, reaching 1,813 last year. Just last month, TSA set a one-day record of 18 guns identified at checkpoints nationwide.
“We think that people are getting more lax the further we’re moving away from 9/11,” Farbstein said. “People tell us with great frequency that they forgot it was in their bag.”
The proper way travelers can bring their firearms with them when they fly is to unload the weapon, put it in a hard-sided case, lock it securely and then bring the case to the airline check-in counter, she said.
“They’ll make sure it’s … in the belly of the plane,” she said.
All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited in carry-on baggage. ...
DOJ Announces New Priorities to Address Surge of Migrants Crossing into the U.S.
July 9, 2014 | National News
Justice Department Proposes Establishing Legal and Law Enforcement Advisors to Aid in Disrupting and Dismantling Immigrant Smuggling Operations
Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced today that the Justice Department will implement a series of steps to help address the influx of migrants crossing the southern border of the United States. These include refocusing immigration court resources to adjudicate the cases of recent migrants; providing support and training to help address violence in Central America; and redoubling efforts to work with other federal agencies and the Mexican government to investigate and prosecute those who smuggle migrants to the United States.
“Individuals who embark on the perilous journey from Central America to the United States are subject to violent crime, abuse, and extortion as they rely on dangerous human smuggling networks to transport them through Central America and Mexico,” Deputy Attorney General Cole said. “We have an obligation to provide humanitarian care for children and adults with children who are apprehended on our borders, but we also must do whatever we can to stem the tide of this dangerous migration pattern. The efforts we are announcing today are intended to address the challenges of this influx in a humane, efficient and timely way.”
Cole announced that the department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) will refocus its resources to prioritize cases involving migrants who have recently crossed the southwest border and whom DHS has placed into removal proceedings -- so that these cases are processed both quickly and fairly to enable prompt removal in appropriate cases, while ensuring the protection of asylum seekers and others.
“This refocusing of resources will allow EOIR to prioritize the adjudication of the cases of those individuals involved in the evolving situation at the southwest border,” said EOIR Director Juan P. Osuna. “Although our case management priorities are shifting, our immigration judges will continue to evaluate and rule upon cases consistent with all substantive and procedural rights and safeguards applicable to immigration proceedings.”
To augment its capacity to adjudicate cases as promptly as possible, EOIR is committed to hiring more immigration judges. EOIR this week will also publish a regulation allowing for the appointment of temporary immigration judges. Further, EOIR plans both to expand its existing legal access programs, and enhance access to legal resources and assistance for persons in removal proceedings.
Cole also announced that the Department is seeking new funding, as a part of the President’s emergency supplemental appropriations request, to assist Central American countries in combatting transnational crime and the threat posed by criminal gangs. This regional strategy for law enforcement capacity building would be aimed at addressing the issues that have been a factor in forcing many migrants to flee Central America for the United States.
The department will also redouble its efforts to work with Mexican authorities to identify and apprehend smugglers who are aiding unaccompanied children in crossing the U.S. border. Later this week, the Deputy Attorney General will also be meeting with the five U.S. Attorneys who represent the southwest border districts to strategize on ways to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations on the border that are facilitating the transportation of unaccompanied minors and others.
Today, Deputy Attorney General Cole will go to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s McAllen Station and processing facility to see the urgent situation at the border. EOIR Director Osuna will be testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to highlight the Justice Department’s efforts to aid in the administration-wide response to the migrant influx.
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial Construction Update
July 9, 2014 | VACP
RICHMOND –Today, Virginia Public Safety Foundation (VPSF) announced plans to commence with construction of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial at a new Capitol Square location south of the Patrick Henry Building. The following is a statement from VPSF President Paula Miller:
“I am overjoyed to announce that construction of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial will commence in the coming days and be completed in November. It has been 10 years since the inception of a grassroots campaign to construct a memorial honoring Virginia’s public safety officers and the 868 of them who have died in the line of duty; this announcement will be heartwarming news to thousands of Virginia first responders and their families.
For the past several months, VPSF has worked diligently to pursue construction of the memorial at its long-established site near the corner of 9th and Broad Streets at Richmond’s Capitol Square. Unfortunately, plans to demolish and rebuild the General Assembly Building would have greatly impacted the memorial.
Rather than delay construction of Virginia’s long-overdue monument to public safety heroes, VPSF asked to move the memorial to a location one block east of the original site. Governor Terry McAuliffe, who served as Memorial Fund Co-Chair prior to his election, agreed to our request. The memorial will be built in a space south of the Patrick Henry Building, where the Governor and his cabinet work, and near the Executive Mansion.
I know that our donors, supporters, and survivors care most about bringing to conclusion our long campaign to build the Public Safety Memorial. I hope they will share my excitement that the memorial’s construction will commence in the coming days, and that the memorial itself will be a beautiful tribute to our 868 heroes in a location that is worthy of this honor."
New ‘e-ticket machines’ may be newest tool in police arsenal
July 8, 2014 | Virginia News
By Ryan Cornell, NVDaily.com
MIDDLETOWN -- Speeding fines in counties and cities could increase by up to $5, after a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe this spring allows jurisdictions to tack on an extra fee to fund electronic summons systems.
Middletown Police Chief Phil Breeden presented the ordinance, Section 17.1-279.1, to Town Council during its work session on Monday.
"It states that any county or city through its governing body may assess an additional sum not in excess of $5, as part of the costs in each criminal or traffic case in district or circuit courts located within its boundaries in which the defendant is charged with a violation of any statute or ordinance," said Breeden, reading the code.
"If you get a speeding ticket and the court cost is $30, the court cost is going to be $35," he said.
The fee would be collected by the clerk of the court, held by the treasurer of the locality and dispersed to the law enforcement agency to be used to fund the "e-ticket machines."
Breeden said the ticketing machines would read a driver's license "just like a credit card" and include a printer that mounts under the headrest of the passenger seat in a police vehicle.
"If I swipe his driver's license, it will pull up all of his information on the screen in the form of this ticket," Breeden said. "And we just fill in the blanks as to the court date and so on and so forth."
He said the new electronic system would reduce the amount of paperwork for law enforcement agencies as well as the time it takes before drivers can pay their tickets. The current system sends copies of the ticket through the mail to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the court, he said. ...
Crunching the data on our most accident-prone roads
July 8, 2014 | Virginia News
By Dave Forster, The Virginian-Pilot
Like rotten children, some of Hampton Roads' most accident-prone intersections and freeways are behaving far worse than they should.
Researchers have crunched the data and come up with another way to look at those harrowing spots. A new analysis by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization quantified the potential for reducing accidents at hundreds of locations and offered possible fixes for the highest-ranking intersections and freeways.
Sam Belfield, an author of the study, said the work will help cities apply for funding for road improvements by showing where the money can make the biggest difference.
By far, the road with the most to gain is eastbound Interstate 64 from Northampton Boulevard to Interstate 264, a stretch that has long been among the region's most notorious for crashes. The analysis found that segment had about 127 more accidents per year than would have been predicted for it, given the number of lanes, traffic volumes and other criteria.
In 2012, it saw 221 accidents, including 73 with injuries.
Tailgating was the most common contributing driver behavior, according to the report. That happened in nearly 71 percent of all crashes there between 2009 and 2012, compared with a regional freeway average of 46 percent. ...
Norfolk leaders look for answers after 15 hit by gunfire
July 8, 2014 | Virginia News
By Gary A. Harki, The Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK -- Five shootings that injured 15 people over the weekend sent police scrambling to find out what happened and community activists and politicians wondering how to curb the wave of violence.
Police have arrested four adults and a 17-year-old in connection with the shootings. The names of the victims and the people arrested have not been released.
"Due to on-going investigations, further details and defendant information will be released at a later date," Cpl. Melinda Wray, spokeswoman for the department, wrote in a news release.
Chief Michael Goldsmith said Saturday that he planned to put more police into the affected neighborhoods.
"We will work hard to bring these perpetrators to justice and we appeal to our citizens for support," he said in a news release.
Mayor Paul Fraim said the city should look for means to diminish gun violence.
"The one common thread is that there are too many illegal guns on the street and in the hands of people," he said. "I think we have to start looking at measures, even if they are unpopular."
He suggested the city should consider a gun buyback program, although he noted that the General Assembly passed a bill making that difficult. ...
70 Percent of U.S. Police Departments Use License Plate Readers
July 8, 2014 | National News
Your local U.S. police department has likely already turned to surveillance cameras that can automatically read all visible license plates on passing cars. Such license plate readers can do more than help find stolen vehicles or robbers' getaway cars—they have begun to transform law enforcement by allowing officers to home in on criminal hideouts by tracking crime patterns over time.
But that powerful capability goes hand-in-hand with worries about the privacy of ordinary, law-abiding citizens as police departments store license plate and location information for longer periods of time.
As many as 70 percent of local U.S. police departments already use license plate reader systems, according to a new RAND report. The technology first pioneered by the UK in the 1990s to fight Irish Republican Army terrorism has since become popular among U.S. law enforcement, mainly for the purpose of tracking down stolen vehicles. Yet police departments are discovering that the technology, combined with growing license plate databases, can also rapidly identify suspect vehicles in the vicinity of a crime or help figure out the centers of criminal activity such as "chop shops" dealing in stolen vehicles.
"License plate readers are a relatively new technology that can be used to help investigate almost any type of crime," said Keith Gierlack, researcher at RAND and lead author on the study, in a press release. "But there are important issues, particularly about privacy, that must be addressed before this tool can reach its full potential." ...
Arlington County Police Dept. announces Chief-for-a-Day contest
July 8, 2014 | Virginia News
ARLINGTON, Va. –The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) is hosting a Chief-for-the-Day contest, and calling for submissions from students ages 8-12 from all Arlington County schools.
Students are being asked to write an essay (maximum one page) answering the question “What does it mean to be a police officer?” The selected student will be picked up at his or her house on August 5, 2014 by a patrol car and driven to the ACPD to spend the day involved in fun filled activities. Submissions will be reviewed by a group of ACPD personnel.
The selected candidate will participate in a swearing in ceremony, go behind the scenes for a tour of the police station, participate in demos of hands on police work, and have lunch with Arlington County Police Chief M. Douglas Scott. Students are asked to submit their entries by July 21, 2014. Please include name, age, address, phone number, and school.
The winner will be contacted and announced on the ACPD’s website. Your submission authorizes the ACPD to print your name and publish photos as the winning essay contestant. The legal guardian of the chosen student will be required to sign an authorization form.
Target of nonviolent crime in Danville leads to lower violent crime
July 6, 2014 | Virginia News
Danville’s violent crime has dropped off in recent years, and a definite decline can been seen from 2012 to 2013 — a result Danville Police Chief Philip Broadfoot says can be attributed to a police attack on nonviolent crime.
It sounds counterintuitive, he explains, but felony violent crimes are “few and far between.” What police find more often than not is a core group of people who are committing those crimes — but that’s not all they do, Broadfoot continued.
These same people commit other crimes as well.
“If you can disrupt their lives by arresting them for other offenses, those kinds of things occupy their minds,” Broadfoot said. “When you refocus the folks who are prone to the violence on other things to occupy their time, it does affect their propensity to get violent. That’s a proven strategy that’s been around in law enforcement for years.”
Broadfoot continued by saying he is reluctant to say “A caused B, but we’ve been doing A and B is happening.”
The city’s crime numbers reflect that attack on nonviolent crime to lower the violent crime. In 2012, they city was ranked with the second highest crime rate in the state. In 2013, Danville dropped to fourth behind Glenn Lyn, Roanoke and Franklin.
DMV Publishes 2014 Legislative Bulletin
July 2, 2014 | Virginia News
A summary of bills related to DMV operations and oversight, enacted by the 2014 Virginia General Assembly and signed by the Governor. All changes effective July 1, 2014 (unless otherwise noted).
Governor McAuliffe Announces Jennings as State Inspector General, Other Appointments
June 27, 2014 | Virginia News
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his administration today. The appointees will join McAuliffe’s administration focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will grow Virginia’s economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth.
Office of the State Inspector General
June W. Jennings, State Inspector General
June W. Jennings has over 25 years of experience in the Commonwealth of Virginia overseeing and conducting audits and investigations of state agencies. Since July 2012, she has served as the Office’s Deputy State Inspector General and was recently appointed as the acting State Inspector General. Prior to joining the Office of the State Inspector General, June was Inspector General for the Virginia Department of Corrections. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Inspector General, a member of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the Association of Inspectors General.
Award highlights how seat belts save lives
June 26, 2014 | Virginia News
Danville City Council chambers were packed Wednesday morning for the annual Traffic Safety Awards ceremony presented by the Danville Police Department for drivers who saved themselves serious injury — or even death — in serious car wrecks by wearing seat belts.
Chief Philip Broadfoot said the department realizes there will be vehicle crashes, but the awards were initiated several years ago to point out that seatbelt use can reduce the physical toll crashes take on drivers and passengers.
Three civilian drivers and their passengers, as well as two police officers and a sheriff’s deputy, received “Saved by the Belt” certificates. ...
“We want to recognize them for making the right choice and arriving alive,” Broadfoot said.
The law enforcement recipients were all on duty when their wrecks occurred.
Broadfoot pointed out that the law allows public safety workers to skip using a seatbelt so they can get in and out of vehicles faster — but that officers and firefighters are encouraged to wear them whenever possible.
Broadfoot said the sheer volume of equipment police officers have in their patrol car gives them more things to fall into during a crash, with the potential to add to injuries sustained.
Seatbelts, however, prevent people from “thrown around” in a wreck, Broadfoot noted.
In 2013, Danville Police Cpl. S.C. Bray, Danville Police Officer E.R. Crane and Danville Sheriff’s Office Deputy A.K. Haley were all in crashes caused by another driver and were presented “Saved by the Belt” certificates.
Broadfoot also announced the departments “top producers” of citations to drivers who were not wearing seatbelts; drivers who had children in their vehicles without having required child safety seats; drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and drivers were speeding.
Officer D.C. Lancaster was the top producer in two categories, citing 15 drivers with DUI and 60 drivers — a number Broadfoot said he found “scary” — for not having children in proper safety seats.
Officer R.L. Martin issued 28 seatbelt violations and Officer S.R. Keatts issued 220 speeding tickets in 2013.
Broadfoot drew chuckles when he said Keatts could not attend the ceremony because he was in court, testifying about some of those speeding tickets.
Finally, individuals and organizations received recognition for partnering with law enforcement to raise awareness of safe driving practices. ...
Motor carrier legislative changes effective July 1, 2014
June 26, 2014 | VACP
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would like to take this opportunity to remind you of several new laws that impact motor carriers taking effect on July 1, 2014.
Beginning July 1, HB 341 allows vehicles fueled, wholly or partially, by natural gas to weigh up to 2,000 pounds more than the applicable weight limit on non-interstate highways. The bill requires the operator of the vehicle to be able to demonstrate that the vehicle uses natural gas. The weight limit extension would not be valid for vehicles operating on interstate highways. This exception ensures that Virginia law will conform to federal rules regarding weight limits on interstate highways.
Also, HB 415 and SB 302 allow the DMV Commissioner and cities and towns to authorize overweight permits for truck cranes starting July 1, 2014. The bill language makes it clear that a truck crane and its counterweights constitute an irreducible load, and that overweight truck cranes are subject to the same permitting processes as every other type of overweight vehicle.
We invite you to share this information with others.
Thank you for your time, and please feel free to contact me if you have questions.
Director of Motor Carrier Size & Weigh Services
Report: After two years of decline, law enforcement deaths rise sharply
June 20, 2014 | National News
By Steve Almasy, CNN
About 40% more law enforcement officers have died on duty in the first five and a half months of 2014 than in the same period a year ago, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said Sunday.
Of the 63 fatalities through June 15, 23 were gun-related, the organization said.
There was a 53% rise in firearm-related deaths and a 37% upward trend overall, according to the nonprofit organization, based in Washington.
So far this year, traffic accidents are blamed for 25 deaths.
The increase comes after two years of declines, including 2013, which saw the lowest number of deaths on duty -- 111 -- since 1959.
The organization said its research team compiles the list of fatalities, which also includes job-related illnesses such as heart attacks, falls and other types of accidents.
Commentary: Who gets the gun matters for background checks
June 18, 2014 | Virginia News
Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View
Bruce Abramski bought a handgun for his uncle, hoping to use his expired police officer ID to get a discount. When the seller asked, as required by law, if the gun was for him, Abramski said yes. C’mon, wouldn’t you have done the same for a bargain? Next time, don’t.
Abramski was convicted for making a false statement “material to the lawfulness of the sale” and a false statement with respect to information required for the dealer’s records — and Monday a divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld the convictions.
On the surface, you might think the convictions were obvious. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issues regulations containing a questionnaire dealers must give to purchasers. One of the questions asks, “Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?” It then adds: “Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person.”
Lying makes a false statement, and the questionnaire has to be kept by the dealer. Case closed, right?
It’s more complicated. Abramski’s uncle, Angel Alvarez, was eligible to own a gun, and would have been a legal purchaser had he shown up himself. Abramski argued to the Supreme Court that his false statement therefore wasn’t “material to the lawfulness” of the sale.
Then Abramski went further, contending that federal law is silent about so-called straw purchasers who buy guns on behalf of third parties. Similarly, Abramski claimed, he hadn’t told a lie relevant to the dealer’s records — because he, Abramski, really was the buyer, even if not the intended owner.
Strengthening Abramski’s creative argument is the fact that the federal gun statute itself — as opposed to the BATF questionnaire — never mentions straw purchasers, speaking instead about the “person” or “transferee” acquiring the firearm.
The four liberal justices plus swing voter Anthony Kennedy rejected Abramski’s arguments. In an opinion by Justice Elena Kagan, the court held that the true “person” or “transferee” mentioned in the statute is the final intended owner. In support of this interpretation, Kagan’s opinion cited “common sense,” which she called a “fortunate (though not inevitable) side-benefit of construing statutory terms fairly.”
Planning Training for Crowd Control Teams
June 18, 2014 | VACP
BY: Lieutenant Patrick G. Aigner, Prince William County Police Department
One of the most challenging tasks as a commander of a part-time, specialty team is training. Unlike units such as SWAT, positions on crowd control teams are mostly assigned, not sought, and typically do not train as often. However, the value of a well-trained civil disturbance team can greatly reduce the liability agencies face as well as make events safer for demonstrators, uninvolved civilians, and law enforcement personnel. It is critical to commit to regularly-scheduled crowd control training and for team commanders to ensure maximum effectiveness of those dates.
It is usually rare when demonstrations occur in jurisdictions policed by medium or smaller-sized agencies. However when they do, the stakes are high and the value of a crowd control team competent in the relevant legal issues as well as other areas of crowd management cannot be understated. An initial training consideration for agencies is to commit to a schedule of at least four (4) times a year. Granted, this type of team is typically not used often; however, it is important to build a level of expertise and continuity so it operates well when called upon. Once a department establishes training dates for a crowd control unit, team supervisors/members need to do everything possible to maximize attendance of personnel. Since this necessitates the coordination of schedules from numerous units, it is important to publish the year’s training schedule as early as possible.
As an agency in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Prince William County Police Department’s crowd control team has been utilized to assist with Presidential Inaugurations, State of the Union addresses, and a host of other high profile events. Additionally, Prince William County has been the site of protests by the Westboro Baptist Church, the Bradley Manning Support Network, and others. Each demonstrated the importance of a unit which understood the rights and limitations of groups under the First Amendment. Additionally, they illustrated how important it is to work as a unit to ensure a safe platform for all to exercise their right to be heard.
Since mutual aid requests are very common within the NCR, we typically extend invitations for common partnering departments to participate in our training. For example, the Prince William County Police requested the assistance of the City of Manassas Police Department and Virginia State Police for past protests within our jurisdiction. The benefits of combined training were obvious as well as having other internal units (mounted patrol, K-9, etc.) participate when appropriate. For major training scenarios, it is important to include the department of fire and rescue and other appropriate agencies, as they will be tasked to assist with an actual event.
A well-organized, effective training day starts with planning a few weeks in advance of the actual date. We found value in organizing a meeting of team supervisors and command staff to discuss ideas for training, who will present certain blocks, and what topics will be covered. The end result is “buy-in” and agenda items which are topical and relevant. Furthermore, the supervisors assume more control of team activities and are more apt to motivate their troops to fully support the training mission. It is important to outline the day’s objectives and ensure they are clearly communicated.
Once training topics have been finalized, it is imperative to put together an itinerary which maximizes effectiveness and minimizes idle time. This will have an impact on how focused the team is throughout the day and the retention of the skills learned. As mentioned, the Prince William County Police Department has assisted with various planned events in the past which occurred on/around established dates. It is a good idea to plan training topics based on the type of event you are most likely to be assigned in the near future.
Most training dates begin with tending to administrative matters to ensure the roster is up to date, etc. Although routine, the importance of the correct roster information speaks for itself when the need arises for the team to be deployed. If there was a recent team deployment or a major national/international event of a crowd control nature, one of the command staff will facilitate a discussion about it. Many good ideas have come from these sessions and they offer the rank and file the ability to familiarize themselves with the decision-making process of the team’s commanders.
Due to the rapidly evolving legal landscape surrounding demonstration-related matters, we schedule a local prosecutor to conduct a biannual “legal update” of the most common/changes to statutes. They are also able to convey what information/evidence is preferred to bolster chances of a conviction should an arrest(s) occur. The positive impact of a good working relationship with the prosecutor’s office cannot be understated.
There are a number of tactical areas which need attention/practice to acquire an adequate level of competence; some of these require periodic recertification. For example, we schedule the team’s grenadiers to annually recertify with the weapon and ensure the training records are updated. Another training consideration is exposure to chemical munitions used by the agency for tactical operations. To coincide with the gas exposure, agencies should incorporate masking drills to ensure operational readiness. Other areas in need of attention are the proper application of the baton, riot shields, and devices used when making mass arrests (flex cuffs, etc.).
The ability of a team to march as a unit and effectively utilize different formations, such as line and lateral support, are critical to the overall success of operations. Due to the lack of frequent usage of crowd control teams, I personally advocate being proficient with a few basic formations rather than numerous. However, the team’s command staff needs to identify which are important and drill them appropriately. As part of tactical operations, arrest teams need to repetitiously practice their movements to ensure when apprehensions are made, they are executed safely and expeditiously. Many larger agencies use bicycle patrol officers as a means to rapidly deploy to an area in advance of the crowd control platoon to create a barrier. This is a great way to avoid being outflanked by factions of protesters and yet another training idea to consider.
As part of the training day’s agenda, it is important to bring everything together into a practical exercise(s) so the team can apply their skills. The scenarios need to be scripted carefully to dictate certain courses of actions are undertaken by the role players. A “safety officer” should be assigned to minimize the chances of injuries due to a lack of control/improper assessment of a hazard. When the team is preparing for a major, planned event, it is always a good practice to explore a myriad of situational possibilities and work through them during training. When these types of things occur during the actual event, (even though it will not be exactly like training) the team will respond much more decisively. After each scenario, feedback is provided to cover the positive and negative actions.
Team continuity is a major part of the success of the Prince William County Police’s crowd control team. One of the most important training developments over the past several years was the inclusion of “team building” exercises as part of the training date. A recent example was an “officer rescue” relay where the different squads raced against one another. Each team had to work as they carried a “victim” officer on a stretcher through the course. With a few additional obstacles thrown in (donning gas masks and other relevant drills), the races provided an element of friendly competition while practicing needed tactics for use in the field.
At the end of the training day, a short debrief with team members affords the opportunity for feedback to command staff and for the assessment of the training’s effectiveness. Most agencies have an established protocol to document the activities/topics covered during the training date. This documentation is beneficial for everything from training analysis to risk management.
In conclusion, a local, regional, or national event may spur an uprising within a community with little or no notice. It is expected the local police department is properly trained, capable of ensuring the safety of the public, and understands the relevant legal issues. A successful event is dependent upon the ability to manage the incident in a fair and impartial manner. Although even the most effective training cannot account for every possibility a crowd control team may face, it does provide a solid foundation to build upon.
Division of Capitol Police Earn 2nd Accreditation Award
June 18, 2014 | VACP
The Division of Capitol Police held a formal ceremony on June 11, 2014 in the Old House Chamber of the Virginia State Capitol recognizing their second state accreditation award. This certification was based on an intensive three day review in March of the agency by Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) assessors.
The assessment and resulting unanimous approval by the Commission’s Executive Board on May 15, 2014 were the final steps in the Division's previous four year effort to maintain their accredited status. The assessment team found no standards that required minor or major remediation. The Division became the first state agency with a 100% compliance rating with all 190 professional standards set forth by the VLEPSC.
Colonel Anthony S. Pike, Chief of the Division of Capitol Police noted “The 2nd accreditation award confirms that Virginia's government officials, state employees, citizens of the Commonwealth and its visitors at the seat of government may have confidence that the Division of Capitol Police is among the finest in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States.”
The VLEPSC Executive Board, which is comprised of six active Sheriffs and six active Chiefs of Police, establishes professional standards and administers the accreditation process by which Virginia law enforcement agencies can be systematically measured, evaluated, and updated in the areas of Administration, Operations, Personnel and Training.
The state accreditation program is managed by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Participation in the state accreditation program is voluntary.
The Division of Capitol Police has the distinct honor and privilege of being recognized as the first organized policing agency in the nation. Their historical roots originate at the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. In 1618, the Guard, consisting of 10 men was formed to protect the Governor. By 1663, the force was expanded to a force of 20 men and assigned to protect the Governor, the Council, and the Colonial Assembly.
On March 11, 2010, the VLEPSC Executive Board unanimously approved the Division’s initial Accredited Status.
Arlington County Police Will Enforce Virginia’s Uber and Lyft Ban
June 16, 2014 | Virginia News
Eric Hal Schwartz, Staff Writer – In the Capital
After Virginia ordered Uber and Lyft to stop operating in the state, both companies said they would basically pretend it hadn't happened and continue operating normally. In other places where ride-share companies have ignored orders from local authorities to stop operating, police sting operations and prosecution have been just some of the consequences for the companies.
The question in Virginia was, since the state was ordering the ban, how would local law enforcement handle it. The Arlington County Police Department at least, said it will be enforcing the new ban, according to a report from ARLnow.
That's a pretty big deal since of course Arlington County is where Uber and Lyft drivers will be going when they leave D.C. for Virginia. If it were just state police enforcing the ban, then it might theoretically be possible to vastly lower the chances of getting pulled over and cited just by sticking to surface roads as much as possible. With the county police on enforcement duty though, there's a much higher chance of getting into trouble for the drivers.
One silver lining for the drivers in that the ACPD said they will not be prioritizing enforcing the ban over other crimes. It's more likely to be something that is added to other charges of a driver, like if they are pulled over for speeding or something. Since Uber, if not Lyft, cars are hard to spot without asking the driver, that probably means there won't be a sudden influx of drivers into Arlington jails. It certainly wasn't difficult getting one to go to Virginia over the weekend.
Supreme Court rules on ‘straw purchaser’ law
June 16, 2014 | National News
WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court sided with gun control groups and the Obama administration Monday, ruling that the federal government can strictly enforce laws that ban a "straw" purchaser from buying a gun for someone else.
The justices ruled 5-4 that the law applied to a Virginia man who bought a gun with the intention of transferring it to his uncle in Pennsylvania — even though the uncle is not prohibited from owning firearms.
The decision split the court along familiar ideological lines, though it has no direct bearing on the Second Amendment right to own guns. It settles a split among appeals courts over federal gun laws intended to prevent sham buyers from obtaining guns for the sole purpose of giving them to another person. The laws were part of Congress' effort to make sure firearms did not get into the hands of unlawful recipients.
Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan said the federal government's elaborate system of background checks and record-keeping requirements help law enforcement investigate crimes by tracing guns to their buyers. Those provisions would mean little, she said, if a would-be gun buyer could evade them by simply getting another person to buy the gun and fill out the paperwork.
"Putting true numbskulls to one side, anyone purchasing a gun for criminal purposes would avoid leaving a paper trail by the simple expedient of hiring a straw," Kagan said.
Her opinion was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often considered the court's swing vote, as well as liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the language of the law does not support making it a crime for one lawful gun owner to buy a gun for another lawful gun owner. He was joined by the court's other conservatives — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
Passing of Retired Abingdon Police Chief Cecil Kelly
June 16, 2014 | VACP
It is with deepest regrets that Abingdon Police Department announces the passing of retired Police Chief Cecil Kelly. Chief Kelly began his service to the citizens of Abingdon as a patrol officer in February 1962. He was appointed Police Chief in May, 1988. He served in that capacity until his retirement February, 2003.
Chief Kelly was a graduate of the 125th session of the F.B.I. National Academy. He leaves an example of a lasting legacy of service to the citizens of Abingdon.
The family of Chief Kelly will receive friends on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Frost Funeral Home Chapel, located at 250 East Main Street Abingdon, VA.
A Masonic service will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Tuesday by the Abingdon Masonic Lodge # 48 at the chapel.
Private Graveside Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at the Kelley Family Cemetery in Clintwood, Va., with the Rev. Jerry A. Eggers officiating.
The family will be leaving the Frost Funeral Home at 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning with a police escort provided by the Abingdon Police Department and the Virginia State Police Honor Guard in honor of the service that Mr. Kelly had given to the town and the community. Active pallbearers will be family and friends.
Honorary pallbearers will be past and present members of the Abingdon Police Department and members of the Abingdon Masonic Lodge.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to:
Abingdon Masonic Lodge
325 West Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
Church Street Station
P.O. Box 780
New York, NY 10008
Or, online by going to the Michaeljfox.org website in memory of Mr. Cecil Kelly.
Online condolences can be submitted to the family at www.frostfuneralhome.com.
DCJS announces “Soft Launch” of Virginia’s new civil commitment laws on June 16
June 11, 2014 | Virginia News
The 2014 General Assembly Session passed a number of legislative changes to Virginia's civil commitment laws that are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2014. CSBs, state facilities and their safety net partners, including local hospitals, emergency departments, law enforcement agencies, and others, have developed new regional admission protocols based on these new laws. DBHDS is planning a "soft launch" in advance of the July 1 enactment to help identify any procedural issues and pressure points that can be addressed before the July 1 effective date.
Nominations Sought for IACP/Target International Police Officer of the Year Award
June 11, 2014 | National News
The nomination period is open for the IACP/Target International Police Officer of the Year Award. The IACP is proud to once again partner with Target to recognize exemplary performance in professional policing from law enforcement agencies both domestically and internationally. We look to you, our membership, to spread the word about the nomination process for this extraordinary honor.
As the most prestigious law enforcement award of the IACP, the Police Officer of the Year Award recognizes outstanding and heroic achievement among police officers across the globe and highlights the sacrifices made daily by law enforcement’s finest.
Nominations are open to all sworn, full-time police officers, below the rank of chief, for exceptional achievement in any police endeavor. Eligible events must occur between June 29, 2013 and July 17, 2014 and nominations must be received electronically by Friday, July 18, 2014. Unfortunately, posthumous nominations are not eligible.
Four finalists will be selected and recognized at the 121st Annual IACP Conference in Orlando, FL on October 25-28, 2014 as well as featured in Police Chief Magazine. One finalist will be named Police Officer of the Year at the IACP Foundation’s Gala. Following the gala, the Police Officer of the Year will be honored at IACP’s First General Assembly.
For more information on eligibility requirements, the nominating process, please visit http://www.theiacp.org/poy.
2014 Torch Run Raises $1.13 Million for Special Olympics VA
June 4, 2014 | VACP
At the Torch Run Kick-Off last week, 2014 Chair Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan of Chesapeake announced that Virginia law enforcement had raised $1,135,926 for Special Olympics Virginia — a new record!
The 2014 Torch Run began on May 30 in Bristol and will culminate at the SOVA Summer Games on June 6 at the Robins Center at University of Richmond. The Opening Ceremony is at 7:15 PM. Come down and cheer on the athletes!
Additionally, the 2015 State Chair has been named — Chief Earl Cook of the Alexandria Police Department. Our thanks to Chief Cook for leading the charge next year!
Below: Chief Tarasovic of Richmond PD presenting the central Virginia total of $88,000 to Sheriff O’Sullivan and AG Herring.
Virginia’s 2013 Crime Analysis Report Now Available from VSP
June 4, 2014 | Virginia News
RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2013 is now available online at the Virginia State Police website 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 2013 crime figures within Virginia are presented in the report:
Virginia experienced a decline in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) of 1.6 percent compared to 2012, less of a decline of the 3.0 percent decrease comparing 2011 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 (3.9 percent) which was even greater than between 2011 and 2012, a decrease of 3.3 percent. The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.
The homicide rate per 100,000 population remained the same for 2013 (3.84) as in 2012 (3.86). Based on the ages reported, victims tended to be older than offenders; 20 percent of homicide victims were 50 years of age or older, while only 11 percent of offenders were in the same age group of 50 and older.
Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 6 percent. Of the 8,396 motor vehicles stolen, 4,480 or just over one-half were recovered (53.4%). Trucks and automobiles stolen had the highest percent recovered (65%, 63%, respectively), while recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) had the lowest percent recovered (36%, 32.1%). Nearly four-out-of-10 (39.2%) of all motor vehicle offenses were reported stolen from the location of a residence or home. The value of all motor vehicles stolen and attempts to steal was $57,927,170, while the value recovered was $32,225,988 (55.6%).
Drug and narcotic offenses showed slight decreases in 2009 (-2.5%) and 2008 (-3.5%). For the past four years drug offenses have increased (5.3% in 2010, 7.1% in 2011, 9.4% for 2012 and 3.8% in 2013) in Virginia.
Fraud offenses increased by 7.6 percent when compared to 2012.
Robbery decreased 3.7 percent. Of the 4,555 robberies and attempted robberies, just over one-third (34%) took place between 8 p.m. and midnight. The days of the week showed little variability with a separation of less than 2 percent between the highest and lowest numbers reported.
Of the weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were the most frequently used in homicides (70%), followed by robberies (55%) and aggravated assaults (20%).
There were 123 hate crimes reported in 2013. Nearly two-thirds or 61 percent were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward religion was next highest with 24 percent while bias toward sexual orientation comprised 11 percent. The remaining 4 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. The offense of destruction/damage/vandalism of property was associated with 47 percent of all reported bias motivated crimes while 44 percent of reported hate crimes involved assaults.
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 2012 and 2013, adult arrests in Virginia decreased less than one percent (-0.19%). Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses decreased 10 percent statewide during the same period of time. Crime in Virginia reports that Group B arrests decreased 6.8 percent for adults, and decreased 12.8 percent for juveniles between 2012 and 2013. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 341,557 arrests in 2012 compared to 325,504 arrests in 2013, representing a decrease of 4.7 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.
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June is Virginia’s First Ever “Move Over Awareness Month”
June 2, 2014 | VACP
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Colonel Steve Flaherty help kick-off Virginia’s first ever “Move Over Awareness Month.” June was designated as the official month thanks to Senate Joint Resolution (SJ 102). You can read more about the resolution below.
Continue to watch the Virginia State Police Facebook page for more updates and photos about why “moving over” matters for all public safety professionals and their families, tow truck operators, and highway workers on the job on Virginia’s highways.
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 102
Offered January 16, 2014
Designating June, in 2014 and in each succeeding year, as Move Over Awareness Month in Virginia.
WHEREAS, law-enforcement officers and first responders face many dangers in their honorable mission to protect and serve the citizens of and visitors to the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, since 2003, 138 on-duty law-enforcement officers nationwide have been struck and killed while working on highways; it is the fourth largest cause of death for law-enforcement officers in the country; and
WHEREAS, since 2007, the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation have been involved with the Move Over or Slow Down Campaign to educate members of the public on the Move Over law, which was enacted to protect law-enforcement officers and first responders stopped on the side of a highway; and
WHEREAS, despite the fact that Move Over laws have been enacted in all 50 states, statistics indicate that approximately 71 percent of Americans are not aware of these laws; the Move Over or Slow Down Campaign is dedicated to educating the public on how these laws can help save the lives of both first responders and motorists; and
WHEREAS, the Move Over or Slow Down Campaign has used a wide variety of methods to distribute its message to great effect, including highway signage, conferences and presentations, public safety announcements, media interviews, and printed materials; and
WHEREAS, the Move Over or Slow Down Campaign has also sought valuable partnerships with numerous organizations and companies to help ensure that motorists achieve the right mindset; and
WHEREAS, through awareness and proper education, members of the public can make significant strides toward accomplishing the campaign’s motto to “Help Protect Those Who Protect You”; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly designate June, in 2014 and in each succeeding year, as Move Over Awareness Month in Virginia; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to Captain Richard A. Denney of the Virginia State Police so that members of the Virginia State Police may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter; and, be it
RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the Senate post the designation of this month on the General Assembly’s website.
Funeral Arrangements Announced for Norfolk Police Officer Brian Jones
May 31, 2014 | Virginia News
The VACP requests that Va. law enforcement officers shroud their badges in honor of Norfolk Police Officer Brian Jones through the day of his funeral — Thursday, June 5, 2014.
Our sincerest condolences to Officer Jones' family and friends and to the Norfolk Police Department.
Officer Jones’ services are as follows:
Wednesday June 4, 2014 — 7pm-9pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5792 Greenwich Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Thursday June 5, 2014 — 11am
Rock Church, 640 Kempsville Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
A memorial fund has been set up at BB&T bank for those wishing to make donations to his family. The account # is 0005536324846. Donations are accepted at any BB&T location.
For those who have expressed a desire to send cards and letters of condolence to Officer Brian Jones family, you may do so at the following address:
The Family of Officer Brian Jones
C/o Norfolk Police Department
100 Brooke Avenue
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
From Norfolk PD: "The Norfolk Police Department family mourns the loss of Officer Brian Jones, killed in the line of duty, May 30, 2014, during the apprehension of a suspect. Our thoughts and prayers are steadfast with the family. Officer Jones served with honor and distinction, and was well respected among his peers. During his 5 year tenure with Norfolk Police, Officer Jones was a member of the Honor Guard, and assigned to the Traffic Unit, Crime Prevention Unit and Third Patrol Division. Officer Jones leaves to cherish his wife and three children. He will be fondly remembered for his quick smile, attention to detail, Kentucky drawl, and the stories he shared of his beloved family. Officer Jones always stood head and shoulders above the rest at 6'5, (middle of photo) and his personality was even taller."
Officer, teenager and suspect killed in Norfolk
By Catherine Rogers, WAVY-10
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A string of violent scenes unfolded across Norfolk late Friday night. When it came to an end, three people were dead, including Norfolk Police Officer Brian Jones.
During a Saturday morning news conference, Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith explained the timeline of the tragedy, which began around 10:48 p.m. That’s when emergency communications received many 911 calls about shots fired in the area.
Police Goldsmith says 29-year-old James Brown was firing a gun at vehicles in the 8400 block of Chesapeake Boulevard, from behind the wheel of the Jeep he was driving. One of the bullets struck and killed 17-year-old Mark Rodriguez, who was sitting inside his car.
“Mr. Rodriquez was in a vehicle. Mr. Brown was in a vehicle. Mr. Brown was randomly shooting from his vehicle and Mr. Rodriguez was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” explained Chief Goldsmith.
Officer Brian Jones spotted Brown’s unattended Jeep in the 7400 block of Wellington Road. Officer Curtis Allison, who was off-duty at the time, responded to assist Officer Jones. As both officers were assessing the situation, Brown began firing a high-powered rifle from inside his home. Chief Goldsmith says Officer Jones was hit several times. Officer Allison was also wounded.
The officers were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Officer Jones passed away early Saturday morning. Officer Allison was treated and released.
After the Wellington Road shooting, Chief Goldsmith says Brown fled in his vehicle. Another officer spotted him speeding northbound on Galveston Avenue, then down E. Little Creek Rd. where he hit a vehicle. Brown exited his vehicle after the crash with gun in hand and refused to comply with the officer. Brown fought with and tried to disarm the officer. The officer fired his weapon, fatally wounding Brown.
The entire police department family is mourning the loss of 35-year-old Brian Jones. He leaves behind a wife, 2 young sons and a young daughter.
“As the Chief, my heart goes out to his family, my heart goes out to the people who worked with him. You know, I’m a cop, just like everybody else is. So this hurts, when one of us go, especially in the line of duty like this,” said Chief Goldsmith.
Officer Jones was a member of the Norfolk Honor Guard and was assigned to the Traffic Unit, Crime Prevention Unit and Third Patrol Division.
Police are still trying to piece together the entire course of events, which involves multiple scenes and numerous witnesses. Anyone with information that could help detectives is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Stay with WAVY.com and WAVY News 10 on the air for updates on this developing story.
World Police & Fire Games Coming to Fairfax in 2015
May 21, 2014 | Virginia News
FAIRFAX, VA (May 21) – Let the Games Begin! With 400 days to go until 12,000 public safety athletes kick-off the World Police and Fire Games, Fairfax 2015, the organizing committee for the Games, today announced the establishment of its Honorary Board, new funding commitments totaling $5 million from public and private sources, and its ceremonial venues for the Games.
The World Police and Fire Games are coming to the National Capital Region for ten full days of competition beginning June 26, 2015. The courage and competiveness of public safety (police, fire and other first responders) will be on-display at one of the largest multi-sport events in the world. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced he will chair the Games’ Honorary Board. Other prominent national, regional and local leaders from the worlds of politics, business and sports have also joined Fairfax 2015 to serve as members of the organization’s Honorary Board in support of next summer’s World Police and Fire Games. (Full list of Honorary Board attached.)
Fairfax County tourism and hospitality officials project that Games visitors and activities will have a primary economic impact in the range of $60 million to $80 million. The budget to pull-off the massive 60 sport Olympic-style event is estimated at $20 million according to Fairfax 2015 (www.fairfax2015.com).
New funding to support the effort has been secured from seven new official corporate partners and from Fairfax County, who recently approved $2 million in funding for Fairfax 2015 supplementing its prior funding and in-kind contributions. The Governor has also said the Games can count on the Commonwealth of Virginia being “all in”. He has requested funding in this fiscal year budget and has designated Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran to further facilitate state efforts.
At a press conference at Fairfax County Fire Station 42 near Wolf Trap National Park, site of the Closing Ceremonies on July 4-5 weekend next year, a contingent of public officials and business executives committed their time and resources to the Games.
“I am excited to serve as Chairman of these Fairfax 2015 Olympic-style games and to help support and honor the first responders and public safety heroes who have given of their service and sometimes their lives to protect us,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “If there is one thing I have learned supporting law enforcement and fire organizations over my years in public service, it’s that police officers, sheriffs’ deputies and firefighters are intensely competitive. Fairfax 2015 will showcase these great athletes and offer a great boost to the Commonwealth’s tourism industry. Virginia and Fairfax County are the perfect host for this great event and we are ready to let the games begin.”
Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, welcomed attendees and said Games visitors are expected from over 70 countries and athletes will compete at 53 venues not only in Fairfax County but across the National Capital Region. She revealed that Reston Town Center will serve as the Athletes Village, RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. will be home to the opening ceremonies and that nearby Wolf Trap will be an ideal host to the closing ceremonies 4th of July weekend. Delegates from the World Police & Fire Games Federation were in Fairfax last month to tour both ceremonial and competition venues. Competition venues are being secured and will soon be announced.
“Fairfax County is honored to host the Fairfax 2015 Games,” said Bulova. “I am so proud of our public safety officers. In particular, thanks to Police Chief Edwin Roessler, Jr., Fire Chief Richard Bowers, Jr. and Sheriff Stacey Kincaid for working tirelessly behind the scenes to help plan and promote the Games as we draw closer to the event.
Jim Corcoran, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, followed Bulova in committing business community support. “We believe these Games will showcase what is best about doing business here in Fairfax County,” said Corcoran. “People know about our highly educated and well-trained workforce, major corporations who have chosen Fairfax for headquarters operations and our technology infrastructure.”
“Today, we are talking about the quality of life in Fairfax County,” he added “We appreciate the Governor’s business acumen as Honorary Chair. I want to stress Fairfax 2015 is also about economic development.”
Local businesses and destinations will certainly benefit from Games visitors – hotels, restaurants, stores, shopping centers, service stations, movie theaters – you name it, the impact will be felt. Venues and competition hosts will also enjoy benefits including ice rinks, ball fields, bowling alleys and indoor arenas or fields. Historical landmarks will see admission fees.
Fairfax 2015 also unveiled a list of seven corporate sponsors who have committed over $2 million to date. This includes Keolis, Pierce, SAIC, Scott Safety, Cardinal Bank, Cordia Partners, and Venable. Rockville-based Keolis America operates the Virginia Railway Express. “As a world leader in passenger rail and transit, Keolis understands and appreciates the vital role that first responders play to ensure the safety of our customers and the community in an emergency situation,” said Steve H. Townsend, CEO of Keolis America. “Speaking on behalf of the more than 4,500 Keolis employees in North America, we are pleased and honored to pay tribute to these brave men and women by becoming a major sponsor of the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games.”
Bill Knight, CEO of Fairfax 2015, who has executive experience with the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, World Cup USA and other major events also spoke at the press event. “We are making great progress in the planning and coordination of the Games which are 400 days from today,” he said. “The days will fly-by, so it is critical that individual citizens and business leaders step-up today, embrace the World Police and Fire Games and help accelerate the momentum we are currently enjoying. Whether joining the effort as a sponsor, a volunteer, a member of our merchant program or simply a fan, these Games will be an amazing experience for this region and our communities.”
For additional information on the World Police and Fire Games, visit fairfax2015.com or call (202) 480-WPFG (9734).
About Fairfax 2015 / World Police & Fire Games
The World Police & Fire Games is one of the largest multi-sport, multi-venue events in the world. It draws more than 12,000 athletes from police, fire and other public safety agencies representing 70 countries competing in 1,600 medal events across 61 sports. Fairfax 2015 is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation established to organize, manage and operate all activities related to the 2015 Games. Hosted by Fairfax County, Virginia and held throughout the National Capital Region from June 26 to July 5, 2015, the Games strive to inspire, celebrate and honor our public safety officials.
Fairfax 2015 Games
Contact: Mike Smith, VP of Marketing & PR, World Police & Fire Games
Contact: Steve Winter, Brotman|Winter|Fried PR
Leesburg Police Department Receives Innovation in Law Enforcement Risk Management Award
May 21, 2014 | Virginia News
The Town of Leesburg Police Department has received an Innovation in Law Enforcement Risk Management Award from VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP). The department was recognized Friday, May 16 at VMLIP’s 2014 Annual Meeting held at The Place at Innsbrook.
“The law enforcement profession is fraught with hazards and risks that no other profession faces,” said VMLIP Members’ Supervisory Board Chair Karen Pallansch.
“This award was developed to recognize those agencies that have demonstrated a willingness to address these risks and hazards through the development and implementation of an innovative program designed to reduce their exposure.”
The Town of Leesburg Police Department was recognized for their recently incorporated evidence-based crime policy in response to increased organized retail crime in the area.
The policy – “customer servicing” – is based on retail data research that suggests that interactions – such as friendly greetings, eye contact, and offering assistance – reduce crime. It is also believed to reduce complaints against officers.
The department has directed officers conducting uniform foot patrols in retail areas to greet all patrons they pass, make eye contact and smile, in lieu of conducting spontaneous field interviews on suspicious persons.
“Additionally the department has provided 16-hours of training on specific behaviors associated with retail crime offenders to the officers, so they can articulate their observations prior to initiating an investigation, field interview, or non-consensual encounter,” said Pallansch.
This approach reduces the possibility of complaints against officers and allegations of Fourth Amendment violations that can lead to litigation.
Lieutenant Carl Maupin with the Town of Leesburg Police Department accepted the award.
VMLIP is the first and largest group self-insurance pool in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more than 30 years VMLIP has provided auto, property, liability, and workers’ compensation coverage to more than 460 local political subdivisions across Virginia. VMLIP provides pool members with superior financial stability and effective risk management services. For more information visit: www.vmlins.org or follow VMLIP on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/vmlip.
Funding available from DFS to help solve cold cases
May 21, 2014 | Virginia News
The Department of Forensic Science still has funding available under a DNA Cold Case Grant awarded by the National Institute of Justice. They hope to fully utilize this available resource to solve cold cases across the Commonwealth. Please review the attached Memorandum for more information.
Portrait of Master Trooper J. A. Walker to Be Unveiled, Dedicated During VSP Memorial Service
May 21, 2014 | Virginia News
Governor Terry McAuliffe Is Ceremony’s Keynote Speaker
RICHMOND – The men and women who died serving the Commonwealth of Virginia will be remembered during a special ceremony at the Virginia State Police Academy Thursday, May 22, 2014. Special recognition will be given to Master Trooper Junius A. Walker, 63, a 35-year veteran of the Department who was shot and killed Mar. 7, 2013, while attempting to assist a motorist on Interstate 85 in Dinwiddie County. State Police will also remember Sergeant J. Michael Phillippi, who died in the line-of-duty Jan. 11, 2014. The Honorable Terry McAuliffe, 72nd Governor of Virginia, will provide the ceremony’s keynote address.
A poignant part of the service includes the unveiling and dedication of Master Trooper Walker’s portrait before his family and fellow troopers. Following the ceremony, Master Trooper Walker’s portrait will be hung in the Colonel C.W. Woodson Jr. Memorial Gallery located within the Virginia State Police Academy. The gallery already holds the portraits of the state police’s other 58 courageous men and women who died in the line-of-duty while serving Virginia.
The service will recognize all of the Department’s law enforcement professionals who made the ultimate sacrifice, to include a special tribute to 11 troopers whose line-of-duty death has a major anniversary year in 2014:
15 Years: Trooper Danny Lee Williams (1999 – Cumberland Co.)*
25 Years: Trooper Jerry Lynn Hines (1989 – Lexington)
30 Years: Sergeant LeRoy Biggs (1984 – Alleghany Co.)
Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman (1984 – Manassas)
40 Years: Trooper James Read Hughes (1974 – Fairfax Co.)
60 Years: Trooper Robert Louis Loder, Jr. (1954 – Hanover Co.)
Trooper Robert Fulton Giles (1954 – Coeburn)
75 Years: Sergeant Clarence Lemuel Maynard (1939 – Abingdon)
80 Years: Trooper Charles Bazil Bullock (1934 – Fairfax Co.)
85 Years: Inspector Curtis Lee Wood (1929 – James City Co.)
Inspector Phillip C. Via (1929 – Waynesboro)
*Date and location of death
Each tribute includes a single bell toll and an Honor Guard salute. In addition, a special family salute will be done for the portraits of Trooper Robert F. Giles and Trooper Johnny R. Bowman.
Virginia State Police 2014 Police Officers’ Memorial Service
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: VSP Gymnasium (behind the Academy), 7700 Midlothian Turnpike, North Chesterfield County
Governor McAuliffe Kicks Off Unprecedented National Traffic-Safety Campaign
May 20, 2014 | VACP
Richmond, VA – Governor Terry McAuliffe today joined more than 100 state and local law enforcement, and traffic-safety advocates at the State Capitol to officially kick off the Memorial Day and summer traffic and tourism season. The morning’s press event is one of four being held statewide Tuesday to introduce the Commonwealth to Drive to Save Lives, the nation’s first-ever traffic-safety campaign of this magnitude. The nationwide initiative is two-fold: to reduce traffic deaths by 15 percent in 2014 across the country and within the Commonwealth; and to improve officer safety on our highways.
The Drive to Save Lives campaign is a united effort by state police and highway patrol leaders, police chiefs and sheriffs to reduce highway crashes and fatalities. More than 33,000 deaths occur each year on our nation’s roadways. Highway fatalities rank as one of the top 12 causes of death in the United States and it is the leading cause of death among teens.
“Virginia is proud to join this nationwide traffic-safety program as a way of making our highways as safe as possible,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The Commonwealth is averaging about 30 fewer traffic deaths this year in comparison to last year. But even one death is one too many, which is why the active participation of all motorists living, working and visiting Virginia is so invaluable to the campaign’s life-saving success.”
In 2013, Virginia reported 741 deaths resulting from traffic crashes. To achieve the campaign’s 15 percent reduction in traffic fatalities in 2014, there must be 111 fewer crashes and deaths on Virginia’s highways.
“Never before has the nation’s state police and highway patrol agencies teamed up for such a comprehensive enforcement initiative,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The goal to save 111 lives on Virginia’s highways is an ambitious, but necessary one. We are simply asking the public to drive to save lives, not take them.”
In order to decrease highway fatalities in Virginia, state troopers, police officers and deputy sheriffs are leading a sustained effort over the course of the year that is data driven; focuses on the use of seat-belts and speeding; and targets impaired and distracted driving. The campaign also includes enforcement actions against the unsafe driving behaviors of the operators of large trucks and buses.
“Law enforcement officers across the Commonwealth work every day to change the high-risk behaviors of motorists that lead to crashes,” said City of Charlottesville Chief Tim Longo, current president of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Board of Directors. “Hopefully uniting with our state and local counterparts through education and awareness, partnerships, and high-visibility traffic enforcement, we can have an even greater and positive impact on the motoring public.”
“Most traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths are preventable when drivers and passengers buckle up, drive the speed limit, don’t drive distracted, and never drink and drive," said City of Bristol, Va., Sheriff Jack Weisenburger, current president of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors. " This is a message we’ve heard time and time again, but is still worth repeating. Now we’re just asking drivers and passengers to put them into action.”
Governor McAuliffe also today unveiled a new public service announcement promoting Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/user/vspvideos.
In Virginia, the law requires drivers to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously pass vehicles equipped with blue, red or amber lights and stopped on the side of the road.The Virginia General Assembly this past session also passed Senate Joint Resolution No. 102, which designates June as “Move Over Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+SJ102ER).
“Reducing the number of traffic crashes isn’t the only reason for this nationwide campaign,” said Governor McAuliffe. “We also have a shared responsibility to help protect the lives of public safety professionals across the Commonwealth. Virginia’s local and state law enforcement will be doing their job to make your summer travels as safe as possible. In return, do yours. Move over for them. Drive to save lives. Let’s finish 2014 with fewer crashes, fewer public safety professionals injured or killed on the job, and hopefully, 111 lives saved in Virginia.”
# # #
Office of the Governor
Virginia State Police
Drive to Save Lives Initiative Summer Kickoff—May 20, 2014
May 15, 2014 | VACP
The VACP requests that all Virginia law enforcement agencies support and participate in the Drive to Save Lives initiative to help achieve statewide success in reducing fatalities and increasing officer safety.
On March 20, 2014, VSP joined 39 other state police and highway patrol leaders at a press conference in New Orleans to kick off a new nationwide traffic safety campaign, Drive to Save Lives. The focus of this united campaign is two-fold: (1) to reduce highway fatalities by 15 percent in 2014; and (2) improve officer safety. For Virginia, a 15 percent reduction in traffic deaths equates to 111 fewer fatalities on Virginia highways this year compared to last year.
At the national level, this initiative is in collaboration with the IACP and U.S. Department of Transportation. To achieve success at the statewide level, the Virginia State Police is reaching out to our local police chiefs and sheriffs and various public-private traffic safety partners across the Commonwealth.
To build on this traffic safety project’s momentum and bring added attention to it, four consecutive press conferences will be held May 20, 2014, in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Wytheville, and Bristol. The timing of the press events is in relation to the heavily-traveled Memorial Day holiday weekend and upcoming summer travel season. We are very fortunate to have Governor McAuliffe’s support of this important transportation initiative and he will be the keynote speaker at the press conference in Richmond. In fact, this press conference will take place at the base of the Capitol with 111 law enforcement officers lining the steps behind him. The 111 uniformed law enforcement personnel represent the fatality reduction Virginia must achieve in 2014 and highlight the importance of the state’s “Move Over” law and other officer-safety issues. (See note below if you wish to attend the press conference at the Capitol and be one of the "111".)
We encourage all of our law enforcement agencies to send representatives in uniform to one of the press conferences to show support for and participation in this initiative. Additionally, we ask that you promote this initiative to your local media and in your community and join in the effort to reduce traffic fatalities and improve officer safety.
Drive to Save Lives Summer Kickoff: May 20, 2014 (Tuesday)
State Capitol — South Portico Steps
(with Governor McAuliffe)
Time: 0900 Hours
Hampton Roads Executive Airport
5172 W. Military Hwy
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Time: 1000 Hours
VSP Wytheville Division IV Headquarters
1186 East Lee Highway
Wytheville, VA 24382
Time: 1300 Hours
I-81 TN/VA Welcome Center
Time: 1500 Hours
Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Memorial Service to be Held May 19
May 14, 2014 | Virginia News
The Virginia Beach Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #8, will hold its annual Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Service in front of the Police Memorial Monument, 35th Street and Boardwalk, on Monday, May 19, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr., will read a proclamation declaring the week of May 11-17, 2014, as Law Enforcement Appreciation Week. The Virginia Beach Police Honor Guard will perform special duties followed by other customary activities including the riderless horse, a bagpipe tribute, a helicopter flyover, and the commemorative roll call of fallen officers. Members of the Police and Sheriff’s Departments and the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary will be participating in the ceremony.
The Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Memorial Service is held each year to honor those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice serving and protecting the citizens of Virginia Beach. Law enforcement officers, the public, and the media are encouraged to attend this tribute in memory of the fallen officers and their families.
Department Uniform of the Day:
Lieutenant and above: Long Sleeve Class A uniform and hat
Sergeant and below: Uniform of the day and hat
In honor of National Law Enforcement Week badges will be draped Sunday, May 11, at 0001 hrs. through Saturday, May 17, at 2359 hrs.
Click It Or Ticket Effort Means Officers Looking for Violators
May 14, 2014 | Virginia News
RICHMOND - Law enforcement officers across Virginia and the nation are out in full force during May looking for seat belt violators as part of the national Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization. Seat belts prevent ejection, which is one of the leading causes of death and serious injury during a crash. Without a seat belt, a person’s body becomes a missile inside the vehicle, endangering everyone else in the car.
“Don’t risk death or hurting others in your vehicle,” said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “If you’re driving, the second action you need to take after fastening your own seat belt is to insist all your passengers are wearing their belts too.”
Day and night, local law enforcement officers are on the lookout for those not wearing their seat belts – and for good reason. Last year in Virginia, 54 percent of all traffic fatalities, or 310 deaths, were unrestrained drivers and passengers, and most of the unrestrained fatalities (144 or 46 percent) occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. In 2012 nationwide, 61 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m. – 5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts. DMV’s Virginia Highway Safety Office encourages all Virginians to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what time of day.
Also last year in Virginia, 118 (38 percent) of the unrestrained traffic deaths were young people ages 21 to 35, and 73 percent were males. In addition, drivers and passengers in pickup trucks had the lowest seat belt use rates, along with passengers in work vans.
“These numbers tell us young males, many of them pickup drivers, are not buckling up and are dying on our roadways,” Holcomb said. “Those who drive and ride in pickup trucks may think that their large vehicle will protect them more than other vehicles in a crash. This false sense of security may cause them to not wear their seat belts, but the stats show that this bravado is misplaced.”
Simply put, seat belts hold drivers and passengers in place, helping the driver to maintain control during a collision. The shoulder belt keeps the driver from pitching forward into the steering wheel, dashboard and windshield, and keeps passengers from being ejected and from flying around the vehicle injuring others.
“We want to do everything we can to reach those who don’t buckle up so we can save their lives,” Holcomb said. “If you are close to someone who doesn’t wear a seat belt on every trip, please remind them they have so much to lose, including you.”
Sunni Blevins Brown
Virginia DMV | Public Relations and Media Liaison | Communications Office
Governor McAuliffe Announces Personnel Transition at ABC
May 14, 2014 | Virginia News
DMV’s Holcomb to Oversee Transition at ABC as Chief Operating Officer Coleburn retires
Richmond, VA – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Rick Holcomb, the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, will become acting Chief Operating Officer at the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) following the retirement of W. Curtis Coleburn.
“Rick Holcomb is a proven leader in Virginia government who has excelled at DMV, an agency where customer service, sound financial management and responsible law enforcement are key,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I am glad he has agreed to take on this new temporary role while continuing the great work he is doing at DMV as my team and I search for a permanent replacement to fill Curtis Coleburn’s shoes and lead the Virginia ABC into the future.”
W. Curtis Coleburn III will retire as Chief Operating Officer of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control after more than 30 years of service to the Commonwealth.
“I want to thank Curtis Coleburn for his leadership and service to the people of Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “During his time as Chief Operating Officer, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control became the professional and profitable state agency it is today. Few people have earned their retirement more than Curtis has.
“Giving Virginians the best possible customer experience and the highest return on their tax dollars is one of my top priorities. I am looking forward to working with Rick Holcomb, Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran and their entire team to continue modernizing the ABC and making it as successful, responsible and responsive to taxpayers as it can possibly be.”
Richard D. Holcomb was reappointed as Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles by Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2014, after serving in the same capacity for four years under Governor Robert F. McDonnell.
As DMV Commissioner, Holcomb manages a state agency with a budget of approximately $215 million and a statewide workforce of about 2,000 employees. Holcomb oversees the collection of approximately $2.2 billion dollars in revenue annually, which funds a significant portion of the state’s highway construction and maintenance.
In addition, he serves as the Governor's Highway Safety Representative, on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission, and as vice chair of the Virginia's Information Technology Advisory Council. He is chairman of the Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Board and serves as Secretary of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators International Board of Directors. In 2014, he was nominated to receive the White House’s “Champions of Change” award.
Prior to his 2010 appointment, Holcomb served as DMV Commissioner from 1994 to 2001. During Holcomb's initial seven-year tenure at DMV, he oversaw a dramatic transformation of the agency’s workforce training model and approach to customer service that improved Virginians’ experience at DMV branches and increased the agency’s efficiency.
Governor Issues Proclamation Recognizing Virginia Police Week, Peace Officers Memorial Day
May 12, 2014 | Virginia News
Governor McAuliffe issues a proclamation to recognize May 11-17, 2014, as Police Week, and May 15, 2014, as Peace Officers Memorial Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia Police Week And Peace Officers Memorial Day
WHEREAS, in 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed the first proclamation recognizing May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as National Police Week, “to pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to voice our appreciation for all those who currently serve on the front lines of the battle against crime;” and
WHEREAS, the safety and well-being of Virginians is of the utmost importance to the prosperity and livelihood of Virginia’s families and communities; and
WHEREAS, police officers throughout our Commonwealth are dedicated to protecting and serving Virginia’s communities – our neighborhoods, schools, and families; and
WHEREAS, police officers risk their lives each and every day in order to ensure public safety and enforce the laws of the land; and
WHEREAS, Virginians value the courage and devotion of our Commonwealth’s state and local police, as our collective prosperity depends on the integrity with which our law enforcement officers maintain peace and security; and
WHEREAS, Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day are opportunities to honor the officers who have fallen in the line of duty, and recognize the sacrifices made by the families of those officers and the families of those who continue to protect and serve our communities;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize May 11-17, 2014, as POLICE WEEK, and May 15, 2014, as PEACE OFFICERS MEMORIAL DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call these observances to the attention of all our citizens.
Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran commemorates Virginia Law Enforcement Officers
May 9, 2014 | Virginia News
Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran has issued a letter to Virginia Law Enforcement Officers in conjunction with National Police Week:
Sean Dunn sworn in as Martinsville’s police chief
May 7, 2014 | Virginia News
By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Martinsville Bulletin Staff Writer
Martinsville’s new police chief was sworn in Monday at the Martinsville Municipal Building. Chief Sean Dunn formerly was police commander in Portsmouth, where he began his law enforcement career in 1993, according to city manager Leon Towarnicki, who introduced Dunn.
Dunn was sworn in by Martinsville Judge G. Carter Greer, who presented Dunn with a badge following the ceremony. Around 100 people attended.
“During his tenure with Portsmouth, (Dunn) served on numerous committees, task forces and other community and interdepartmental work groups,” Towarnicki said. “He worked closely with many departments and city-wide operations, including the uniform patrol division, criminal investigations, crime analysis, community policing and crime prevention.”
After being sworn in, Dunn told the crowd he was grateful for the warm reception he has received in the city and county.
“To the leadership of the city and to the community of Martinsville, thank you very much for giving me and my family this opportunity to move here,” said Dunn, who has two children with his wife, Stacy. “This is a beautiful community. We’ve been here quite a number of times, and we’re really impressed by everything that we’ve seen.”
Dunn thanked interim police chief Eddie Cassady and former police chief Mike Rogers for their help during his transition...
Amherst Police Chief announces retirement
May 1, 2014 | Virginia News
What Amherst Police Chief Kelvin Brown called his greatest effort — more than three decades serving and protecting the citizens of the town of Amherst — now is drawing to a close.
Brown, 53, announced his retirement last week to devote more time to family and to pursue ministry and other career goals.
After 33 years on the department and three years serving as its chief, Aug. 31 will be his last day. The decision to retire was based on “prayerful reflection” and one that he has been contemplating for months.
“I’ve been blessed to know that I’m entering another season of my life and I have other life goals I want to pursue, “ he said.
“I believe this is the right thing at the right time for the town and my family.”
Brown said he’s grateful to many people: his colleagues in the department, the numerous councils he served under as well as former chiefs Kenneth Watts, who now serves on the town council, and Haney Mottley.
Brown is a pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Amherst, and his gratitude extends to his church family who has prayed him through many difficult situations, he said. And throughout the missed birthdays and holidays, through changes in training and technology, one person has been a steady constant — his wife of 31 years, Fran Brown.
“She saw from the inside out what that effort was like,” Brown said.
Brown has served with the force since 1981, when he joined the department as a 20-year-old rookie. Since 2011, Brown has overseen a department comprised of five full-time officers and one part-time.
“I didn’t choose police work,” Brown said. “It chose me. It was a calling on my life from God.” ...
Funeral Arrangements Announced for Spotsylvania Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Berger
April 30, 2014 | Virginia News
Spotsylvania County Deputy Bryan M. Berger died Monday after collapsing during a morning workout. Berger, 34, was a recruit at the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy and was participating in physical fitness training with his classmates that morning, said Mike Harvey, executive director of the academy.
Visitation will be Thursday, May 1, 2014 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Covenant Funeral Home, 4801 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Funeral service will be performed on Friday May 2, 2014 at 11:00 am at Spotswood Baptist Church, 4009 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 3702 Loren Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22408.
Sworn employees attending these services should wear the Class “A” uniform with long-sleeve shirt, low quarter shoes, chukka boots, or 8” inch clarino boots.
Spotsylvania deputy dies during morning workout
A Spotsylvania County deputy died Monday after collapsing during a morning workout. Bryan Berger, 34, was a recruit at the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy and was participating in physical fitness training with his classmates that morning, said Mike Harvey, executive director of the academy.
At approximately 8:20 a.m., Berger began experiencing shortness of breath during a calisthenics exercise, Harvey said.
“He was immediately taken to the side and monitored by instructors and staff as emergency medical services were summoned,” Harvey said. “Recruit Berger remained alert and he was speaking with the instructors and staff.”
When emergency personnel arrived, Berger collapsed and lost consciousness. He was transported to Mary Washington Hospital, where he later died.
“The members of the academy are deeply saddened by this sudden and tragic loss and our thoughts go out to the family of recruit Berger, the fellow recruits of Law Enforcement Basic Class 130, and the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office,” Harvey said.
Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office said Berger was assigned to the courts division of the Sheriff’s Office. Prior to becoming a deputy, he had worked as a Spotsylvania dispatcher and was a volunteer for the Spotsylvania County Rescue Squad, Pearce said.
Berger and his wife, Heidi, had been married for three years. They had no children, Pearce said.
The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office is handling the line-of-duty death investigation and helping plan funeral arrangements.
G4S Technology Awarded $12M in Contracts with the Virginia Department of Transportation
April 30, 2014 | Virginia News
G4S Technology LLC, an award-winning security and communications integrator, has been awarded contracts by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to provide fiber optic infrastructure and ITS equipment and services along a 13-mile stretch of I-64W near Waynesboro, Virginia.
Under the terms of the contracts, G4S Technology will provide electronic messaging signs designed to keep travellers informed of traffic changes and weather conditions, additional traffic cameras for improved corridor surveillance, a Road Weather Information System (RWIS), visibility detection sensors to improve the existing fog-light system, and fiber optic infrastructure to support the operations of the system. These contracts are part of the VDOT Active Traffic and Safety Management System project, a major public safety initiative of Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia.
Due to high traffic crash rates in this portion of Virginia, the specific areas of roadway to receive these critical improvements begin at mile-marker 94 to mile-marker 107 over the Afton Mountain, and a 12-mile segment of I-77 along a mountainous portion of Fancy Gap.
G4S Technology has a long-standing reputation as a forward thinker in the transportation industry, responsible for several ground-breaking ITS fiber-builds, upgrades and security build-outs across the United States. The company is devoted to providing the best technology and infrastructure to keep motorists safe and informed and, in turn, greatly improving travel times and public safety.
”We are proud to be involved with this important initiative for the citizens of Virginia,” said Sam Belbina, President of G4S Technology. “Our system will both improve traffic congestion and, ultimately, save lives by safeguarding travellers as they pass through this high-risk area. The benefits of this ITS system are designed to stand the test of time and elements to continue to benefit Virginia for years to come.”
About G4S Technology G4S Technology goes beyond typical systems integration by partnering with our clients in a collaborative manner that effectively mitigates risk and maximizes return on investment. We think beyond the obvious to establish clients as industry leaders, helping them create standards and exceed compliance regulations, improve lives, and develop greater future economic opportunities. To do this, G4S Technology provides our commercial, industrial and governmental clients a single source of expertise for all their communications and security needs. From development and design through installation and ongoing maintenance, we are a true partner for life, creating sustainable solutions that exceed client expectations both now, and for many years to come.
G4S Technology has deployed over two million fiber miles in more than 200 rural and metropolitan areas and completed over 1,500 electronic security systems projects in the United States, Europe, Asia, Central America and the Middle East.
Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, G4S Technology is managed by executives from the telecommunications, construction and security industries. The company is a leader in providing innovative, turnkey solutions for advanced communication and security systems.
G4S is the world's leading security solutions group, which specializes in outsourcing of business processes in sectors where security and safety risks are considered a strategic threat.
G4S is the largest employer quoted on the London Stock Exchange and has an additional stock exchange listing in Copenhagen.
For further inquiries, please contact:
Laura Kocher, Marketing Manager
(402) 233 7570
Bedford Co. Sheriff Mike Brown to host Va. Narcotics Officers Association interest meeting
April 24, 2014 | Virginia News
An Invitation to all Virginia Law Enforcement: On Thursday, May 15, at 10:00 a.m., Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown will host a meeting to discuss the possibility of establishing the Virginia Narcotic Officers Association (VNOA).
This meeting will be held in the Emergency Operation Center located in the lower level of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office, 1345 Falling Creek Road, Bedford, Va.
A few benefits of the VNOA will be:
- to assist in facilitating the sharing of narcotic intelligence across the Commonwealth of Virginia;
- provide high quality training for local and state law enforcement officers engaged in narcotic enforcement activities;
- to work with state and federal legislators across the country in developing strong drug laws and policies;
- the sharing of criminal intelligence in this arena.
According to the National Narcotic Officers Association, the state of Virginia is currently only one of twelve states that does not have a National Narcotics Officers Association.
Mr. Tommy Loving, the Director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Kentucky Drug Task Force, will be leading the discussion. Director Loving serves on the National Narcotic Officer Association, Board of Directors. His areas of responsibility are Delaware, Washington D.C., Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Virginia. He recently assisted West Virginia in starting the West Virginia Narcotic Officers Association (WVNOA). He will share his experience in forming a state association and the need to have an organized effort to promote strong drug laws.
This initiative is strongly supported by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC). Brett Reistead, ROCIC Virginia Law Enforcement Coordinator, will be in attendance.
Michael J. Brown, Sheriff
Saltville Police Dept. & Northwood H.S. announce LE Scholarship
April 23, 2014 | Virginia News
The Saltville Police Department, in cooperation with Northwood High School, is pleased to announce the establishment of a scholarship for sponsorship to the Southwest Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy (SVCJTA), leading to a career in law enforcement.
“This was the idea of Town Councilman Todd Young,” said Saltville Police Chief Rob Hall. “He wanted to find a way to encourage young men and women in the Saltville area to pursue a career in law enforcement, beginning and hopefully staying with the Saltville Police Department.”
Young made his case to the Town Council, and they voted to support the effort. Following the Council vote, Hall made contact with Northwood High Principal Stan Dunham to discuss the idea, and work out the requirements for application.
“There are 3 ways for an individual in Southwest Virginia to become a Police Officer or Deputy,” Hall explained. “First, they can get hired by an agency that has the resources to pay them to go to the Academy for 18 weeks. A small agency like the Saltville PD hasn’t got the budget or manpower to be able to do that. Second, the individual can apply directly to the Academy in what is known as the ‘Pre-employment Program’. In that case, the Academy does a full background investigation of the applicant, including a drug screen, physical fitness test and medical examination. If the applicant successfully passes all those requirements, they are allowed to attend the Academy on their own time and dime, plus tuition of $4,500 for the 4 ½ months. Because of the tremendous amount of time and effort it takes to successfully complete the Academy, applicants must be able to survive for that period of time without an income, as there’s no time for a job other than the Academy. The third way is what we are offering – join a law enforcement agency as an unpaid Auxiliary Officer or Deputy, and be sponsored by the agency to the Academy. The applicant will be subjected to the same extensive background investigation as any other law enforcement applicant, and will still have to be able to function without an income for 4 ½ months. The benefit to the applicant is that with agency sponsorship, they don’t have to pay the $4,500 tuition.”
Upon graduation from SVCJTA, the individual will be eligible to be fully certified as a law enforcement officer in Virginia. Given the need for certified officers, particularly by small agencies that can’t afford to hire and pay someone to go to the Academy, prospects for getting hired following graduation are very good.
The successful scholarship applicant would be sworn in as an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Saltville Police Department. During their time at SVCJTA, they would have opportunity to see the lessons learned at the Academy applied to the streets of Saltville. Upon graduation, the new Officer would be eligible to be hired by the SPD if an opening existed at that time, continue as a fully-certified Auxiliary Police Officer, or find employment with another law enforcement agency.
Any qualifying Northwood High School senior or recent graduate (2011 or later) has the opportunity to apply for the scholarship.
To be eligible for this scholarship, the senior or recent graduate must:
- Be 18 years old, or older.
- Be a member or graduate in good standing at Northwood High School.
- Be of good character and citizenship.
- Have a GPA of 3.0 or better.
- Have good attendance.
- Have shown leadership qualities and abilities.
- Have two (2) letters of reference emphasizing the applicant’s character, abilities and leadership qualities, at least one of which must be from a current or former teacher or school administrator.
- Have a sincere commitment to, and a strong desire for a career in law enforcement.
Questions regarding the application process may be addressed to Principal Stan Dunham, Northwood High School (276-496-7751). Questions regarding the law enforcement background investigation and academy may be addressed to Chief Rob Hall, Saltville Police Department (276-496-4321).
Attorney General Herring Marks First 100 Days in Office
April 21, 2014 | Virginia News
Takes action to protect rights of Virginians and modernize Office of the Attorney General
RICHMOND--Today marks 100 days since Mark R. Herring was sworn in as Virginia's 48th Attorney General. In that time, the office has continued to serve the people of Virginia by providing high-quality and timely legal advice and representation to state government, by investigating and advising the public of scams and predatory business practices, and by working to ensure justice in the prosecution and appeals processes, particularly in drug crimes and child exploitation cases.
"Working together, we have hit the ground running to provide greater opportunity for all Virginians, promote equality, protect our shared assets, work in a bipartisan way on legislation to make Virginia more secure, and restore trust in the public sector," Attorney General Herring said. "I've heard directly from public safety and elected officials all across the Commonwealth about critical, emerging issues we can help address. I'm proud of the work we have done and look forward to tackling the challenges that lie ahead."
In addition to maintaining the core functions of the office, below are some of the more noteworthy initiatives undertaken in these first 100 days:
Installed a new ethics policy in the Office of the Attorney General — On the day he was sworn in, Attorney General Herring announced a new ethics policy that applies to all employees of the Office of Attorney General, including the Attorney General himself. The policy prohibits employees of the Office of Attorney General from soliciting or accepting any gift over $100 in value, with no distinction between tangible and intangible gifts, with common sense exceptions like gifts from family members and personal friends. The policy conforms closely to the executive order signed by Governor McAuliffe.
Defended the right of all Virginia couples to marry — Attorney General Herring exercised his power to set the Commonwealth's legal position in Bostic vs. Rainey, arguing that, in light of the most recent and powerful judicial guidance, Virginia's same-sex marriage ban violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia agreed with his analysis, ruling on February 13 that Virginia's statutory and constitutional bans on marriage for same-sex couples were in violation of the U.S. Constitution. He continues to defend the rights of Virginians to marry while the case advances with both sides vigorously arguing for and against the constitutionality of the ban.
Conducted an unprecedented public safety tour — In March, Attorney General Herring held a two week public safety tour during which he traveled more than 2,500 miles to hold 22 regional meetings with representatives from more than 60 cities, counties, and towns in every corner of the state. Along the way he heard from local public safety and law enforcement leaders and local elected officials about unique challenges in their area and ways that he can help protect our communities. Many mayors and sheriffs said they could not recall an Attorney General ever coming to their community to solicit ideas in this way, including a Republican Sheriff in the northern Shenandoah Valley who said "it's the first time I've ever been sought out by an attorney general asking my opinion, and I think that's commendable."
Defended Virginia's Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan — On April 9, Attorney General Herring filed an amicus brief to protect Virginia's efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and to defend the right of Virginia and other Bay states to work together to protect and restore the Bay, making Virginia the first Bay state to defend the restoration plan in the case that is currently challenging it. The brief lays out the economic, environmental, and historic reasons Virginia is compelled to weigh in on the case and the reasons that the long history of cooperation between Bay states should be honored.
Ended Bob McDonnell's taxpayer funded lawyers — In one of his first actions after being sworn in, Attorney General Herring protected Virginia taxpayers by terminating the contracts with two law firms who had been representing former Governor McDonnell and his office. The outside counsel contracts were entered into because of a conflict held by the prior attorney general which was rendered moot with the changing of administration.
Launched a top to bottom review of the operations of the Office of Attorney General — In February, Attorney General Herring created a three-member review panel charged with identifying reforms and efficiencies within the Office of the Attorney General that advance his priority of delivering high-quality, timely, and cost-effective legal work to the people of Virginia and their state government. The primary goal of the panel is to ensure that the Office of the Attorney General is operated in a manner befitting a modern, major law firm representing the interests of the people of Virginia. It includes Bill Leighty, contributing extensive state government experience, W. Taylor Revely, III, contributing large law firm management experience, and Katherine Busser, offering the perspective of efficient business governance and operations to the review. The panel is currently working to evaluate and generate recommendations related to the budget and finances of the office, execution of the office's duties and responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act and the Conflict of Interest Act, use of outside counsel and information technology infrastructure.
Updated a decades old policy regarding free speech at Virginia community colleges — Attorney General Herring's administration rewrote the speech policy for the Virginia Community College System to address First Amendment concerns and ensure the fair and free expression of ideas on Virginia's community college campuses.
Won passage of important public safety and consumer protection legislation — The General Assembly passed a number of public safety and consumer protection bills that were introduced on behalf of the Attorney General or which the Office of the Attorney General helped craft and pass. In addition to these bills, which were sponsored and passed in a bipartisan fashion, the Attorney General's office was extremely active throughout the legislative process, reviewing thousands of bills and working as requested with legislators in both houses to provide legal advice on dozens more bills.
Attorney General's bills included:
This bill will make witnesses of drug-related crimes and violent felonies eligible for important protections, including the ability to keep identifying and contact information confidential during court proceedings. The Office of the Attorney General's Division of Public Safety and Enforcement drafted the bill and brought it to the General Assembly based on feedback from Commonwealth's Attorneys who have had difficulty getting witnesses to testify because of fear of reprisal. This bill was supported by a broad coalition of public safety advocates including the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys, Fraternal Order of Police, Chiefs of Police Association, Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Virginia Network for Victims & Witnesses of Crime, and Protect.org.
HB 1233, Address Confidentiality (Toscano)
This bill, drafted by Attorney General's office and introduced on his behalf, extends the Address Confidentiality Program to victims of stalking. As with victims of domestic violence, protecting residential address information can be critical for the safety of victims of stalking who move to addresses unknown to their perpetrators. This legislation allows victims to protect their residential address from public disclosure when applying for services from state and local agencies.
SB150 (Stuart)/HB 375 (O'Quinn) Patent trolling
These identical bills are compromise legislation crafted by the Office of Attorney General Herring to protect Virginia businesses from "patent trolling." These bad faith claims of patent infringement force businesses, including many small businesses, to choose between paying exorbitant and unjustified license fees or fighting the claim through costly litigation. The bills enjoy the support of a broad, bipartisan coalition including the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Virginia Chamber, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Bankers Association, Virginia Retail Association, and Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. The bills establish criteria for determining that a patent infringement claim is being made in bad faith, a practice that costs the United States' economy as much as $29 billion per year, according to a recent study. Those criteria include issuing a letter claiming infringement which includes false statements, does not identify the patent holder, or fails to specify how the target is infringing, demanding an unreasonable license fee, or reasserting infringement claims that have previously been declared baseless by a court.
SB42, Elimination of Fox Penning (Marsden)
This bill was a compromise brokered by the office of Attorney General Mark R. Herring which will limit and eventually phase out fox-penning in Virginia, a practice in which wild foxes are trapped, confined, and hunted by dogs for purposes of training, or in some cases, sport, competition, and gambling. After years of legislative stalemate on the issue, the Office of the Attorney General, working on behalf of its client agencies, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Secretary of Natural Resources, developed amendments to SB42, sponsored by Senator Dave Marsden, which will address questions regarding the legality of current operations and enact a moratorium on any new facilities. The bill establishes an annual statewide cap of 900 animals that can be confined in the state's 36 operating pens. Facilities will be allowed a limited number of animals according to their size, but as facilities close, their allotment will be removed from the statewide cap. No new facilities will be permitted and facilities currently in operation can operate for a maximum of 40 more years.
HB 1112, Synthetic/Analog Drugs (Garrett)
Attorney General Herring carried the original synthetic/analog drug bill as a state senator. This bill was developed with assistance from the Attorney General's office to give prosecutors and law enforcement officials more tools to keep dangerous synthetic drugs off the streets and away from young people. The bill updates some definitions based on the latest chemistry, makes selling or distributing these substances a class 5 rather than class 6 felony, and establishes a faster process for the Board of Pharmacy to add designer drugs to the controlled substances schedule so that they can respond more quickly to emerging threats.
SB503(Ebbin)/HB492 (Albo) Regulating notaries
The Attorney General's office worked with patrons on this legislation which will prohibit a notary public from offering or providing legal advice to any person in immigration matters or representing any person in immigration proceedings unless such notary public is an attorney or a federally accredited representative. Notaries engaged in non-English advertising will have to include in such advertising, as well as post within their place of business, a statement that the notary is not licensed to practice law and has no authority to give advice on immigration or other legal matters. The bill also provides for civil penalties and revocation of the notary commission for failing to include the required statements and postings.
HB403, Admissibility of prior offenses during prosecution of child sex crimes (Bell)
Attorney General Herring had previously introduced this legislation as a state senator. This bill, which was developed with and advocated for by the Office of the Attorney General, provides that in a criminal case in which the defendant is accused of a felony sexual offense involving a child victim, evidence of the defendant's conviction of another sexual offense or offenses is admissible and may be considered for its bearing on any matter to which it is relevant. This rule of evidence is to be applied in conjunction with the Virginia Rules of Evidence.
HB1248, Self authentication of 911 phone calls (Surovell)
This bill, introduced at the request of Attorney General Herring's public safety staff, will make it easier to admit 911 calls in criminal proceedings. As long as the recording is authenticated by the custodian of the record, such as an emergency communications center manager, it will be considered admissible in court, similar to the way a toxicology or autopsy report is handled. The current rules require a complex and burdensome process for authenticating and admitting 911 calls. The bill has support from the Fraternal Order of Police, many emergency managers, and the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys.
HB439, Updates to the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Protection Act (LeMunyon)
Attorneys from the Office of the Attorney General created this bill to conform Virginia law with federal law and ensure the Commonwealth recovers as much money as possible during action under the Fraud Against Taxpayer Act.
# # #
Contact: Michael Kelly
Governor McAuliffe Marks 100 Days of His Administration, Launches Website
April 21, 2014 | Virginia News
Governor McAuliffe today marked his administration’s hundredth day and launched 100Days.Virginia.gov, a website highlighting key accomplishments his administration has made so far in critical areas such as economic development, transportation, and education.
“Since my first day in office, I, along with members of my administration, have worked hard to find mainstream, common-sense solutions to problems and create a stronger and more economically competitive Commonwealth,” stated Governor McAuliffe. “We have already made significant progress in investing our transportation dollars wisely, creating more jobs in every region of the Commonwealth, and preparing our workforce for a 21st Century economy. I am proud of the accomplishments my administration has made, and I am confident that we will continue to put people above politics to build a stronger economic foundation for the next generation of Virginians.”
# # #
Contact: Rachel Thomas
Bryan Norwood Joins MWAA as Vice President for Public Safety
April 17, 2014 | Virginia News
After an extensive public search, the board of directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, on Apr. 16, confirmed Bryan Norwood as the new vice president for public safety.
“Bryan Norwood brings more than 25 years of public safety experience to the Airports Authority,” said Jack Potter, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. “We look forward to the leadership and innovation he will bring to our Police and Fire and Rescue departments from previous success managing emergency responders in other cities.”
Norwood began his law enforcement career as a police officer in New Haven, Conn., as a 1989 graduate of its police academy. After rising through the ranks to assistant chief in 2002, Norwood was appointed chief of police in Bridgeport, Conn., in 2006; then chief of police in Richmond, Va., in 2008. He was also a special agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from 1998 to 1999.
Norwood’s achievements include the implementation of several initiatives to advance community policing and citizen involvement. He was chairman of the Central Virginia Law Enforcement Chief Executive Association and is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.
At the Airports Authority, Norwood will oversee the management and operations of the Authority’s Fire and Rescue Department and Police Department at Reagan National and Dulles International airports and the Dulles Toll Road. Both departments are full-service agencies, protecting the safety of thousands of employees, more than 100,000 daily highway commuters and more than 40 million airline passengers per year.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, established in 1987 by the governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia, manages and operates Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports, which together serve more than 40 million passengers a year. The Airports Authority also operates and maintains the Dulles Airport Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road and manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail system into Loudoun County, Va. No tax dollars are used to operate the toll road, which is funded by toll revenues, or the airports, which are funded through aircraft landing fees, rents and revenues from concessions. The Silver Line construction is funded by a combination of toll-road revenues, airport contributions and federal, state and local government appropriations. The Airports Authority is led by a 17-member board of directors appointed by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the president of the United States.
Fairfax City police chief Rick Rappoport to retire, join Amtrak police
April 16, 2014 | Virginia News
By Tom Jackman, Washington Post
Fairfax City police Chief Richard J. Rappoport, retiring after more than 13 years in the city to become a deputy chief of the Amtrak Police.
Rick Rappoport, who was the Fairfax City police chief for more than 13 years and a Fairfax County officer and commander for 24 years before that, has announced that he is stepping down next month to join the Amtrak police force as deputy chief for the mid-Atlantic and southeast region. Rappoport, 60, made the announcement in a letter to Fairfax City officials and to his own officers on Monday.
Rappoport is easy going and very experienced, which made him popular with his troops in both the city and the county as well as in the fraternity of local police chiefs who meet regularly to discuss regional problems. Montgomery County Chief Tom Manger told me recently that Rappoport was one of the smartest police officers he’d ever worked with. Rappoport worked for Manger as a deputy chief of administration and held various positions around the county before taking the Fairfax City job in November 2000.
Rappoport’s top accomplishment in the city no doubt was winning voter approval for a much-needed new police headquarters — his department worked out of an old elementary school for years, with Rappoport in the principal’s office — and then getting it built and operational. He also had to deal with a large wave of retirements, as many police departments have, and has gotten his force fully trained, though about half have less than five years experience. He established a Citizens Police Academy and a Volunteers in Police Service program to get more of the city’s 24,000 residents involved in the department. He teaches a class in police ethics at George Mason University. And he helped arrange the launch of a deer sterilization program for Fairfax City, conducted in the police headquarters’ garage, which could become a model alternative for small jurisdictions with deer overpopulation.
Now, Rappoport will work for Amtrak police Chief Polly Hanson, the former head of Metro Transit Police and a former assistant to D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier. “I’m excited at the opportunity to work with her in an area of policing that is vitally important and new and challenging to me,” Rappoport told me Tuesday. “I’d like to challenge myself one more time before retiring to a life of leisure, I hope.”
Rappoport said it was “a very difficult decision to retire.” He thanked his department members, city employees, volunteers, various boards and commissions, and his colleagues around the region. “This area,” he said, “is blessed with incredible law enforcement leadership that works really well together to solve major issues — that just doesn’t happen everywhere in the country.”
Fairfax City Mayor Scott Silverthorne said, ”As the longest serving chief in the city’s history, Rick Rappoport modernized our police department and was well respected by his officers and by the city’s governing body alike. Most importantly, crime in the City of Fairfax has been at historical lows during his time as chief. I was personally disappointed to learn the news of his retirement.”
Rappoport’s last day will be May 9.
Volunteers Needed for 2014 USA Cycling National Collegiate Championships in Richmond
April 10, 2014 | VACP
Calling All Volunteers! Richmond 2015 needs your help! In just a few weeks from now, we will be hosting the 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships in downtown Richmond. The event will feature 400 student athletes from more than 100 colleges and universities from across the country. It is also serving as the official test event for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships.
We are seeking committed individuals to serve as course marshals on Friday, May 2nd, Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th, 2014. The course marshal role is considered to be the “best seat in the house” as they assist race organizers with crowd control and traffic safety as the racers speed by.
Each volunteer will receive a t-shirt to commemorate the event, food and beverage during their shift and a 15% discount code to use on Richmond 2015 merchandise. In addition, if you volunteer for 2014, Richmond 2015 will provide you with your first choice of volunteer role for the 2015 World Championships when the best men and women cyclists, from all over the world, race through the streets of the Richmond region.
Community Impact! Richmond 2015 also needs your help to spread the word about the traffic impact that the 2014 USA Cycling National Collegiate Championships will have on downtown Richmond!
Richmond 2015 is working hard to inform the businesses and residents affected by the event that there will be impact to normal traffic patterns throughout the weekend of May 2-4. Vehicular traffic and street parking will be prohibited on the race courses. Designated streets will be identified to allow traffic to cross-over the course in a controlled manner.
Please see the attached flier for the race schedule and share with friends, family and co-workers. To stay informed, connect with Richmond 2015 on social media and sign-up to receive their newsletter at chttp://www.richmond2015.com/volunteer.
More about the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships:
More than 400 student-athletes representing 100+ schools will compete in this annual National Championship event, which is making its return to the East Coast for the first time since 1998. The event, which will also serve as the official test event for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships will take place in downtown Richmond. To view the courses or to learn more about the event, visit our website at www.richmond2015.com.
VDEM 2013 Citizen Corps Superstar Awards
April 10, 2014 | Virginia News
VDEM pleased to again recognize the accomplishments of volunteers across Virginia who gave of themselves for a safer Virginia in times of disaster and beyond in their communities and institutions of higher education (IHE). Acknowledge your volunteers by participating in the 2013 Superstar Awards!
Please take the time to read all the contest guidelines carefully. Winners will be honored in person and they, along with all those nominated, will be posted on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website under Volunteer News, published in VDEM’s EM Update and shared with FEMA Region III for publication on the national website!
Nominate your outstanding CERT volunteer, VIP, Neighborhood Watch volunteer, community/campus outreach event and more! Nominations are due APRIL 18!!
Download the Nomination Form (Word doc)
Governor Signs Order to Continue Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services, Crisis Response
April 9, 2014 | Virginia News
Governor McAuliffe signed Executive Order #12 yesterday, which continues the Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response.
Speaking about the Executive Order, Governor McAuliffe stated, “I am glad to sign Executive Order 12, which ensures that Virginia leaders continue to focus on access to mental health services and improvements in Virginia’s mental health system as we work to build better communities and grow the Commonwealth’s economy. I am encouraged at the progress we made legislatively this year on reforming our mental health system, but there is still significant work to be done to prevent future tragedies from occurring and to make sure our mental health system works for all Virginians.
“I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam for agreeing to chair the Task Force along with Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel and Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran who will co-chair. I also thank all of the Virginia leaders who are working tirelessly to improve our Commonwealth’s mental health system and the outcomes it delivers for the Virginians we all serve.”
Full Text of the Executive Order is Below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER TWELVE (2014)
CONTINUING THE GOVERNOR’S TASK FORCE ON IMPROVING
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND CRISIS RESPONSE
Importance of the Taskforce
Virginians have experienced tremendous heartache as a result of mental health tragedies. It is incumbent upon us to reevaluate how we can better serve our fellow Virginians with mental health needs and examine ways to improve the system by filling in gaps in services and making impactful investments. Collaborative groups of experts, advocates, policy-makers and others have assessed certain aspects of the system and affected critical changes over the years. In particular, following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Virginia’s leaders drew upon work done by the Virginia Tech Review Panel and the Commission on Mental Health Law Reform to study and investigate the tragedy in order to strengthen the civil commitment process through legislation so that individuals with serious mental illness could receive needed help in a timely manner. The 2008 budget included an infusion of funds to build core community services such as emergency services, case management, and outpatient treatment. Unfortunately, many of these gains were lost as a result of the economic downturn. Last year, targeted investments were made to Virginia’s mental health system upon recommendations from the Governor’s Taskforce on School and Campus Safety.
While bolstering our ability to respond to mental health crises when they occur, we must continue to seek ways to intervene early and prevent crises from developing. Virginia has crisis prevention services in place, such as outpatient psychiatric consultation, suicide prevention, Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) services, and rehabilitation services. These services are in high demand, and are not consistently available across the Commonwealth.
Virginia’s mental health system has moved away from the days of overcrowded state mental institutions toward a community-based system for individuals to receive treatment in their homes and communities. However, the mental health system remains extremely complex and difficult to navigate for families seeking assistance and for workers within the system. Though state law helps guide the process, practices and services are locally developed. This system allows flexibility to implement the policies that work best for particular regions, though the protocols have not always been in writing and variations have existed across the Commonwealth.
The mental health system for emergency services is dependent upon cooperation and communication from a variety of partners, including community services boards, law enforcement, the judicial system and private hospitals. Effective collaboration among these many parties ensures the most favorable outcomes for people in crisis. While emergency mental health services work for most people, it is critical that the mental health safety net responds effectively to all individuals and families in crisis.
Since taking office, my administration and I have been committed to finding and supporting measures to assure the care and safety of persons suffering mental health crises along with their families, neighbors, and members of the community. Lawmakers acted quickly this session to make numerous changes to Virginia’s mental health laws. Among the changes is extending the emergency custody order (ECO) period from a maximum of six to a total of eight possible hours. This change will give clinicians more time to locate an available psychiatric bed during the ECO period. Our legislators also extended the temporary detention order period from 48 to 72 hours to help ensure individuals have enough treatment time to stabilize prior to the court hearing which determines involuntary admission to a psychiatric hospital.
To help Virginia improve its mental health crisis response, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has taken steps since the beginning of 2014 to outline clear and specific statewide expectations for securing a private or a state psychiatric bed when an individual qualifies for a temporary detention order. In turn, partners across Virginia’s seven DBHDS Partnership Planning Regions, including community services boards and state and private hospitals, have incorporated state guidance into tightened and clarified admission procedures for the regions’ private and state psychiatric beds. In addition, in a collaborative effort among DBHDS, Virginia Health Information, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association and the 40 local community services boards, Virginia launched an online psychiatric bed registry to help clinicians locate available beds in an emergency situation. While the changes that have been made in recent months have been critical, more solutions are needed to improve Virginia’s complicated and chronically underfunded mental health system. Because the system is multifaceted, the solutions must be as well.
Through this Executive Order, I am calling on leaders in the mental health field, law enforcement communities, the judicial system, private hospitals, and individuals receiving mental health services, to seek and recommend solutions that will improve Virginia’s mental health crisis services and help prevent crises from developing.
To accomplish this, in accordance with the authority vested in me by Article V of the Constitution of Virginia and under the laws of the Commonwealth, including but not limited to §§ 2.2-134 and 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, and subject to my continuing and ultimate authority and responsibility to act in such matters, I hereby continue the Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response.
Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response
The Task Force’s responsibilities shall include the following:
- Recommend refinements and clarifications of protocols and procedures for community services boards, state hospitals, law enforcement and receiving hospitals.
- Review for possible expansion the programs and services that assure prompt response to individuals in mental health crises and their families such as emergency services teams, law enforcement crisis intervention teams (CIT), secure assessment centers, mobile crisis teams, crisis stabilization centers and mental health first aid.
- Examine extensions or adjustments to the emergency custody order and the temporary detention order period.
- Explore technological resources and capabilities, equipment, training and procedures to maximize the use of telepsychiatry.
- Examine the cooperation that exists among the courts, law enforcement and mental health systems in communities that have incorporated crisis intervention teams and cross systems mapping.
- Identify and examine the availability of and improvements to mental health resources for Virginia’s veterans, service members, and their families and children.
- Assess state and private provider capacity for psychiatric inpatient care, the assessment process hospitals use to select which patients are appropriate for such care, and explore whether psychiatric bed registries and/or census management teams improve the process for locating beds.
- Review for possible expansion those services that will provide ongoing support for individuals with mental illness and reduce the frequency and intensity of mental health crises. These services may include rapid, consistent access to outpatient treatment and psychiatric services, as well as co-located primary care and behavioral health services, critical supportive services such as wrap-around stabilizing services, peer support services, PACT services, housing, employment and case management.
- Recommend how families and friends of a loved one facing a mental health crisis can improve the environment and safety of an individual in crisis.
- Examine the mental health workforce capacity and scope of practice and recommend any improvements to ensure an adequate mental health workforce.
Task Force Membership
- The Task Force shall be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor.
- The Task Force shall be co-chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Membership shall include the following individuals or their designees:
- The Attorney General of Virginia;
- Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs;
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia;
- Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services;
- Commissioner of the Department of Social Services;
- Director of the Department of Medical Assistance Services;
- Superintendent of the Virginia State Police;
- At least three community services board emergency services directors;
- At least three law enforcement officers, including at least one sheriff;
- At least two executive directors of community services boards;
- At least two magistrates;
- At least two private hospital emergency department physicians;
- At least two psychiatrists;
- At least one representative of a state mental health facility;
- At least two representatives from Virginia’s private hospital systems;
- At least two individuals receiving mental health services;
- At least one member from a statewide veterans organization;
- At least two family members of individuals receiving services; and
- Two members of the House of Delegates and two members of the Senate of Virginia.
The Governor may appoint other members as he deems necessary.
Task Force Staffing and Funding
Necessary staff support for the Task Force's work during its existence shall be furnished by the Office of the Governor, and the Offices of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, as well as other agencies and offices designated by the Governor. An estimated 750 hours of staff time will be required to support the work of the Task Force.
Necessary funding to support the Commission and its staff shall be provided from federal funds, private contributions, and state funds appropriated for the same purposes as the Task Force, as authorized by § 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, as well as any other private sources of funding that may be identified. Estimated direct costs for this Commission are $5,000 per year.
The Task Force shall commence its work promptly and suggest legislative and budgetary proposals that will enable the implementation of identified recommendations. The Task Force shall make recommendations on an ongoing basis and shall provide a final report to the Governor no later than October 1, 2014. The Task Force shall issue such other reports and recommendations as necessary or as requested by the Governor.
Effective Date of the Executive Order
This Executive Order replaces Executive Order No. 68 (2013) issued on December 10, 2013, by Governor Robert F. McDonnell. This Executive Order shall be effective upon signing and, pursuant to §§ 2.2-134 and 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, shall remain in force and effect for one year from its signing unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this 8th day of April, 2014.
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Contact: Rachel Thomas
Phone: (804) 225-4262
Despite legal opinion, plate scanners are still active
April 7, 2014 | Virginia News
Despite restrictions imposed by a legal opinion, Big Brother is still watching you. More specifically, your license plates.
Throughout Hampton Roads, 45 cameras snap rapid-fire pictures – hundreds of them per hour – of every license plate that passes within their view. Each photo is stamped with the date, time and location of the vehicle. In most cases, the images are stored for periods ranging from 24 hours to 30 days.
Elsewhere in the state, mainly Northern Virginia, they’re kept for as long as two years.
Most of the automated license plate readers are mounted on police cruisers. The plate numbers they capture are matched against lists of stolen vehicles and those associated with high-profile crimes such as homicides, robberies and abductions.
In some cases, the plate numbers are used to ferret out more mundane miscreants such as tax and parking scofflaws.
Many law enforcement officials swear by the devices, calling them a useful high-tech crime-fighting tool. But civil libertarians are raising privacy concerns, saying the technology gives the police unfettered power to track citizens’ every move.
License plate readers have proliferated in Virginia over the past five years, fueled by advancing technology and the availability of anti-terrorism grants from the federal government.
But the trend hit a bump in the road a little more than a year ago when then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an opinion saying that massive, indiscriminate collection of data by the readers violates state law.
Collecting such data in a continuous, passive manner, not directly related to specific criminal investigations, is forbidden by the 2001 Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act, Cuccinelli wrote in the February 2013 opinion.
Cuccinelli’s opinion effectively emasculated the technology as a crime-fighting tool, many law enforcement officials say.
“We have a significant investment in this equipment, and it’s almost useless now,” Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith complained to newly elected Attorney General Mark Herring in a meeting at Norfolk City Hall last month.
Without committing himself either way on the issue, Herring replied that it’s time for a national conversation to find the proper balance between public safety and privacy.
The Virginia State Police operates 44 license plate readers statewide, purchased at prices ranging from $295 to $374 per unit. The department began dumping the data after 24 hours in response to Cuccinelli’s opinion, according to spokeswoman Corinne Geller. Before that, the information had been stored indefinitely.
From February 2010 through the end of 2012, license plate readers helped the state police recover 529 stolen vehicles and 751 stolen license plates and arrest 229 wanted persons, Geller said. In one recent high-profile case, she said, the readers were used in investigating a string of arsons on the Eastern Shore last year.
The state police believe that by deleting the data after 24 hours, they’re in compliance with Cuccinelli’s opinion, Geller said.
Other police agencies, however, haven’t been willing to go that far, pointing out that an attorney general’s opinion is advisory and doesn’t carry the force of law.
“They are expensive pieces of equipment,” said Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. “If we were going to scale back retention of data to say you can only keep it for 24 hours, then it becomes useless.
“We are concerned about the privacy of individuals. Our officers are private citizens as well. But we don’t want to give up the use of an important criminal investigative tool simply because we don’t have clear guidelines on their use.”
The opinion has resulted in a patchwork of policies on data retention around the state, including Hampton Roads, where most of the license plate readers used by local police were purchased with a regional $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Virginia Beach adheres to the 24-hour rule. Portsmouth retains its data for 72 hours. Norfolk, Chesapeake and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel police – who operate a stationary camera on the bay crossing – keep it for 30 days...
Governor McAuliffe Announces Administration Appointments
April 4, 2014 | Virginia News
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his administration today. The appointees will join McAuliffe’s administration focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will grow Virginia’s economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth.
Secretariat of Public Safety
Andrew K. Block, Jr., Director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice
Block was an Associate Professor and Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law from 2010-2014. From 1998 until the spring of 2010 he was the founder and Legal Director of the JustChildren Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center. He started the program to meet the unaddressed legal needs of court-involved youth in the Charlottesville area. Over time the program expanded and included lawyers in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Petersburg, statewide policy advocacy for vulnerable young people, and training for judges, lawyers, child-serving professionals, and parents. Andy received various awards for his innovative and successful work at JustChildren, including the American Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division Child Advocacy Award, the Virginia State Bar’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year, the Virginia Bar Association’s Robert F. Shepherd, Jr. Award, and the Charlottesville Daily Progress Distinguished Dozen. Block graduated from Yale University in 1987 and from the Northwestern University School of Law in 1994.
Francine C. Ecker, Director of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Ecker was the Senior Policy Advisor for Strategic Planning for the National Criminal Justice Association, where she consulted with federal, state, and local government in the areas of criminal justice planning, evidence-based program development, and organizational management. She previously served as a Division Director at the Department of Criminal Justice Services, where she was responsible for the Corrections, Juvenile, and Victim Services Sections of the agency, as well as for Department training activities. Ecker has over 25 years of management experience in state and local government. Throughout her career in government service, and previous work as the Executive Director of a rural victim services program in the New River Valley, she has been instrumental in the design, development, and implementation of state and local criminal justice, prosecution, law enforcement, child welfare, and domestic and sexual violence grant programs. She served for several years as a clinical consultant to a local community corrections program in Central Virginia. Ms. Ecker earned her B.S.W. in Social Welfare in 1978 and Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology in 1981 from Temple University.
Secretariat of Commerce and Trade
Carlton “Ray” Davenport, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
Carlton “Ray” Davenport previously served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Virginia AFL-CIO, one of two executive officers of the organization. Prior to being elected an officer at the Virginia AFL-CIO, Ray served as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry from 2002-2009 in Governor Mark Warner and Governor Tim Kaine’s administrations. He was responsible for general management/supervision of Virginia’s occupational safety & health state plan, enforcement of labor & employment laws, registered apprenticeship programs, and overseeing the certification and safe operation of commercial boilers and pressure vessels. Ray is a product of Virginia’s registered apprenticeship program graduating as a journeyman crane operator, and was later elected as business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 147. He served 13 years as principal officer of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 147 as well as 7 years as President of the Virginia State Building and Construction Trades prior to being appointed as Virginia’s Commissioner of Labor & Industry. Ray holds a B.A. in Labor Studies from George Meany Center for Labor Studies/Antioch University and a M.S. from University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Lawrence D. “Larry” Wilder, Jr., Advisor for Social Entrepreneurism and Innovation of the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity
Lawrence D. “Larry” Wilder, Jr. previously served as Assistant Secretary of Education focusing on issues of charter schools, college laboratory schools, and financial literacy. Prior to that role, he was a Special Assistant for Reentry Education, working on the Governor’s Prisoner Reentry Initiative on issues of education, housing and workforce development. Larry has served as a consultant with Unisphere Development Strategies, which focused on economic development in low-income communities; Strategic Markets Director in the Los Angeles office of Urban America, an investment advisor and asset manager specializing in urban commercial and mixed-use real estate investment; and practiced law for 14 years with the law firm of Wilder & Gregory in Richmond. Additionally, Larry held a variety of finance and advisory positions including with the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, Jackson Securities, The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, and Pacific Community Ventures. Larry also served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1992-1994. Larry earned both a B.A in Economics and a J.D. from the University of Virginia, and is a member of the Virginia State Bar. He also holds a M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
Culpeper Police accredited by CALEA for the fourth time
April 4, 2014 | Virginia News
The Culpeper Police Department earned its fourth advanced international accreditation certification from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) following a panel interview by CALEA commissioners at CALEA’s conference in California last weekend.
Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins, Maj. Ricky Pinksaw and Capt. Chris Settle appeared before a three-member panel of commissioners to answer questions about the department and its operation. The commissioners reviewed the assessment report prepared in December by a two-member team of law enforcement professionals from outside Virginia, who reviewed department compliance with specified standards, conducted ride-alongs with officers, interviewed citizens and conducted a public hearing.
The panel comprised of South Carolina Supreme Court Justice John Kittredge, Dr. Gary Margolis, a retired police chief and managing partner in a professional services firm, and California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joseph Farrow sat on the panel interviewing the Culpeper Police Department’s command staff.
The 24-page assessment report, written by Fayetteville, N.C., Deputy Police Chief Katherine Bryant following her team’s visit concluded that the Culpeper Police Department “is an excellent example of a professional law enforcement agency.”
CALEA is a voluntary international program that demonstrates a department’s commitment to excellence, while serving its citizens.
In Virginia, there are only 15 municipal law enforcement agencies accredited by CALEA. The Virginia State Police, four university police departments as well as three county police and sheriff’s offices also stand accredited.
CALEA established 482 standards, which departments are required to meet. The standards are the benchmarks for today’s public safety agencies.
In a March 22, letter congratulating Culpeper on its re-accreditation CALEA Executive Director W. Craig Hartley wrote, “This award represents the culmination of self-evaluation, concluded by review from independent assessors and CALEA Commissioners.”
To meet the tough CALEA standards requires the creation of written directives and the ability to show compliance with those standards. Throughout the year department directives may require review and updating.
Since 2011, Capt. Settle has been in charge of the writing, reviewing and updating all of the department’s policies to ensure compliance with CALEA standards and that department personnel understood and followed them.
Prior to Capt. Settle taking charge of the re-accreditation process as the accreditation manager, Maj. Ricky Pinksaw was the department’s accreditation manager since 2005.
Retired Police Chief Dan Boring is credited with moving the department toward seeking international accreditation.
Being CALEA accredited indicates the Culpeper Police Department maintains a standard of professionalism that is recognized throughout the world. Accreditation offers a blueprint to agency heads, whether police chief, sheriff or superintendent, that promotes efficient use of resources and improves service delivery regardless of size, geographic location or agency responsibilities.
“CALEA accreditation is the primary method for an agency to voluntarily demonstrate and measure its commitment to professionalism and excellence in law enforcement,” said Chief Jenkins. “It is truly the gold standard in public safety and a tribute to the daily efforts of the hard working men and women of the department who make awards like this possible.”
Agencies are accredited for three-year periods. Following its initial accreditation under Chief Boring in 2005, the department was re-accredited in 2008 and twice with Chief Chris Jenkins at the helm.
“The assessment process is intensive,” said Settle. “But the rewards of recognition by CALEA cannot be measured.”
Jenkins said citizens should know that the agency strives to maintain the high standards required to maintain CALEA international accreditation. He thanked the community and local government officials for their continued support.
“We will continue to improve upon the service,” said Jenkins. “Being recognized by CALEA takes a great deal of effort, but the results are worth it to both our community and citizens.”
Hartley will publicly present the CALEA advanced re-accreditation certification at the Culpeper Town Council meeting April 8.
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Contact: Wally Bunker, Public Information Officer
A CALEA commissioners’ panel (left) Judge John Kittredge, CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow, Dr. Gary Margolis interview Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins, Capt. Chris Settle and Maj. Ricky Pinksaw last weekend in California. (Download high-res photo)
Ashland Police Department Receives Reaccreditation at the 2014 CALEA Spring Conference
April 3, 2014 | Virginia News
The Ashland Police Department recently received its national Advanced Law Enforcement with Excellence reaccreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) during the 2014 spring conference in Garden Grove, California.
In December of 2013, CALEA sent a team of assessors to the Town of Ashland Police Department to assess the agency’s compliance with internationally accepted law enforcement professional standards. At the conclusion of this process the assessment team particularly noted the Department’s “commitment” to the adherence of these standards.
During the Department’s conference hearing, Review Commissioner John Kittredge quoted from the assessor’s report, “A sense of agency pride and family was prevalent throughout the agency. It is evident that CALEA standards and practices have become part of the culture of the Ashland Police Department.” Commissioner Kittredge is a South Carolina Supreme Court Justice who has served on numerous special commissions and task forces related to crime and delinquency, juvenile justice and crime stoppers.
The Ashland Police Department is very proud of its reaccreditation and we thank all the members of this department who worked tirelessly to maintain this achievement as well as the many members of the community who have contributed to the Department’s continued success.
For more information on the CALEA, The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., and how it benefits our community, go to http://www.calea.org/ or contact the Ashland Police Department at (804) 798-1227.
Pictured, Left to Right: CALEA Executive Director W. Craig Hartley, Jr., Ashland PD Accreditation Manager, Ms. Cheryl Bookwalter Captain Anthony Callahan, CALEA Chairman Sheriff (ret.) J. Grayson Robinson.
DCJS Announces Availability of Funding Under the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG)
April 3, 2014 | Virginia News
Applications due May 2, 2014 for local projects focused on preventing and controlling juvenile crime, with special priority given to law enforcement training programs which are youth-focused and/or designed to reduce DMC in the juvenile justice system.
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is making federal funds under the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG) Program from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) available for local projects. The JABG Program supports states and local units of government in their efforts to strengthen the juvenile justice system by implementing accountability-based programs that focus on both the offender and the juvenile justice system.
Eligible applicants under this solicitation include Virginia local units of government. This solicitation is not open to state agencies. Applicants may submit only one proposal per agency. Nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations are encouraged to seek partnerships with their local units of government to apply.
ELIGIBLE PROJECTS & USE OF FUNDS
Funds may be used for limited-focus/time-limited projects, equipment and/or supplies only projects, or training. Funds may also be used to support new programs or to expand or extend existing programs.
Funding is limited to one year. New or continuation funding for the project’s ongoing support should not be anticipated to be available through DCJS.
The use of funds to pay for personnel is discouraged due to the limited nature of the funding. Should funding for staff be requested, the applicant is expected to thoroughly justify the need and intended future for the position after the grant funds expire, including how the position will be sustained if necessary. Funding should not be used to sustain or support existing staff unless the applicant can demonstrate that the individual’s position will be extended in hours to cover new duties, the individual’s position would be reduced or eliminated without new duties, or similar justification.
Programs serving youth must be evidence-based and able to be sustained following completion of the grant period. The applicant must present a clear plan for sustainability.
Applicants seeking to expand or extend an existing project must be able to demonstrate progress and success in what has been done through the life of the project.
Projects eligible for funding must fall within a specified JABG purpose area which corresponds with the priorities established by the Virginia Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice (ACJJ). Priorities established by the ACJJ which tie to the current solicitation include:
- Reducing disproportionality in the juvenile justice system;
- Diverting juveniles from detention and providing alternatives; and
- Increasing family and community involvement.
Projects must link to one or more of the previously stated priorities and support one of the following JABG purpose areas:
- Developing, implementing, and administering graduated sanctions for juvenile offenders;
- Establishing and maintaining training programs for law enforcement and other court personnel with respect to preventing and controlling juvenile crime;
- Establishing and maintaining accountability-based programs designed to reduce recidivism among juveniles who are referred by law enforcement personnel or agencies;
- Establishing and maintaining programs to conduct risk and needs assessments that facilitate effective early intervention and the provision of comprehensive services, including mental health screening and treatment and substance abuse testing and treatment, to juvenile offenders;
- Establishing and maintaining restorative justice programs;
- Establishing and maintaining programs to enable juvenile courts and juvenile probation officers to be more effective and efficient in holding juvenile offenders accountable and reducing recidivism; OR
- Hiring detention and corrections personnel, and establishing and maintaining training programs for such personnel, to improve facility practices and programming.
Priority consideration will be given to projects that accomplish one of the following:
- Establish new restorative justice programs, especially those that are school-based;
- Implement DMC reduction strategies based on recommendations from formal assessment processes; or
- Support law enforcement training programs which are youth focused and/or designed to reduce DMC in the juvenile justice system.
The award period for these projects is expected to begin July 1, 2014 and end June 30, 2015. Continuation awards for additional years will not be available.
OCME Releases 2012 Annual Report Detailing Trends
April 3, 2014 | Virginia News
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) announces the release of the OCME’s Annual Report, 2012. The purpose of the OCME’s Annual Report is to describe death cases reported to and investigated by the four OCME district offices across Virginia while detailing trends in those deaths and the work accomplished from medicolegal death investigations and forensic pathology.
The report is extensive and specific with regard to how people die in Virginia, prepared with the intention to inform public health efforts in the areas of injury and violence prevention.
In 2012, a total of 9,359 cases were reported to the OCME offices; 5,767 of these cases were determined to be medical examiner cases, reflecting an increase of 1.7% from 2011. Key findings from this report include:
- A majority of cases (2,411 or 41.8%) were determined to be accidents.
- In 2012, the number of homicides in Virginia was virtually the same as in 2011 (344 cases and 345 cases, respectively). Similar to previous years, homicides most frequently occurred in males (77.0%) and in the African American population (61.9%).
- There was a significant decrease (17.8%) in child deaths in 2012 compared to 2011 (286 and 348, respectively), but, for the first time in three years, the total number of child homicides increased.
- The elderly are at risk for accidental deaths with high rates of death from falls in those over 75 years of age. There were 258 falls that caused or contributed to death in adults 85 years of age and older.
- For the first time since 2002, the total number of suicides decreased from the previous year. Yet, the demographic profile of suicides remained the same, with males aged 45-54 years having the largest number of suicides and males 85 years of age and older with the highest rate of suicide. Over 86% of suicides occurred among whites.
- Deaths due to drugs and poisons continued to be a large injury burden for Virginians. Although the number of drug deaths in 2012 decreased from 2011 (1.6%), 805 persons died as a result of drugs or poisons in the Commonwealth. This equates to a mortality rate of 9.2 deaths per 100,000 persons due to drugs or poisons. The Western OCME handled the greatest proportion of drug deaths in Virginia, as 1/3 of these cases occurred in that district.
- Deaths from illegal drugs increased this year with 156 deaths, up 8.3% from 2011 levels.
The full report is available at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/medExam/documents/pdf/COMPLETED-Annual%20Report%202012.pdf
Third Law Enforcement Challenge Webinar to Be Held Tuesday, April 8; Applications Due May 1
April 3, 2014 | VACP
Every year, the Virginia & National Law Enforcement Challenge (LEC) awards programs recognize law enforcement agencies for traffic safety programs that address occupant protection, impaired driving, speeding, and state/local issues.
The LEC’s recognition of the important work that law enforcement agencies are conducting within their communities allows for agencies nationwide to learn from one another and establish future goals in traffic safety enforcement and education. All law enforcement agencies are urged to participate in the Law Enforcement Challenge.
Information about the Challenge, a “How To” Guide, and the online application can all be found at the IACP NLEC webpage.
Additional resources and information for Virginia agencies can be found on the Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge webpage.
To be considered for the 2014 awards (recognizing effors from 2013), submissions must be completed by May 1, 2014.
In order to aid you with preparing your submission, the IACP has conducted two webinars thus far with a third webinar scheduled for Tuesday, April 8 at 12:00 noon. This last webinar will highlight key factors presented in the first two presentations, review helpful tips on how to prepare and submit the online application, and discuss best practices as well as the intangible benefits of participating in the Challenge.
If you missed the LTI's first and second NLEC webinars you can watch the recordings by visiting:
- Webinar: National Law Enforcement Challenge 2013 - Part 1, Recorded on November 19, 2013.
- Webinar: National Law Enforcement Challenge 2013 - Part 2, Recorded on February 26, 2014.
Virginia agencies have historically done very well in the Law Enforcement Challenge at the National level. If your agency has not been participaing in the Challenge or has simply fallen out of the habit of entering, we hope you'll revisit it! Even if you don't enter this year, take a close look at the application and the "How To" Guide to get an idea of the information and activities that they are looking for so you can plan to have that information or have conducted those education and enforcement activities in 2014 for next year's awards!
Governor Signs SB381 Transferring Homeland Security Responsibilities to Secretary of Public Safety
April 2, 2014 | Virginia News
Today at VDEM’s Emergency Operations Center, Governor McAuliffe signed SB381, which transfers the responsibility for overseeing and coordinating efforts to strengthen homeland security from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security to the Secretary of Public Safety.
The legislation renames the secretariats the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and enables Virginia to better prepare for, evaluate, and respond to emergencies and disasters.
The Governor’s office, Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Admiral John Harvey worked closely with a bipartisan coalition in the General Assembly to develop this legislation, which originated from recommendations from the Joint Legislative and Review Committee (JLARC). The bill, patroned by Senators Lynwood Lewis and Bryce Reeves, and its companion bill, HB730, patroned by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, passed with unanimous support through both chambers of the General Assembly.
“This legislation streamlines Virginia’s ability to keep our communities safe by putting our homeland security planning and preparedness functions in the same place as our emergency and disaster response functions,” said Governor McAuliffe as he signed the bill. “This important shift also adds new homeland security duties to strengthen the critical preparedness work you all perform here, and is in line with my commitment to making Virginia government work better for the people of the Commonwealth.” (Read the Governor's complete remarks)
Under the new law, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security is charged with:
- Assigning planning responsibilities among state agencies and local jurisdictions to elevate the state of readiness in Virginia;
- Integrating the state homeland security strategy into the Secure Commonwealth Plan;
- Developing the annual Commonwealth Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Report;
- Ensuring development and implementation of plans for protecting public critical infrastructure;
- Directing the Va. Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to assist localities and state agencies to develop top quality, realistic disaster plans; and
- Directing VDEM to oversee all shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to ensure they will work when our citizens need them.
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Contact: Rachel Thomas
Phone: (804) 225-4262
COMPLETE REMARKS BY GOVERNOR MCAULIFFE
Thank you Mr. Secretary,
I believe in the primacy of our responsibility to the citizens of the Commonwealth to provide for safe and secure communities to live, work, and prosper. Today we gather, recognizing the tireless effort and sacrifice our front line first responders make for our communities, and reaffirm our commitment to stand ready to provide statewide emergency response coordination, as well as continued commitment to support our nation’s armed services and veterans.
We would not be here today to strengthen the readiness of the Commonwealth without the long hours some of you put in to get this bill, which passed both Houses of the General Assembly unanimously.
For their leadership of public safety, defense, and veterans issues in the Commonwealth I want to thank Secretary Moran, Admiral Harvey and the patrons of the bills.
We thank Delegate Lingamfelter for your patronage of House Bill 730
We thank Senator Reeves and Senator Lewis for your patronage of Senate Bill 381, which I will actually sign the genuine parchment today.
For all their hard work, thank you to the Joint Legislative and Review Committee.
These bills became known as the “JLARC bills” for a reason- you all did a first rate job identifying these opportunities to improve the safety and security of the Commonwealth. You ensure the government of the Commonwealth is truly accountable to the people.
Senate Bill 381, better known as the JLARC Bill, transfers responsibility for homeland security to the Secretary of Public Safety- now, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. This is not just a paper drill. The shift also adds new homeland security duties to strengthen the critical preparedness work you all perform here.
Secretary Moran is charged with
- Assigning planning responsibilities among state agencies and local jurisdictions to elevate the state of readiness in Virginia;
- Integrating the state homeland security strategy into the Secure Commonwealth Plan;
- Developing the annual Commonwealth Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Report; and
- Ensuring development and implementation of plans for protecting public critical infrastructure.
- Directing the Va. Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to assist localities and state agencies to develop top quality, realistic disaster plans; and
- Directing VDEM to oversee all shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to ensure they will work when our citizens need them.
These bills also expand the responsibilities of the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs to include “issues of mutual concern to the Commonwealth and the armed forces of the United States, including quality of life issues unique to Virginia’s active duty military personnel and their families.”
These issues include educational opportunities for military children, federal impact aid, preparedness, social service needs, and positioning the Commonwealth to welcome expansion and growth of military facilities in Virginia.
While we had great disaster planning in the Commonwealth, when I sign this bill we are centralizing all homeland security and disaster preparedness and we are focusing on the needs of our veterans.
In closing, I want to thank you again for your warm welcome and for your dedicated service to the people of Commonwealth.
Cleveland Spruill Named Huntersville Chief of Police
March 31, 2014 | Virginia News
The Town of Huntersville, NC, is pleased to announce the appointment of Cleveland Spruill as Chief of Police. Spruill will leave his position as Deputy Chief of the Alexandria Police Department to become the new chief of the 93 member (83 sworn officers and 10 civilians) Huntersville Police Department.
Chief Spruill brings more than 26 years of law enforcement experience to Huntersville. He began his career in law enforcement with the Alexandria Police Department in August 1987. During his tenure, he held assignments in all of its four major bureaus, was promoted to deputy chief in June 2006 and last served as the commander of the Investigations Bureau. Prior to his assignment to the Investigations Bureau, Chief Spruill headed the Patrol Operations Bureau and oversaw the design and implementation of the department’s Strategic Response System (SRS) model of policing. This model of policing is credited with helping the City achieve 40-year record low crime rates and marked improvements to citizens’ quality of life.
Chief Spruill is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ National Academy for Law Enforcement Executives, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police and of the Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) at the Robins School of Business (University of Richmond). Chief Spruill holds an Associate’s Degree in Administration of Justice from Northern Virginia Community College and a Master’s Degree in Management from Johns Hopkins University.
“Deputy Chief Spruill is a capable, talented and committed law enforcement professional. He will be an outstanding chief for Huntersville,” said Alexandria City Manager Rashad M. Young when notified of Chief Spruill’s departure.
Huntersville Town Manager Greg Ferguson was pleased that a new police chief has finally been selected. "We engaged in an exhaustive nationwide search for the new chief. Throughout the process, Chief Spruill established himself as a standout among other outstanding candidates and we are confident that he is exceptionally qualified to lead the Police Department."
Chief Spruill will begin in his new role as Huntersville Police Chief on May 5, 2014.
Attorney General Herring Concludes Two-Week Statewide Public Safety Tour
March 30, 2014 | Virginia News
More than 60 localities participated in 22 regional meetings
Richmond—Attorney General Mark R. Herring concluded a statewide public safety tour today with a regional meeting with representatives from Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County. Over the last two weeks, Attorney General Herring has traveled more than 2,500 miles to hold 22 regional meetings with representatives from more than 60 cities, counties, and towns. Along the way he has heard from local public safety and law enforcement leaders and local elected officials about unique challenges in their area and ways that he can help protect our communities.
"I am extremely grateful that so many public safety professionals were willing to share their experiences with me over the last two weeks," said Attorney General Herring. "After listening to the law enforcement communities from Fairfax to Bristol, and Virginia Beach to Winchester, I have noticed some common concerns across the state, as well as some characteristics of successful communities. The insight gained during these meetings will be invaluable as I work to ensure that the Office of Attorney General is a productive partner for our local law enforcement and prosecutors."
Attorney General Herring intends to continue his outreach to law enforcement and criminal justice professionals throughout his term, including those in localities who were not able to participate in this round of meetings.
Below is a selection of news coverage of meetings during the statewide public safety tour:
Local officials tell Herring of heroin, mental health issues
The spread of heroin and coping with mentally ill people adrift in society topped the list of worries local authorities brought before Attorney General Mark Herring on Monday in Winchester. Herring, a Democrat who was a state senator before he narrowly defeated State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, in the attorney general's race in 2013, told the gathering of about 25 that a shortage of funding has been one of the common themes he has heard in visits to other parts of the state... "While I don't have a vote on the state budget any longer," Herring said, "I will be an advocate for you. I know you can't do law enforcement and prosecution on the cheap."... [Sheriff] Williamson, a Republican, said he voted for Obenshain in the election but appreciated Herring's outreach effort to local law enforcement officials like himself. "It's the first time I've ever been sought out by an attorney general asking my opinion, and I think that's commendable," Williamson said. (By Joe Beck, NV Daily)
Dealing with drug issues tops the list for law enforcement
Newly elected and aiming to make a difference, Attorney General Mark Herring was in town on Tuesday. Mayor Chip Coleman had nothing but praise for Herring's office sharing with the group how working with them was already proving very easy and effective. The group consisted primarily of law enforcement personnel from the Town of Culpeper, the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police... Herring, who is visiting some 22 locations throughout the state, said that he wants to hear directly from law enforcement so that his office can better help the challenges that county's face in addressing public safety issues. Hearing about the increase in heroin use was not surprising to Herring. "We're hearing the same thing out of Northern Virginia, the Valley... it's a growing problem and I'm wondering what accounts for this rise," said Herring. "Do we go after the distributors? Do we do more education in our schools? Do we make the public more aware?"... Herring was very appreciative of the opportunity to meet with local officials. "I value these small group settings," said Herring. "I want to help." (By Anita Sherman, Culpeper Times)
Herring hears safety issues
Many of the officials at Tuesday's meeting expressed satisfaction with the discussion... Others expressed surprise that Herring made the meeting a priority during his first few months in office. "He didn't have to take this time to come and have regional, more personal meetings with the public safety community," said Fredericksburg Commonwealth's Attorney La Bravia Jenkins. "The beginning of my term was the best time to do this, so that all concerns can be heard and local resources can be dispersed accordingly," said Herring. "The point of these meetings is to find out how I can help and to take care of specific regional needs." (By Donnie Johnston and Hope Racine, Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star)
Attorney general gets earful from law officers
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring discussed area law enforcement issues with local officials Thursday in Martinsville... "I wanted to hear directly from law enforcement and local prosecutors who are on the front lines of keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe each and every day about the challenges they face and how I can help them and my office can help them," Herring said. The attorney general is on a two-week tour of the commonwealth in which he is attending 22 meetings covering 60 jurisdictions in all regions... During the roundtable session, Herring spoke infrequently, instead listening to the comments and concerns of community leaders... Throughout the discussion, Herring took notes and highlighted certain points that he said he would investigate further. "I don't think there's going to be a simple answer to all of the challenges we face," he said, "but cooperation, communication and coordination act as force multipliers, and different agencies bring different strengths to a problem. When you work together, you're able to be more effective." (By Ben R. Williams, Martinsville Bulletin)
Herring Hears Needs of Law Enforcement across VA
Attorney General Mark Herring made a stop in Charlottesville Wednesday afternoon to learn about the area's public safety and mental health care challenges. Herring said he wanted to hear directly from supervisors and law enforcement from Albemarle and Fluvanna counties and Charlottesville on ways his office could address the area's needs. Wednesday was his sixth stop in a two-week tour, speaking with department heads from across Virginia... "So what I'm going to do after I've completed this tour is take the things that I've heard and take an assessment of what our office is doing, what programs we have, what services we're a part of, and think about how I can retool them to better help localities address the challenges that they face," Herring said. Herring asked about crime trends in the area. Issues discussed varied from gangs, scams against senior citizens, and prescription drug abuse... He will cover a total of 22 regions throughout this tour. His last stop will be in Waynesboro next Friday. (By Natalie Wilson, NBC29 Charlottesville)
Attorney General Mark Herring Makes Danville Stop on Public Safety Tour
Right now, state Attorney General Mark Herring is touring the state trying to pinpoint the biggest challenges facing the people out there protecting our communities and today Danville was one of his stops. Local government officials came together with law enforcement and first responders to brief Herring on public safety in Danville and Pittsylvania County. Those in attendance came ready to voice their concerns and Herring came to listen and hopefully find ways to help... Herring is making that a top priority in Virginia through a statewide public safety tour. "Over 60 jurisdictions have participated and this will help me as I look at ways to reallocate and reprioritize my office in ways that is going to best help our local communities." Herring asked questions and gave honest feedback on several issues including gangs, school safety, and overcrowded jails. As he left for his Lynchburg stop, he promised to keep an eye on the Southside. "I need to hear directly from them what challenges they face as they try to keep our communities safe. And they do a great job." (By Whitney Delbridge, WSET Lynchburg/Danville)
Mark Herring visits with law enforcement officials
Herring's stop in Danville was part of a two-week statewide public safety tour designed to give him the opportunity to meet with police departments, sheriff's offices and commonwealth's attorneys to open a dialogue and discuss ways to make Virginia safer. During the "informal discussion" - as Herring called it - he said he wanted to address a number of issues. "I want to hear directly from those who know best about the ways the attorney general's office can work for the people of Virginia and best serve each community," Herring said. "I hope these conversations will provide valuable input on how best to focus our energies and allocate our offices' resources."... During the meeting, Herring listened carefully to the myriad of problems and suggestions offered by law enforcement officials and dutifully took notes. He thanked them for taking the time to share their concerns with him. The attorney general's office is "uniquely positioned to coordinate responses" to growing public safety concerns, Herring explained, and is there to advocate for the needs of law enforcement officials and prosecutors. "I want to be here as a partner with you," Herring said in closing. (By Allison M. Roberts, Danville Register and Bee)
Herring Offers Hand To Local Law Enforcement
Attorney General Mark Herring returned to his hometown of Leesburg this morning to lend an ear to those on the front lines of local and state law enforcement. Representatives from Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, Leesburg Police Department, Virginia State Police, as well as Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman, Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd and Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro gathered in the Leesburg Town Council Chambers to give the new attorney general, who lived most of his life in Loudoun, an update on local public safety concerns and let him know how his office might be able to help address them. The meeting was the ninth of 22 public safety meetings with 59 different localities Herring has on his schedule this spring. The goal, he said, is to help localities make their communities-and Virginia-safer. "I really wanted to hear directly from you all about the public safety challenges you're facing and talk about how we might be able to help you address them."... The attorney general jotted down notes as the dozen at the table shared examples of the heavy workload their departments face. "I will take this information and go back and look at how we can hopefully identify ways to serve you all and the public better," he said. In the public safety meetings he's held throughout the commonwealth, the most repeated request he's heard is for more funding. "It probably comes as no surprise that I've yet to hear from a department that says they have all the resources they need," Herring said, and noted that he no longer has a vote on the state budget. "But I will be an advocate." (By Danielle Nadler, Leesburg Today)
Virginia Attorney General visits Bristol
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring was in Bristol Wednesday afternoon talk with local law enforcement about problems they see in our region... Herring says one thing they will look at is strengthening violation of protective orders and giving first responders more tools to help. "They can talk with a victim and make an assessment of whether that victim might be at risk of re-victimization again and help the victim get the help that they need to make sure that they are not re-victimized," he said. (By Lyndsey Price, WCYB Bristol)
Va. Attorney General visits Bristol
Virginia's new Attorney General Mark Herring joined Bristol community leaders for a round table discussion Wednesday. They talked possible solutions to some of what Bristol leaders say are the most prevalent public safety problems in the area like meth and domestic violence. "I'm traveling around the state meeting with law enforcement, local law enforcement, to talk about public safety challenges that they face, I want to try and look at ways that I can run the office of attorney general more efficiently, more effectively, perhaps redirect some resources," Herring said. Herring is on a 22-stop trip around Virginia visiting with local community members, but this area is especially close to home for him, he was born in Johnson City. (By Allie Hinds, WJHL Bristol)
Public safety concerns over mental health issues
Law enforcement officials from across Southwest Virginia met at City Hall with Attorney General Mark Herring, who is conducting a statewide listening tour about public safety issues... Other topics included tighter restrictions on precursors for making methamphetamine and funding for cleaning up meth labs, improving domestic violence laws and ways to address synthetic and prescription drug abuse..."The General Assembly has underfunded mental health for years and we need to find some ways to make the mental health services available in the community so that people suffering from mental illness can get the treatment they need rather than end up in the criminal justice system, where it takes officers off the streets," Herring said. "We need to find a better way to address the problem." (By David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier)
Mark Herring gets details on Roanoke mental health program
[Roanoke Sheriff Tim} Allen described the program Wednesday during a meeting called by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who is on a statewide tour to hear from local sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials. One of the themes to emerge from the meetings in Roanoke and elsewhere is the need for better mental health treatment, Herring said... Wednesday's meeting was the 17th of 22 that Herring plans to hold across Virginia. Other concerns raised elsewhere have been the rising use of heroin and the proliferation of gangs, he said...While the topics are similar, the best way to address them might be different from region to region, Herring said. "By talking to the local officials, I'm better able to get a feel of what works and what doesn't work," he said. (By Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times)
Virginia Attorney General meets with local law enforcement officials
Herring was making his 17th stop on a statewide listening tour. In the audience were most of the leaders in Roanoke's law enforcement community. The wide-ranging dialogue touched on many problems including drug abuse and gangs, but the subject that generated the most discussion was mental health. "We've heard a lot about the tragedy involving Senator Deeds' son and the short time that was available to try and look for a bed," Herring said in an interview, "but at the same time a lot of localities understand that the way the process works, if the time is extended that may just end up taking a police officer or a sheriff's deputy off the street." And Herring said a long-term solution will ultimately hinge on adequate funding for critical mental health services. (By Joe Dashiell, WDBJ7 Roanoke)
Mark Herring addresses law enforcement concerns in Roanoke Valley
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring spent part of his day in the Star City speaking with public safety officers across the Roanoke Valley. It's part of a 22 stop tour across the Commonwealth, with Herring speaking directly with local leaders about problems and concerns his office can better address. "It may be different in the Roanoke Valley than areas like Hampton Roads or Northern Virginia or Richmond, as well as what solutions might best address them," Herring said. "Those are all different and we have to take those into account." (By Aaron Martin, WSLS Roanoke)
Attorney General Mark Herring visits Petersburg
Petersburg is the 15th locality visited by the attorney general in a 22-stop regional public safety tour of the state. Chiefs, sheriffs, elected officials, commonwealth's attorneys and other law enforcement professionals from the Tri-Cities and surrounding counties, attended the forum at Union Station. During the two-week tour, Herring will receive feedback from officials about the public safety challenges faced by their communities. Invitations were sent to 58 localities. Herring said the tour is part of efforts to reach out to "people who are on the front lines of law enforcement and to hear the challenges [law enforcement officials] have faced in [their] localities." Some of the issues discussed at Tuesday's forum were mental health priorities, property crimes, funding of law enforcement efforts, gangs and the sale of the drug spice. Herring said a lot of issues concerning mental health issues and law enforcement centered around not having available space. "It comes down to making health services and beds available," Herring said. As the attorney general gets feedback from Virginia localities, he is working with a three-member panel to improve the efficiency of his office. The panel consists of consists of experts in state government, large law firm management and private sector management. (By Leah Small, Petersburg Progress-Index)
Local Officials Meet With AG On Heroin
Herring met with area sheriffs, other law enforcement leaders, and prosecutors at the Timbrook Public Safety Building, 231 E. Piccadilly St., as part of a two-week tour, which wraps up Friday and involves 22 stops and meetings with 58 jurisdictions. When Herring started off the conversation by asking what some of the region's big public safety problems are, heroin was the first issue cited. (By Sally Voth, The Winchester Star)
Mental health a chief concern for Fairfax law enforcement
Mental health was at the top of the list of concerns last week when Fairfax County's top cops met with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Herring met with local county, municipal and law enforcement officials on March 21 as part of a two-week, 22-stop regional public safety tour across the state. Fairfax County was Herring's 11th stop, marking the halfway point through his tour. In attendance at the Fairfax County meeting were Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler, City of Fairfax Police Chief Rick Rappoport, Town of Vienna Police Chief James Morris, Virginia State Police Sgt. Robert Alessi, deputy county executive in charge of public safety David M. Rohrer, and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, among others. When Herring asked the assembled group what the county's number one public safety concern was, the unanimous answer was that law enforcement resources are being increasingly and inordinately spent on individuals with mental health issues. (by Gregg MacDonald, Fairfax Times)
'Poison on the street'
... one a dozen of local and state law enforcement and government officials who participated in a sit-down conservation with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring Tuesday morning at the Culpeper Police Department... Attorney General Herring asked Culpeper officials what sort of community resources are available for those battling addiction or other mental health issues... Herring said the [heroin] epidemic is also occurring in Northern Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, in Hampton Roads and all over. "There are multiple strategies that need to be employed," he said. "It is very, very dangerous and I think we all need to work together to try to address it in a multi-faceted way. Part of it is going to be with law enforcement and prosecution, part of it is treatment, but a lot of it needs to be education so that people never get started in the first place." (By Allison Brophy Champion, Culpeper Star Exponent)
VA Attorney General Meets in Fredericksburg with Local Law Enforcement
Attorney General of Virginia Mark R. Herring was in Fredericksburg March 18 as part of his statewide tour to meet with local public safety, law enforcement and elected officials. "My office's resources need to be deployed in sync with the top priorities I hear from those who are on the front lines in law enforcement every day," Herring told those seated around a table in the conference room at the Fredericksburg Police Department. "What are your main public safety threats, what are some of the emerging problems that you see coming up, how have we worked well together in the past, and what is it I can do as attorney general or our office can do to help you meet the challenges you face every day," Herring asked those assembled. "I'm interested in knowing where you see the problems, and also programs you think are working well and serving the community well."... Herring has scheduled 22 regional meetings statewide as he begins his tenure in the attorney general's office. The meetings are part of a bigger plan. "I have several things going on at the same time. I have a group looking at ways to streamline some of our operations to make them more efficient, more transparent; and make sure the office is running as efficiently as the state's law firm should. We're doing a top to bottom review of all the programs and services we're a part of and also looking at what resources we have available to serve those. After I listen to local law enforcement and prosecutors, I'll go back and match that up with our assessment of what we're doing and ways we're serving the community, looking to make sure our resources are deployed in a way that fits with the priorities of the communities around the state." (By Susan Larson, Fredericksburg Today)
Herring hears concerns of localities
Area officials Wednesday told state Attorney General Mark Herring they want more state resources to deal with a raft of issues such as mental health and gangs. The top prosecutor's roundtable session with officials from Charlottesville and Albemarle and Fluvanna counties is among 22 scheduled statewide. He began holding the meetings Monday and expects to conclude them next week. The information gleaned from officials in 58 cities and counties will help guide Herring's office in responding to the needs of localities, he said... The attorney general told officials he would do what he could to get more funding and resources to localities. "Lack of funding seems to be a consistent need," Herring said. "I do not have a vote in the General Assembly anymore, but I can be an advocate for you." (By Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress)
Va. AG Herring Speaks with Charlottesville Leaders about Public Safety
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stopped in Charlottesville on Wednesday to talk public safety with local leaders. Herring says he wants to hear from those on the front lines of law enforcement and criminal justice. He is looking to see how his office can help localities address the challenges they face. "We're literally criss-crossing the state, and it's really good to connect with the local officials," Herring said. "I think that's really where the rubber hits the road. They're on the front lines of law enforcement, keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe each and every day." The goal of this tour is to assess the programs and services the Virginia Attorney General's Office offers, and to see how they can be re-tooled to help a broader range of localities. (By Chris Stover, CBS19 Charlottesville)
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring made his first stop in Harrisonburg since taking office in January, chatting with Skyline's eighth-graders Tuesday morning to respond to letters he received from a group of them. "It is an absolutely fantastic job," Herring said. "Every day I get to wake up and think about how can I help the good guys and how can I go after the bad guys"... Herring was "very impressed" with the questions posed to him and wanted to answer them in person, Ornstein said... Herring's visit came in the midst of a two-week, 22-stop public safety tour of Virginia in which the attorney general is meeting sheriffs, police chiefs and commonwealth's attorneys... However, Herring viewed the Skyline stop as a glimpse at what's problematic locally. Per questions from the letters, he briefly covered dating violence, synthetic drugs, bullying, cyber crimes and school safety. "These are of concern to adults and young people alike," Herring said in an interview after the event. After eight years as a state senator, he ran for attorney general because he "loves" the law and helping people. (By Preston Knight, Harrisonburg Daily News Record)
Loudoun law enforcement fighting spike in heroin abuse
Leesburg and Loudoun law enforcement are fighting an increase in heroin abuse among its citizens, officials on Friday told state Attorney General Mark Herring at a joint meeting in downtown Leesburg. Herring said after the meeting he's been following reports of the problem since taking office in January. There have been significant increases of overdoses and crimes relating to the drug not only in Northern Virginia, but Winchester, Culpeper, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, he said. " ... It's one that we need to focus some additional attention on," Herring said. The state attorney general said he would investigate how outreach programs can help law enforcement, beating the problem off before it starts through education and rehabilitation. "A heroin [addiction] is a long, long process and a 30-day program is not going to do it," Herring said. "... Once the problem starts spreading like this, it's not going to be something that we can just put out very quickly." (By Crystal Owens, Loudoun Times Mirror)
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring learns of Peninsula police challenges, and answers
Attorney General Mark Herring's been hearing about plenty of law enforcement challenges in a statewide swing this month - but when his tour brought him to the Peninsula, he also heard about an approach police are trying to one longstanding headache that stymies many departments. The headache: getting information, especially about juveniles...Herring said while he'd heard others across the state share many of the top concerns of Peninsula law enforcement officials - a spike in heroin and prescription drug abuse, the large numbers of jail inmates with mental illnesses, funding challenges - he was struck by local officials' concern about data and how to share it. He said he was also struck by their deep concern about computer crimes. (By Dave Ress, Daily Press)
Herring meets with public safety officials on stop in Lynchburg
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring met with local public safety officials Thursday for a wide-ranging discussion that touched on mental health reforms, property crime data and meth lab cleanups, among other issues. Herring, on a two-week statewide listening tour, sat down with representatives of Appomattox, Bedford and Lynchburg for about an hour Thursday afternoon. (By Alicia Petska, News Advance)
Attorney General holds public safety meeting
Attorney General Mark R. Herring met with local public safety and law enforcement officers and local elected officials Thursday morning in the conference room of Danville City Hall as part of a two week long statewide public safety tour. The tour included 22 regional meetings to learn about local public safety challenges and ways the Office of the Attorney General can help keep communities safe. "I want to hear directly from those who know best about the ways the Attorney General's office can work for the people of Virginia and best serve each community," said Herring. "This office is uniquely positioned to coordinate responses to emerging public safety threats, to advocate for the needs of law enforcement and prosecutors, and to help spread innovative and effective strategies and programs. I hope these conversations will provide valuable input on how best to focus our energies and allocate our offices' resources," he said. Local law enforcement and public safety officials shared their priorities and concerns Thursday at the meeting. (Chatham Star Tribune)
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Contact: Michael Kelly