Due to inclement weather, we had to reschedule our School Market.  The School Market will be held at Greensville Elementary on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 starting at 4:30.  Free food items will be first come, first serve.  Tia Powell with the Virginia Cooperative Extension will be on hand showcasing food demonstrations and the Virginia Health Department will be there with free blood pressure checks!  We hope to see many Greensville Elementary parents and guardians for a fun family event! 

 

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Virginia State Police

*** AMBER ALERT & CRITICALLY MISSING ADULT ALERT ***

*** AMBER ALERT & CRITICALLY MISSING ADULT ALERT ***

ADBUCTED COMAPANION SUSPECT
  • Age now: 12
  • Sex: Female
  • Hair: Black
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Height: 5'1"
  • Weight: 112 lbs
  • Description: Angie Carolina Rodriguez-Rubio, Hispanic, Female, brown hair, brown eyes, 12 years of age, 5 foot 1 inches tall, weighing 112 lbs wearing black blouse with flowers, black leggings and white sandals
  • Age now: 48
  • Sex: Female
  • Hair: Black
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Height: 5'4"
  • Weight: 140 lbs
  • Description: Elizabeth Rodriguez-Rubio, Hispanic, Female, black Hair, brown eyes, 48 years of age, 5 foot 4 inches tall, weighing 140lbs, last seen wearing a black skirt, burgundy blouse.
  •  
  • Sex: Male
  • Skin: White
  • Hair: Black
  • Height: 5'6"
  • Weight: 180 lbs
  • Description: Jamie Rodriguez-Sariol, White, male, black hair, brown eyes, 5 foot 6 inches, weighing 180 lbs.

 

 

  •  

An Amber Alert for Angie Caroline Rodriguez Rubio, 12, of Harrisonburg, Va., and a Critically Missing Adult Alert for her grandmother Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio, 48, of Harrisonburg, Va., have been activated at the request of the Harrisonburg Police Department.

They were last seen at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018 in the 2800 block of South Main Street in Harrisonburg, Va., with Hareton Jaime Rodriguez-Sariol, who is believed to have abducted them.  All three individuals were believed to be traveling in Sariol’s vehicle, which was involved in a vehicle fire on I-66 in Warren County.

Angie Caroline Rodriguez Rubio is a Hispanic female with long, curly, brown hair and brown eyes, height 5’1”, weighing 112 lbs. She was last seen wearing a black blouse with flowers, black leggings-style pants and white sandals.

Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio is a Hispanic female with black hair and brown eyes, height 5’4”, weighing approximately 140 lbs. She was last seen wearing a burgundy blouse and a black skirt.

Rodriguez-Sariol is described as a Hispanic male, height 5’6”, weighing approximately 180 lbs., with short black hair and brown eyes. He has a known history of infatuation with Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio. Rodriguez-Sariol was last seen at the 2 mile marker on I-66 where the vehicle fire occurred.  

Rodriguez-Sariol is believed to be traveling north toward New York in white 2000 Volvo tractor trailer, owned by AMG Express L.L.C., with Virginia license plate number 21739PZ.  

If you have information about Angie Carolina Rodriguez Rubio, Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio or Hareton Jaime Rodriguez-Sariol, please call 911 or Harrisonburg Police Department at (540) 564-5050.

TRAFFIC FATALITIES ON VIRGINIA HIGHWAYS MORE THAN DOUBLE DURING LABOR DAY WEEKEND COMPARED TO 2017

Every hour approximately 11 motorists cited for seat belt violations

RICHMOND – Traffic deaths in Virginia reached a three-year high during the 2018 Labor Day weekend. According to preliminary reports, a dozen individuals were killed in 11 fatal crashes during the four-day statistical counting period (12:01 a.m. Aug. 31, 2018 – 12 a.m. Sept. 3, 2018), which marks the highest number of crashes recorded since 2015 when 16 fatalities occurred over the holiday weekend. In 2017, there were five traffic crashes on Virginia’s highways.

This year’s 11 holiday fatal crashes took place in the counties of Carroll, Culpeper, Fairfax, Page, Prince William, Smyth, Tazewell and York and the cities of Lawrenceville, Newport News and Norfolk. These crashes claimed the lives of three motorcyclists, a motorcycle passenger and three pedestrians. Of the remaining five crashes, two involved individuals who were not wearing a seat belt.

“For most, Labor Day marks the close of summer, the last neighborhood cookout and the start of a new school year, but for 12 families – the families of those who experienced the loss of a loved one this weekend – this holiday is forever changed, ” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “It’s nothing short of alarming to have a 140 percent increase in fatalities compared to last year. What’s more surprising is that many of the crashes we see on Virginia’s highways could be prevented if we all do our part toward safety. That means buckling up, never driving impaired and always keeping our focus on the road.”

Once again this year, Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort), which is a state-sponsored, national traffic safety initiative intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt through increased law enforcement visibility and traffic enforcement during major holidays.

During the 2018 Labor Day weekend, Virginia State Police troopers cited 8,427 speeders and 2,050 reckless drivers. They also issued citations for 1,024 occupant restraint violations, including 227 to adult motorists who failed to secure a juvenile passenger in a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt. In addition, 72 drunk drivers were arrested and charged with DUI.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

WITH FATALITIES DOWN IN VIRGINIA, STATE POLICE URGES MOTORISTS TO BUCKLE UP, #DRIVE2SAVELIVES, AND HELP PREVENT TRAFFIC DEATHS THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND

RICHMOND – Seven lives have been lost in the past seven days as a result of traffic crashes on Virginia highways. Sadly, four of the six individuals killed in passenger vehicle crashes during that week were unrestrained.

Despite a nine percent decrease in total traffic fatalities during the first eight months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, fatalities involving unrestrained drivers or passengers are on pace with last year, according to preliminary data. Of the 493 total people killed to date in 2018, 220 of them weren’t wearing a seat belt. More than a quarter (58) of those unbelted fatalities were individuals age 21-30.

“It takes just three seconds to buckle up, and the choice you make could be the difference between a life saved and another tragic statistic,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We need your help to prevent fatalities on our roads and continue driving these alarming fatality numbers down. As you travel for the Labor Day holiday, whether it’s across the state or around the corner, buckle up every ride, every time.”

Occupant restraint enforcement is a key component of the Labor Day Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort) traffic safety initiative that begins 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, and concludes Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, at midnight. Virginia State Police will increase patrols to ensure the long holiday weekend is as safe as possible.

The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement agencies to increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays, like Labor Day. The program also means that all available Virginia State Police troopers will be on patrol through the holiday weekend.

The 2017 Labor Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 576 individuals who failed to obey the law and buckle up, as well as issuing 181 citations for child safety seat violations on Virginia’s highways statewide. In addition, state police cited 7,447 speeders and 2,092 reckless drivers. A total of 97 drunken drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers.

There were five traffic fatalities statewide during the four-day statistical counting period (Sept. 1, 2017 – Sept. 4, 2017) of the 2017 Labor Day weekend. None of those individuals were wearing seat belts.

In 2016, there were eight traffic deaths, and in 2015, Virginia experienced 16 fatalities on Virginia’s highways during the holiday weekend.*

With increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

From 2008 to 2017 nationwide, 126 law enforcement officers working along the roadside were struck by a vehicle and killed because a driver failed to heed the “Move Over” law.**

*Source: Virginia Highway Safety Office, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

**Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE STRENGTHENS AGENCY OPERATIONS AND SERVICES WITH LEADERSHIP CHANGES

RICHMOND – Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police (VSP) Superintendent, today announced additional advancements involving Department leadership. Within recent weeks, two new directors have been named and three new deputy director positions have been added to each of the Department’s bureaus: Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS), Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Bureau of Field Operations (BFO). The additions now afford each bureau to have one director supported by two deputy directors. In addition, a Support Services Division has been reinstated within BCI. The promotions and internal restructuring are part of the new superintendent’s goal to strengthen state police operations across all three bureaus, and enhance the many services and programs VSP provides Virginia residents and visitors.

“For 85 years, our Department has proudly and proficiently served the Commonwealth in all facets of public safety,” said Col. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Sustaining a distinguished level of operational effectiveness and customer service in today’s high-tech, rapidly-evolving environment requires us to be even more administratively strategic and operationally proactive. These internal, leadership modifications strengthen state police to achieve such effectiveness, while also laying the groundwork for robust succession planning as we work towards the next 85 years of public safety and service.”

Effective June 10, 2018, was the promotion of Maj. Matthew D. Hanley to BFO director; and July 10, 2018, the advancement of Maj. Lenmuel S. Terry to director of the Office of Performance Management and Internal Controls (OPMIC).

The newly-created BFO deputy director position has been filled by former BFO Richmond Division commander, Capt. Steven L. Chumley. Property and Finance Division commander, Capt. F. Daniel Glick, has been promoted to the new BASS deputy director position. BCI Salem Division commander, Capt. Rex J. Taylor, has been promoted to the new BCI deputy director position. Effective Aug. 10, Capt. Todd M. Taylor of the Culpeper Division, will assume the BFO deputy director position vacated by Terry upon his promotion to lieutenant colonel.

The new Support Services Division (SSD) comprises the Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction (CCI) Unit, Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program, Insurance Fraud Program (IFP), and Polygraph Unit.  Settle promoted former CCI leader and 29-year VSP veteran, Lt. Norman E. Gray Sr. (pictured above) to captain to serve as the new SSD commander.  Gray and the SSD are located at the VSP Administrative Headquarters in North Chesterfield, with troopers and special agents assigned throughout the Department’s seven BCI field offices. 

Effective June 25, 2018, was the promotion of Capt. Steven L. Chumley to the newly-created BFO deputy director position. Prior to his appointment to major last week, Chumley had served as the Richmond Division commander for the past 12 years. He joined state police in 1986 with his first assignment in the Chesapeake Division. Over the years, Chumley has served as a special agent with the Richmond BCI Drug Enforcement Section, sergeant in the Wytheville Division’s Dublin area office and first sergeant of the Chesapeake Division’s Waverly area office. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2004 and assigned to the Chesapeake BCI Field Office. Chumley has also served as the Department’s regional Special Olympics director for the past two years. Before joining VSP, he served with the U.S. Air Force and was an officer with the Norfolk Police Department. Chumley earned a master’s degree through the Naval Postgraduate School (Center for Homeland Defense and Security) in California and a bachelor’s degree from Bluefield, Va. College. The Cumberland Gap, Tenn., native is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command.

The new, additional BASS deputy director position is being filled by Capt. F. Daniel Glick. He has served as the division commander for Property and Finance since 2016. Glick achieved the rank of captain in 2014 upon his promotion to commander of the Safety Division. During his tenure with VSP, Glick served as the Fairfax Division headquarters lieutenant for two years before transferring to Richmond to serve on the executive staff as the BFO staff lieutenant from 2010 to 2014.  He graduated from the VSP Academy in 1996 and was assigned to Greene County as a trooper. His advancement through the supervisory ranks has taken him to the Louisa County and Bristol area offices. Growing up in North Carolina, Glick served six years in the North Carolina National Guard and is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ National Criminal Justice Command College.

Effective July 10, 2018, will be the promotion of Capt. Rex J. Taylor to the new, additional BCI deputy director position. Taylor joined VSP in 1993 with his first trooper assignments in the Culpeper Division’s Area 5 Fredericksburg and Culpeper County area offices. As a sergeant, Taylor was assigned to the Culpeper Division headquarters, again to the Fredericksburg area office and then the VSP Academy in Chesterfield County. He relocated to the Salem Division’s Covington area office with his promotion to first sergeant and then transferred to the BCI Salem Field Office’s Drug Enforcement Section. As lieutenant he returned to the BFO Culpeper Division headquarters, and then transferred to the Salem Division where he served as a lieutenant in both BFO and BCI. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 2017 and took command of the BCI Salem Field Office.  Taylor holds a master’s degree in criminal justice command leadership from Liberty University and a bachelor’s degree in criminology from East Tennessee State University. The Greeneville, Tenn., native is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ National Criminal Justice Command College. Prior to joining VSP, Taylor served with the U.S. Army and served in its Criminal Investigation Division.

***UPDATED*** Virginia State Police Canine Looses Life in Shootout Following Pursuit on I-95

 

Update from Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Va., has positively identified the individual who was shot and killed in Sussex County on Wednesday (Aug. 1) as Tramaine Marquese Poole, 41, of New Haven, Conn. The Virginia State Police investigation into the shooting remains ongoing at this time. The Virginia State Police is most appreciative of the assistance and support provided by the New Haven, Conn. Police Department during the course of the investigation. 

In relation to VSP K-9 Vader... State police is currently working on arrangements for a memorial service to honor Vader. Please stay tuned.

"Our canine program is essential in so much of what we do as a Department to achieve our public safety mission," said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. "We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Vader and are forever grateful for his sacrifice and selfless service to the state police and the Commonwealth. For our canine handlers, their dogs are more than just a partner on the job. They are their protectors, their constant companion and confidant on the road. Vader was family."  

***

At approximately 8:18 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2018, a Virginia State Police trooper was traveling north on Interstate 95 in Sussex County when he identified a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Connecticut. The trooper activated his lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. The vehicle's driver refused to stop for the trooper and sped away.

A pursuit was initiated north on I-95 during which time an individual in the suspect vehicle began shooting at the trooper's vehicle. Sporadic shooting by the pursuit suspect continued as the stolen vehicle headed north on I-95 and then took Exit 24 for Owens/Route 645 in Sussex County.  As the stolen vehicle approached the intersection of Loco School and Bell roads, Virginia State Police positioned themselves to stop the stolen vehicle.  The pursuit suspect continued firing at the state police vehicles. One of the suspect's bullets pierced a K9 trooper's back passenger window and struck a state police canine riding in the back seat compartment. 

Once the stolen vehicle was stopped, state troopers engaged with the suspect and shots were fired. The male suspect died at the scene and will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Va. for examination and autopsy. Virginia State Police are still working to confirm the shooting suspect's identity.

An adult female passenger in the suspect vehicle was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries. She has been treated and released.

No troopers were injured in the course of the incident.

The state police narcotics detection canine, Vader, did not survive his injuries. Vader was a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois and had graduated from Virginia State Police Narcotics Detection Training in December 2017.  

In accordance with state police policy regarding officer-involved shootings, three troopers have been placed on administrative leave. 

The investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Multiple reports have identified the deceased suspect Tramaine Marquese Poole, 41.

New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell told the New Haven Register that Poole was wanted for the murder of 28-year-old Tyekqua Nesbitt who was shot to death in front of her two children in New Haven, Connecticut on May 31. Poole was also wanted in New Haven for the first-degree shooting assault of his wife on May 7.

 

The identy of the suspect has not been comfirmed by the Virginia State Police..

Photos are the property of the Virginia State Police, which grants permission for their publication/broadcast.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE STAFF PROMOTIONS

RICHMOND – Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent, has announced two executive staff promotions and the retirement of veteran VSP leader, Lt. Col. George L. Daniels Jr. Effective June 10, 2018, Matthew D. Hanley was appointed to director of the Bureau of Field Operations (BFO) upon Daniels’ retirement. Hanley most recently served as director of the Office of Performance Management and Internal Controls (OPMIC).

“We are profoundly grateful to Lt. Col. Daniels for his esteemed professionalism and selfless leadership during his extensive tenure with state police,” said Settle. “As we wish him only the best in retirement, his legacy carries on with the appointment of Matt Hanley to director of our field operations. Lt. Col. Hanley’s considerable field experience and progressive thinking will be of great benefit to our patrol and traffic safety efforts across the Commonwealth.”

The BFO director oversees the majority of the Department’s uniformed personnel and is responsible for more than 1,700 sworn and civilian employees. Troopers under the director’s command are responsible for patrolling more than 64,000 miles of state roadways and interstate highways. In coordination with the BFO division commanders and other law enforcement agencies, the director is responsible for all aspects of highway safety, traffic law enforcement, aviation support, emergency medical evacuation, crime prevention, uniform law enforcement support to local agencies, and coordination of law enforcement in civil disturbances and disasters.

Effective July 10, 2018 was the promotion of Maj. Lenmuel S. Terry, BFO deputy director, to lieutenant colonel. Terry’s appointment is to director of OPMIC, a component of the Superintendent’s Office responsible for tracking, monitoring and guiding the Department’s progress towards prioritizing and sustaining agency objectives and strategies. OPMIC is comprised of the Department’s Staff Inspection, Internal Audit and Information Technology Security programs. Terry will also be instrumental in advancing VSP’s ongoing recruitment initiatives aimed at further expanding minority representation among the Department’s sworn and civilian ranks.

“The Virginia State Police is at a critical threshold as we embark on a comprehensive, strategic planning initiative and evolutionary shift towards 21st century policing methods. We are extremely fortunate to have Lt. Col. Terry, a veteran leader of our Department, taking the lead of OPMIC. His comprehensive knowledge of the Department will ensure we’re not only advancing operational, administrative, accreditation and internal auditing functions for the benefit of our personnel, but also for the services we provide the Commonwealth,” said Settle.

Effective Sept. 1, 2018, Daniels will conclude an esteemed 45-year career with state police. A Charlotte County, Va., native, he joined VSP in 1973. Upon graduation from the Academy, his first patrol assignment as a trooper was in South Hill. As he progressed through the ranks, Daniels was assigned to the Appomattox BFO Division Headquarters and the Lynchburg, Vansant and Charlottesville area offices. In 1993, he was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the Personnel Division. He then transferred to the Training Division to serve as second in command of the Academy. In 2000, he achieved the rank of captain and served as the division commander for the BCI Criminal Intelligence Division (CID). As captain, he also served at the Chesapeake BFO Division headquarters and later as the BASS Promotional Administrator. Daniels was promoted to major in 2005 with his appointment to the position of BFO deputy director. He has served as BFO director since his promotion to lieutenant colonel Dec. 25, 2013.

Daniels is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) having earned a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice and a master’s degree in criminal justice administration. He is also a graduate of the Police Administration Training Program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., the Commonwealth Management Institute (CMI) and the Virginia Executive Institute (VEI).  He has also received more than 45 commendations and recognitions during his tenure with VSP to include the American Red Cross Lifesaving Award, the American Legion Citation of Meritorious Service and a Virginia State Police Superintendent’s Award of Merit.

Terry is a 42-year veteran of VSP. Having joined the Department in 1976, his first patrol assignment as trooper was in Stafford County. As he moved up through the ranks, Terry has been assigned to the Caroline County, Chesapeake, and Fredericksburg area offices. A promotion to lieutenant brought him to the Richmond Field Division headquarters, where in 2001, he was appointed division commander. As captain he has also served as commander of both the VSP Professional Standards Unit and the VSP Academy. He has been serving as the BFO deputy director since January 2014. Terry achieved a master’s degree and post-baccalaureate certificate in criminal justice from VCU. The Pittsylvania County, Va., native holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Mary Washington College and an associate’s degree in police science from Germanna Community College. Terry is also a graduate of the Professional Leadership School at the University of Richmond. He was elected class president while attending the Administrative Officers Management Program at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and VCU’s Public Safety Institute. He has received numerous commendations and certificates of achievement during his distinguished law enforcement career and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Army National Guard.

Hanley graduated the Virginia State Police Academy in May 1994 as a member of the 90th Basic Session. His first trooper assignment and promotion to sergeant were in the Department’s Fairfax Division. A promotion to first sergeant in 2006 took him to the Culpeper Division’s Warrenton area office. Four years later he accepted a promotion to lieutenant at the Culpeper Division headquarters, where he served as both the headquarters and field lieutenant. In 2014, Hanley advanced to the rank of captain and relocated to Richmond to serve as the Academy Training Officer. On May 10, 2017, Hanley joined the VSP executive staff upon his appointment to director of OPMIC.  The Massachusetts native is a graduate, cum laude, of Norwich University in Vt., with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He earned a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School (Center for Homeland Defense and Security) in California. He is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ National Criminal Justice Command College.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ARREST ALMOST A DUI AN HOUR DURING JULY 4 HOLIDAY PERIOD

RICHMOND – Fourth of July 2018 marked a busy holiday for Virginia State Police when it came to arresting impaired drivers and citing speeding motorists. In addition, a total of three fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Augusta, Culpeper and Northampton during the two-day, holiday, statistical counting period.

Once again this year, Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort), which is a traffic safety initiative that began 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, 2018  and concluded Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at midnight. The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement agencies to increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays, like the Fourth of July.

The 2018 Fourth of July Operation C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers stopping and arresting a total of 42 drunk drivers during the 48-hour statistical counting period. Troopers also stopped and issued summonses to 4,911 speeders and 1,251 reckless drivers. Troopers cited 429 safety belt violations and 114 child restraint violations.

“Every impaired driver who makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle puts countless other lives at risk of injury or death,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We need every Virginian to make the smart, safe and sober decision to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Changing drivers’ dangerous behaviors saves lives.  During these summer months, we ask that all drivers and passengers adopt safe habits like always buckling up, putting down the phone and, of course, never driving impaired. Those are the first steps toward achieving our goal of zero fatalities. We can get there, but we need everyone’s help to make it a reality.” 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes—that was one person every 50 minutes in 2016. Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44B per year.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

July 4 Holiday

Traffic Fatalities

# of Days

2017

9

4

2016

5

4

2015

4

3

2014

11

3

2013

7

4

YOUTH CADET LAW PROGRAM GRADUATES 49 FROM VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ACADEMY

High School Juniors Experience Academy Life of a VSP Trainee

RICHMOND – Recently 49 high schools students from across the Commonwealth experienced life as a Virginia State Police trooper trainee. Today they became the 29th generation of the Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program, which is co-sponsored by the Virginia State Police and The American Legion. At a ceremony held at the Virginia State Police Academy in North Chesterfield County, the teenagers were presented their graduation certificates Friday (June 29, 2018) afternoon.    

Photo courtesy of the Virginia State Police and is used with their permission

The 29th Session of the Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program began June 24, 2018. The week-long training curriculum is for high school students who have completed their junior year. Cadets experience a life similar to a trooper-in-training, complete with daily room inspections and instruction by state police troopers on Department operations, crime scene investigations, officer survival, undercover operations, driver improvement, scuba training, defensive tactics and firearms safety. The students even had the opportunity to meet with First Lady Pamela Northam and get a tour of the Executive Mansion and State Capitol.

As part of their training, the cadets also undergo a variety of physical agility exercises used in the Virginia State Police applicant testing process.

“This collaborative program is such an invaluable experience for those youth interested in pursuing a law enforcement career,” says Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “The training not only introduces them to the instruction, skillsets and discipline required of today’s public safety professional, but also provides a positive way for our Department to interact one-on-one with today’s youth.”

Cadet Zachary Everson of Bedford, Va., was selected for the Jessica J. Cheney Spirit Award. The annual award is presented in memory of Trooper Jessica J. Cheney who was the first cadet to graduate from the program and go on to become a trooper. Trooper Cheney died of injuries suffered Jan. 17, 1998, after being struck by a vehicle as she directed traffic at a crash scene on Route 1, north of Fredericksburg. The award is presented to the cadet who demonstrates the same motivation, drive and enthusiasm that Trooper Cheney displayed as a cadet.

Additional award recipients include:

Female Physical Fitness Award:  Cadet Cecelia Barnett of Gum Springs, Va.

Male Physical Fitness Award:  Cadet Jack Jenkins of Gloucester, Va.

Virginia State Trooper Counselor’s Award: Cadet Kolton Chapman of Virginia Beach, Va.

 

The American Legion selects and sponsors the students to represent the organization’s Virginia districts.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE PERSONNEL NOW EQUIPPED WITH NARCAN® TO RESPOND TO OPIOID OVERDOSE/EXPOSURE EMERGENCIES

NARCAN® Already Used by Trooper to Save Life of Lynchburg Woman

RICHMOND – As of July 1, 2018, all sworn Virginia State Police personnel through the rank of first sergeant will have been trained and equipped to quickly respond to dangerous opioid exposure and overdose emergencies. Through a grant administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), state police has purchased more than 2,100 NARCAN® dispensers for troopers, special agents, sergeants and first sergeants across the Commonwealth.

“Equipping our uniformed and investigative personnel with NARCAN® dispensers was necessary due to the continued increase in heroin and opioid overdoses in recent years in Virginia*,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “Having this emergency treatment readily available to our personnel not only helps save the lives of Virginians, but also the lives of our first responders who are at risk of an inadvertent exposure to dangerous synthetic opioids during the course of their public safety duties.”

The state police NARCAN® dispensers and training have already saved one life in Virginia. On June 17, 2018, Virginia State Police Trooper J.A. Montgomery responded to assist local law enforcement in Lynchburg with a medical emergency. Upon arriving at the scene, the trooper encountered a deputy administering CPR to an adult female while waiting for a local EMS crew to respond. Trooper Montgomery, who had just been trained nine days earlier on the administration of his NARCAN® dispenser, immediately began to assess the woman’s condition and questioning those at the house as to the cause of her severe medical distress. Based on that critical information, he confirmed that she was suffering from an opioid-related overdose and successfully administered one naxolone dosage. CPR continued and a pulse was detected with EMS arriving moments later. The woman was transported to Lynchburg General Hospital and released from the hospital two days later.

NARCAN® Nasal Spray is an FDA-approved nasal form of naxolone, a prescription medicine. When appropriately administered, the medicine counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose. All trained state police personnel have been issued two dispensers to carry with them at all times. State police canine troopers have been issued three dispensers, for the protection of their dogs as an opioid exposure poses just as serious a threat to an animal’s safety.

The state police purchased its initial NARCAN® supply and additional inventory through a DBHDS grant of $154,800.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGES MOTORISTS TO CELEBRATE SAFELY THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY AND ARRIVE ALIVE

RICHMOND – Virginia highways will be bustling this week as millions of people take to the road for the Independence Day holiday, and Virginia State Police is urging motorists to ensure safety and celebration go hand-in-hand.

In just the first six months of this year, at least 368 individuals, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists, have lost their lives in traffic crashes. Of the 843 fatal crashes on Virginia’s highways last year, 208 involved a distracted driver and 248 were alcohol related.

“Summer days are filled with celebration, including vacations, outdoor festivals and backyard cookouts, but no matter where your plans take you, please make safety your priority,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Regardless of the distance you’re traveling this week – across the country or around the corner – remember to buckle up, eliminate distractions and never drive buzzed or drunk. If we all do our small part, we increase everyone’s chances of arriving alive.”

As part of its ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways, Virginia State Police will increase patrols around the Independence Day holiday. Beginning tomorrow (July 3, 2018), VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2018 Independence Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, 2018, and continues through midnight Wednesday, July 4, 2018.

During last year’s four-day Independence Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers cited 10,264 speeders and 2,678 reckless drivers, issued 308 citations for child seat violations, and cited 994 individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. Nearly 42 percent of the 843 individuals who died in all traffic crashes last year were unrestrained.

Troopers also arrested 115 drunk drivers during the 2017 holiday period. If you plan to drink alcohol at a holiday function, plan ahead and arrange a designated driver or use a rideshare service to be certain you get home safely.

NHTSA has a SaferRide app which is available for Android and Apple users. If you do not have a designated driver, you can always use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store. The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) SoberRide® is offered throughout Lyft’s Washington, D.C., coverage area, which includes the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.

With increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

From 2008 to 2017 nationwide, 126 law enforcement officers working along the roadside were struck by a vehicle because a driver failed to heed the “Move Over” law.

39 NEW TROOPERS JOIN THE RANKS OF THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE

RICHMOND – On Friday, June 22, 2018, the Commonwealth will graduate its 128th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 39 new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.

The new troopers, all of whom entered the Academy as pre-certified law enforcement officers, have received more than 300 hours of classroom and field instruction in nearly 50 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival and crisis management. The members of the 128th Basic Session began their eight weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy on April 26, 2018.

The soon-to-be graduates of the 128th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, including King George County, Fredericksburg, Chesapeake, Rappahannock, Lynchburg, Danville and Wise County.

Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia beginning July 5, for their final phase of training. Each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.

128th BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

Name

Hometown

VSP Duty Assignment

Joshua Joseph Angel

Courtland

Southampton

Christopher Cory Angell

Lynch Station

Campbell

Aobidulla Aziz

Ashburn

Fairfax

Steven Richard Ball

Bassett

Henry

Benjamin Ira Bone

Richmond

Henrico

Roman Borshch

Hopewell

Prince George

James Robert Brooks

Suffolk

Hampton

Sara Katherine Burke-Smith

Rappahannock

Culpeper

David Newton Clark

Nathalie

Halifax

Jarrett Steven Combs

Hillsville

Wythe

Joel Patrick Crigger

Crockett

Bland

Mark Alton Daulton

Lynchburg

Campbell

Travis Wayne Eastridge

Danville

Pittsylvania 

David Matthew Fleenor

Bumpass

Hanover 

Kyle Patrick Gibson

Blue Ridge

Bedford

Andrew Paul Hansen

Fredericksburg

Stafford

Joshua Lee Harris

Smithfield

Hampton/Newport News

Larry Lee Holmes

Nassawadox

Chesapeake

Justin Curtis Joiner

Penn  Laird

Rockingham

Joshua Wayne Joseph

Weyers Cave

Rockingham

Heather Elyse Kelly

Harrisonburg

Rockingham

Aaron Michael Lawson

Wise

Dickenson

Chad Allen Lightner

Head Waters

Highland

James Travis Lotts

Stuarts Draft

Augusta

Matthew Charles McCrory

Powhatan

Chesterfield

Stuart Dale Pauley

Meadowview

Frederick

John Ephrim Piersol

King George

Stafford

Raphael Alexis Pilato

Chesapeake

Norfolk

Michael David Rose

Clintwood

Wytheville  (Special Agent Accountant)

Pedro Yobani Aguilar Salamanca

Pulaski

Bland

Mark Casey Scott

Lynchburg

Appomattox

Christopher Shane Simpkins

Danville

Pittsylvania 

Clint Lee Slaughter

Bland

Bland

Jacob Alan Vaughan

Galax

Wythe

Samuel Heath Viars

Max Meadows

Bland

Jason Roy Ward

Glen Allen

Hanover

Michael Shawn Ward

Topping

Middlesex

Terry Edward Woods

Galax

Fairfax

James Edward Yarrington, III

Saluda

King and Queen

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WARN OF LAW ENFORCEMENT SCAMS

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police has recently been alerted to an alarming increase in phone scams targeting seniors and, especially, convicted sex offenders. The consistent theme among these scams has been phone fraudsters threatening people into paying hundreds of dollars in gift cards to the caller.

One popular scam making its rounds across the Commonwealth is where the caller says a relative has been arrested and incarcerated, and is in need of a substantial amount of money in order to be released from jail. The phone fraudster can be very convincing by providing extensive personal information (i.e., date of birth, address, social security number, other family members’ names) about the relative who is supposedly in need of help.

The Virginia State Police are also getting numerous calls from convicted sex offenders in the Northern Virginia region who are being told there is a warrant out for their arrest. The sex offender is advised not to call the Virginia State Police and that the only way to adjudicate the warrant is by paying off a fine. Virginia law prohibits unlawful use of the information provided on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry for purposes of intimidating or harassing an individual listed on the registry. Willful violation shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

With both cons, the scammer provides instruction on how the payment should be submitted, usually through an “eGift” cash card or similar payment to a specified account or name given by the caller. The scammer will often pressure, threaten and be verbally abusive in order to intimidate the victim into complying with the scammer’s demands.

The scammer will often manipulate caller ID, which is known as “spoofing,” to make the number appear to come from a nearby state police office or a local police or sheriff’s office. These scam artists use pre-paid phones and many times are not even in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, making their apprehension difficult.

If you receive such a call, hang up and contact your local law enforcement agency or the Virginia State Police. Complaints can also be made to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which works with other law enforcement agencies to bring scam artists to justice and put an end to unfair and misleading business practices. If you have a complaint, file it online or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

VIRGINIA EXPERIENCES DECREASE IN 2018 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND TRAFFIC DEATHS

RICHMOND – Virginia experienced its fewest number of traffic deaths during the 2018 Memorial Day weekend - the lowest within at least the past five years. Preliminary reports indicate six traffic deaths occurred on Virginia highways during this year’s statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 25, 2018) and concluded at midnight Monday (May 28, 2018).

 "This decrease in the Memorial Day weekend traffic fatalities and the slowing of traffic deaths for 2018 are both proof that we can save lives on Virginia’s highways by working together,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The Virginia State Police, in collaboration with our local police and sheriff’s offices, will continue our stepped up education and enforcement efforts as we head into the busy summer travel months. We simply ask for Virginians to do their part by always buckling up, complying with speed limits, driving distraction free and never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

This year’s six holiday fatal crashes occurred in the City of Newport News, and the counties of Chesterfield, Grayson, Nelson, Pittsylvania and Rockbridge. The Newport News crash claimed the life of an adult male operating a dirt bike on Warwick Boulevard. Of the remaining five fatal crashes, four involved individuals who were not wearing seat belts. Three of those unsecured individuals were ejected when the vehicle they were riding in overturned as it crashed.

During the 2018 Memorial Day weekend, the Virginia State Police once again participated in the Operation Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). Operation CARE is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. As a result of troopers’ increased presence on the highways during the heavily-traveled holiday weekend, 99 impaired drivers were arrested and charged with DUI. In addition, state troopers cited 8,004 speeders and 2,360 reckless drivers. State police also cited 1,038 occupant restraint violations, with 210 of those issued to adults for failing to safely secure a juvenile passenger in a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt. Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

The Virginia State Police is continuing its enforcement efforts related to the ongoing “Click It or Ticket” campaign.  The two-week concentrated education and enforcement initiative began May 21, 2018, and runs through Sunday, June 3, 2018. Of the 843 total traffic deaths in 2017 throughout Virginia, 351 were unrestrained.

VIRGINIA’S ANNUAL CRIME ANALYSIS REPORT NOW AVAILABLE ON VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WEBSITE

RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2017 is now available to the public on the Virginia State Police website. The annual “Crime in Virginia” report 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.

Overall, Virginia experienced a 3.9 percent decrease in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) compared to the previous reporting period. The FBI’s figures for 2017 are not yet available. However, comparing the first six months of 2016 with the first six months of 2017, nationwide, violent crimes decreased less than 1 percent (0.8%).

Property crime in Virginia, including the offenses of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft, also decreased when compared to the previous year (- 2.6%). Although the FBI’s data for 2017 is not yet available, comparing the first six months of 2016 with the first six months of 2017, nationwide, there was a 2.9 percent decrease.

The following 2017 crime figures in Virginia are presented in the report:

The number of reported homicides decreased from 480 to 455 or (-5.2%). Victims and offenders tended to be relatively young: 48 percent of homicide victims and 64 percent of offenders were less than 30 years of age. Victims and offenders were most likely to be male (72%, 86% respectively).

Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 3.9 percent compared to the previous year.  Of the 10,223 motor vehicles stolen, 6,438 or 63 percent were recovered. Of all motor vehicles stolen, trucks had the highest frequency of being recovered (73%) followed by automobiles (68%). Recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) were least likely to be recovered (49%, 39% respectively). Of all motor vehicles stolen, 43 percent were taken from the residence/home. The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $86,025,726.

Drug and narcotic arrests increased when compared to the previous reporting period (15.6%). Where type of drug was known, 71 percent of all drug arrests were for marijuana. Marijuana arrests increased 20.6 percent compared to the previous reporting period. Arrests for heroin and crack cocaine decreased (-3.2%, -3.0% respectively). Arrests for powder cocaine and amphetamines/methamphetamines increased (14.2%, 22.7% respectively).

Fraud offenses decreased almost 4 percent (-3.8) compared to 2016.

Of the 809 arsons and attempted arsons that were reported, nearly half (48.5%) reported the location as “residence/home.” Neither the time of the day nor the day of the week appears to be associated with this offense.

Robbery decreased 10 percent. Of the 4,320 robberies and attempted robberies 42 percent took place between 8 p.m. and midnight. Days of the week showed little variability in terms of the number of robberies that took place although more took placeon Friday and Saturday than any other days of the week.

Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 74.6 percent of homicides and 58.2 percent of robberies. Firearms were used to a lesser extent in the offense of aggravated assault (27.3%).   

There were 202 hate crimes reported in 2017 representing a 47.4 percent increase compared to 2016. Over half (54%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward religion and sexual orientation were next highest (22%, 19%, respectively). The remaining 5 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. Of all reported bias motivated crime, 46 percent was associated with destruction/damage/vandalism of property; another 40.6 percent was associated with the offense of assault.     

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 2016 and 2017, adult arrests increased 4.3 percent. Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses also increased (1.6%). For Group B arrests, there was an increase of 1.8 percent for adults while juvenile Group B arrests decreased 9.9 percent. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 282,987 arrests in 2017 compared to 276,144 arrests in 2016, representing an overall increase in arrests in Virginia of 2.5 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 sent to the FBI incorporating them into their annual report, Crime in the United States.

MOTORISTS URGED TO PUT TRAFFIC SAFETY ON THEIR TRAVEL AGENDA THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

RICHMOND – As travelers plan their vacations and pack their bags for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, Virginia State Police is urging motorists to make sure traffic safety is at the top of their agenda. Already this year, 280 individuals, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists, have lost their lives in traffic crashes. The startling number comes on the heels of an almost 11 percent increase in traffic deaths during 2017.  

“Last year, 843 people were killed on Virginia’s highways. On average, that’s more than two people a day, 16 people a week and 70 people a month. But no matter how you count these tragic incidents, there are just too many,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The sad fact is that many traffic crashes are preventable, but in order to prevent them we all have to do our part by buckling up, complying with speed limits, eliminating distractions and never driving impaired.”

To ensure the Memorial Day holiday is as safe as possible, Virginia State Police will increase patrols during the long holiday weekend. Beginning Friday, May 25, 2018, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2018 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 25, 2018, and continues through midnight Monday, May 28, 2018.

During the 2017 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 109 drunk drivers, cited 10,337 speeders and 2,395 reckless drivers, and issued 250 citations for child seat violations. They also cited 820 individuals for failing to wear a seat belt.

The 2018 Memorial Day weekend falls during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, and state police troopers will be vigilant in their efforts to increase seat belt usage for travelers of all ages. The two-week concentrated education and enforcement initiative began last Monday and runs through Sunday, June 3, 2018.

Of the 843 total traffic deaths last year throughout Virginia, 351 were unrestrained.

With increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

From 2008 to 2017 nationwide, 126 law enforcement officers working along the roadside were struck by a vehicle because a driver failed to heed the “Move Over” law.

To raise awareness of this law and the impact it has on first responders and highway safety workers, Virginia State Police has coordinated the 2nd Annual National “Move Over” Tweet-Along. Over a 24-hour period on Friday, May 25, 2018, public safety agencies, departments of transportation and numerous other local and state agencies from across the country will inundate Twitter with the “Move Over” message using hashtag #MoveOver18. 

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE DEDICATE HELIPAD TO HONOR TROOPER-PILOT KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN 2017

RICHMOND – Two Virginia governors joined more than 200 family and friends Wednesday (April 18, 2018) to formally dedicate and name the helipad at the Virginia State Police administrative headquarters in Chesterfield County. Governor Ralph Northam and former Governor Terry McAuliffe, along with Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran and the family of Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates unveiled the new sign that designates the helipad in Bates’ memory.

(Pictured L-R) Virginia Deputy Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security Ryant Washington, Governor Ralph Northam, Fmr. Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security Brian Moran and Colonel Gary Settle with Trooper-Pilot Bates’ wife, Amanda, and their children.

“The Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates Helipad will serve as a lasting tribute to Berke’s incredible spirit and legacy as a public safety professional, aviator, father, son, brother, and friend,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “This memorial will be seen by those visiting our administrative headquarters and Academy. It is also rightly located just across the way from the very Academy doors Berke proudly walked through in January 2004 to begin his career as a Virginia State Police trooper. We hope this simple, but meaningful, tribute brings added and lasting comfort to his family, friends, and colleagues.”

Bates, 40, and the State Police Aviation Unit Commander, Lt. H. Jay Cullen III, became the Department’s 64th and 65th Virginia State Police line of duty deaths when their helicopter crashed Aug. 12, 2017, in Albemarle County. The Department dedicated its Chesterfield Aviation Base and Headquarters in Lt. Cullen’s memory in February 2018.

Trooper-Pilot Bates was born in Manassas, Va. and graduated from Brentsville District Middle-Senior High School in Nokesville, Va. in 1994. He served as a Trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol from 1998 until he joined the Virginia State Police in 2004. He graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy on August 27, 2004 as a member of the 107th Basic Session. His first assignment was in Virginia State Police Richmond Division’s Area 8 Office, which encompasses the City of Richmond and Henrico County. Less than a year later he became a member of the office’s Motors Unit, serving as a motorcycle trooper until 2013. He joined the Governor’s protection detail, known as the State Police Executive Protective Unit, in October 2013 and served with the unit for three years before accepting promotion to Special Agent with the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office General Investigations Section. In July 2017, he became a Trooper-Pilot with the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit. Bates is survived by his wife, twin 12-year-old son and daughter, parents, and siblings.

The Virginia State Police initiated an aviation program in 1946 with four trooper-pilots who voluntarily worked on as an-needed basis and the acquisition of three Aeronca Chief 11AC airplanes. Helicopters were added to the fleet in 1970. The Department established an official Aviation Unit in 1984, which was the same year the Virginia General Assembly authorized funding for the creation of the Med-Flight program. Today the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit has 16 trooper-pilots, 13 flight nurses, 12 flight paramedics and four full and part-time mechanics assigned to its bases in Chesterfield, Lynchburg and Abingdon. The unit is equipped with three Bell 407 helicopters, two Airbus EC-145 helicopters, two Cessna 182 Skylanes and one Cessna 206 Stationair.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the fatal helicopter crash remains ongoing at this time.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE AVIATION HANGAR DEDICATED IN HONOR OF FORMER COMMANDER

 

Chesterfield Aviation Base Named for Lt. H. Jay Cullen

RICHMOND – Close to 200 family, friends and colleagues gathered Wednesday (Feb. 7, 2018) at the Virginia State Police Chesterfield Aviation Base to honor the life and sacrifice of Lt. H. Jay Cullen III. Cullen and his co-pilot, Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, became the Department’s 64th and 65th Virginia State Police line of duty deaths when their helicopter crashed Aug. 12, 2017, in Albemarle County.

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe and former First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe attended the ceremony, during which the state police officially dedicated and renamed the hangar to the “Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen Hangar.” Cullen spent 18 of his 24 years with the Virginia State Police assigned to the Department’s Aviation Unit. When he was promoted to sergeant in 2005, he reported to the Chesterfield Aviation Base and remained at that facility as he advanced through the ranks to become the unit commander.

“Lt. Cullen had one goal as the Aviation Unit Commander and that was to make the unit the best it could possibly be,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “And he succeeded through his exemplary leadership, professionalism, integrity and fortitude. Dedicating his name to this Chesterfield Aviation Base hangar is just one more way for the Department to demonstrate its sincere appreciation for the sacrifices Jay and his family have made all these years in order to support and fulfill the missions of the Aviation Unit and Virginia State Police.”

State police initiated an aviation program in 1946 with four trooper-pilots who voluntarily worked on as an-needed basis and the acquisition of three Aeronca Chief 11AC airplanes. Helicopters were added to the fleet in 1970. The Department established an official Aviation Unit in 1984, which was the same year the Virginia General Assembly authorized funding for the creation of the Med-Flight program. Today the Virginia State Police Aviation Unit has 16 trooper-pilots, 13 flight nurses, 12 flight paramedics and four full and part-time mechanics assigned to its bases in Chesterfield, Lynchburg and Abingdon. The unit is equipped with three Bell 407 helicopters, two Airbus EC-145 helicopters, two Cessna 182 Skylanes and one Cessna 206 Stationair.

In March, the Department will dedicate and name its helipad at the Virginia State Police Administrative Headquarters in Chesterfield County to honor and pay tribute to Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the fatal helicopter crash remains ongoing at this time.

 

Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen (1969 – 2017) Bio:

Lieutenant Cullen was born in Winchester County, N.Y., and graduated from Germantown High School in Memphis, Tenn., in 1987. Prior to joining the Virginia State Police in 1993, he worked as a flight instructor in Front Royal, Va. and Winchester, Va. He held a bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

He graduated from the Virginia State Police Training Academy as a member of the 90th Basic Session on May 13, 1994. His first patrol assignment upon graduation was in Virginia State Police Fairfax Division’s Area 9 Office in Fairfax. In 1999, he joined the Aviation Unit as a Trooper-Pilot at the Virginia State Police Aviation Base in Manassas and has been assigned to Aviation Unit ever since.

The following year he was transferred to the Lynchburg Aviation Base, where in 2003 he achieved the rank of Senior Trooper. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2005 and assumed his new role at the Virginia State Police Aviation Base in Chesterfield County.

In 2007, he was named acting First Sergeant at the Chesterfield base. He was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant in 2012 and then became acting Lieutenant at the base that December.

He was a 2014 graduate of the National Criminal Justice Command College at the University of Virginia. In February 2017, he attained the rank of Lieutenant and became commander of the Aviation Unit. 

Lt. Cullen is survived by his wife and two teenage sons.

NEW YEAR WELCOMES NEW LEADERSHIP WITHIN VIRGINIA STATE POLICE

New Superintendent & Bureau Director Fill Leadership Roles

RICHMOND – On Thursday, January 18, 2018, Lt. Colonel Gary T. Settle was sworn in as Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. Settle replaces retiring Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, who served the past 14 years as the State Police Superintendent upon his appointment to colonel in 2003 by then-Governor Mark R. Warner. Lt. Colonel Tracy S. Russillo will continue serving as Deputy Superintendent and Major Timothy D. Lyon will take the position of Director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, as vacated by Settle’s promotion.

 

As Superintendent, Colonel Settle leads and manages all aspects of the Department of State Police including the Office of Performance Management and Internal Controls (OPMIC), Office of Internal Affairs, Public Relations Office, Executive Protective Unit, Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS), Bureau of Field Operations (BFO), and Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). State police has an authorized workforce of 2,118 sworn and 848 civilian personnel, and an authorized $340-million general-fund, operating budget for fiscal year 2018. Settle is the Department’s 13th Superintendent since T.K. Sexton was appointed to the position in 1932.

“I am most humbled and grateful for this extraordinary privilege awarded me by Governor Northam,” said Col. Settle. “As Superintendent, I am committed to not only continuing the Department’s proud traditions and esteemed reputation, but to also prepare and advance our personnel, programs, policies, technologies, training, and equipment to sustain and meet the demands of an ever-changing society. I acknowledge these challenges and will accept nothing less of myself than to serve this Commonwealth and the proud men and women of the Virginia State Police with valor, service, pride, and integrity.”

During his 32 years of service in law enforcement, Settle has served the Commonwealth of Virginia at the state and local levels in a myriad of public safety capacities. He was appointed to Director of BCI in January 2017 and had served as its Deputy Director since July 2015. The Rappahannock County native graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in 1986 as class president of the 78th Basic Session. His first patrol assignment was in Frederick and Clarke counties in the State Police Culpeper Division. During his tenure with State Police, he has served as a Tactical Team supervisor, narcotics special agent, firearms instructor, and served on the State Police Honor Guard. His assignments have included the State Police Culpeper and Wytheville Divisions. In addition to his progression through the supervisory ranks of State Police, Settle also has the invaluable, administrative experience of having served as Sheriff for Rappahannock County from 1996 to 2000. He earned a Master’s degree in Homeland Security and Defense from the Naval Postgraduate School and a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Criminal Justice from Bluefield College. He is also a graduate of the FBI Executive Management Course and the National Criminal Justice Command College of the UVA School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

 

Effective Jan. 10, 2018, was the appointment of Major Lyon to Director of BCI. Lyon was appointed Deputy Director of BCI in February 2017 from his position as the BCI commander for the State Police Salem Field Office. Lyon began his career with the State Police upon graduation from the Academy in February 1986. His first assignment as a trooper was in the Wytheville Division and upon his promotion to special agent in 1989, he transferred to the BCI Chesapeake Field Office. During his tenure with State Police, Lyon has progressed through the BCI ranks at the Salem Field Office as a special agent, narcotics task force coordinator, first sergeant and lieutenant in both the General Investigations and Drug Enforcement sections. In 2011, he was appointed to Captain and has served as the commander of both the BCI Appomattox and Salem Field Offices. The Carroll County native graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Police Administration. He is also a 2004 graduate of the FBI National Academy and completed a six-month fellowship with the FBI’s Police Executive Fellowship Program where he served on the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Lyon is a founding member of the Eastern Kentucky University’s Association of Security/Loss Prevention. He earned the Virginia State Police Superintendent’s Award of Merit for his superior response and leadership during the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech massacre and criminal investigation.

10 a.m. Update on VSP Response in Winter Snow

Highways across much of western and central Virginia continue to be impacted by the falling snow in those regions.

As 10:15 a.m., Wednesday (Jan. 17), Virginia State Police troopers are responding to 61 traffic crashes and 6 disabled vehicles statewide:

Division I–Richmond (Metro Richmond/Northern Neck/Tri-Cities)

Traffic Crashes= 7

Division II–Culpeper (Fredericksburg/Culpeper/Warrenton/Harrisonburg/Winchester)

Traffic Crashes=6

Division III-Appomattox (Charlottesville/Waynesboro/Staunton/Lynchburg/South Boston/South Hill)

Traffic Crashes=16

Division IV-Wytheville (Wytheville/Dublin/Galax/Bristol/Vansant/Wise)

Traffic Crashes=8

Division V-Chesapeake (Hampton Roads/Tidewater/Eastern Shore/Williamsburg/Franklin/Emporia)

Traffic Crashes=2

Division VI-Salem (Lexington/Clifton Forge/Roanoke/Blacksburg/Bedford/Martinsville/Danville)

Traffic Crashes=17

Division VII-Fairfax (Prince William/Loudoun/Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax)

Traffic Crashes=3

The majority of the traffic crashes reported only involve damage to vehicles.

For road conditions, Virginians are reminded to use the VDOT 511 system. Please do not call 911 or #77 to ask about road conditions, as these are emergency numbers and need to remain open to emergency calls.

Those who do have to travel today are advised to…

  • Make sure all windows and lights are clear of snow before heading out.
  • Always buckle up – driver and all passengers.
  • Drive distraction free – put down the phone and coffee and keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
  • Slow speed for conditions.
  • Use headlights to increase your visibility and to help other drivers see you better.
  • Share the road responsibly with VDOT vehicles and emergency vehicles.

VSP Winter Storm Update 4:30 pm

As temperatures are now on the steady decline and winds are kicking up, State Police are still advising motorists to delay any unnecessary travel into the evening and overnight hours…especially in the Hampton Roads, Tidewater, Eastern Shore, Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, Southside Virginia and the Metro-Richmond regions.

Drifting snow continues to be a serious hazard in the impacted areas, as well as slick, slushy roadways – which will refreeze overnight. Fortunately, there are still no reported traffic deaths and the majority of the crashes continue to only involve only damage to vehicles and no injuries.

State police in the impacted field divisions – Richmond and Chesapeake - will extend shifts as necessary through Thursday afternoon and evening to ensure the availability of personnel to continue to respond to incidents. Combined, State Troopers assigned to these two divisions responded to 902 calls for service, to include 356 traffic crashes and 409 disabled/stuck vehicles.

VA State Police Senior Trooper A.D. Montross’ view this morning while responding to a vehicle stuck in a snowdrift on Route 13 along the Eastern Shore. Trooper Montross reported white-out conditions and 50 mph winds.

VA State Police Trooper C.D. Compton spent his day responding to crashed and stuck vehicles – just like this one- along Interstate 64 in the James City County/Williamsburg area.

From 8:00 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 3) through 4:00 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 4), the most traffic crashes and disabled vehicles calls for service have occurred within the Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division:

Division I–Richmond (Metro Richmond/Northern Neck/Tri-Cities)

  • Traffic Crashes=218
  • Disabled Vehicles=121
  • Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 429

Division V-Chesapeake (Hampton Roads/Tidewater/Eastern Shore/Williamsburg/Franklin/Emporia)

  • Traffic Crashes=138
  • Disabled Vehicles 288
  • Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 473

As of 4:30 p.m., Thursday:

Richmond Division troopers are responding to 11 reported traffic crashes and 1 disabled vehicle call.

Chesapeake Division troopers are responding to 3 reported traffic crashes and 12 disabled vehicle calls.

We want to remind Virginians to please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org for road conditions and not 911 or #77. We need to keep emergency lines open for emergency calls.

We are still asking Virginians to delay their travel until later today. But, if you MUST travel…then please take the following safety precautions:

  • Clear off ALL snow and ice from your vehicle – windows, roof, trunk and lights            
  • Add extra time to reach travel destination
  • Slow speed for road conditions
  • Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance
  • Buckle up and don’t drive distracted
  • MOVE OVER for all stopped emergency vehicles, highway vehicles and tow trucks.

VIRGINIA 2019 INSPECTION STICKERS TO BE RELOCATED ON VEHICLE WINDSHIELD

RICHMOND – Effective Jan. 1, 2018, Virginia state inspection stickers will no longer be affixed to the bottom center of a vehicle’s windshield. Due to new innovations in the automotive industry, the state inspection stickers will be placed in the bottom left corner of the windshield, when viewed from inside the vehicle. This change in location will also apply to the placement of any other authorized stickers. There have been no changes made to the size or appearance of the existing vehicle inspection sticker.

The relocation stems from the fact that automobile manufacturers now offer crash avoidance technology in many of their vehicles.  In such vehicles, the new technology utilizes the center of the windshield. Therefore the placement of items in that area, including stickers, could prevent crash avoidance systems from operating properly.

“The core mission of the Virginia Safety Inspection Program is to promote highway safety and the crash avoidance technology is another tool provided by manufacturers to ensure vehicles operated on the roadways are safe at all times,” said Capt. R.C. Maxey Jr., Virginia State Police Safety Division Commander. “Therefore, we immediately began evaluating the situation and set forth to make the necessary changes to the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual, which governs the placement of the safety inspection sticker on all vehicles.”

 

Existing Virginia vehicle inspection stickers are to remain in their current position – in the bottom center of the windshield. Once a vehicle is inspected and issued a 2019 sticker, the new inspection sticker must be placed in the lower left corner, which is consistent with other states across the nation.

The Virginia State Police Safety Division began Dec. 2, 2017, notifying all Virginia certified inspections stations of the placement change that is to take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

10 DIE IN TRAFFIC CRASHES ON VIRGINIA HIGHWAYS OVER THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

2017 Proving to be Deadlier than 2016 for Traffic Crashes

RICHMOND – With overall traffic fatalities already on the increase, the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one for 10 individuals traveling on Virginia’s highways. During the holiday statistical counting period, which began Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, at 12:01 a.m. and continued through midnight Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, traffic crashes claimed the lives of eight drivers, one passenger and a pedestrian. As of Monday, Nov. 27, 2017, there have been 737 reported traffic deaths in Virginia, compared to 664 this date last year.

“The increase in fatal crashes throughout this year is troubling and should be of serious concern to all Virginians,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Tragically, there will be at least 700 families heading into the holiday season mourning the loss of a loved one because of a traffic crash on a Virginia highway. Let’s make these remaining weeks of 2017 safer for everyone by buckling up and driving smart, safe, sober and distraction-free.”

The Thanksgiving fatal crashes occurred in the City of Richmond and the counties of Appomattox, Augusta, Bedford, Caroline, Fairfax and Spotsylvania. Two of the crashes, including the pedestrian crash, occurred in the City of Richmond, and two other fatal crashes occurred in Fairfax County. Two drivers lost their lives in a two-vehicle, head-on crash in Augusta County.

In an effort to prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E., an acronym for the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.

During the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police troopers:

  • Cited 8,016 speeders
  • Cited 2,465 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 102 drunken drivers
  • Cited 589 safety belt violations & 205 child restraint violations
  • Investigated 998 traffic crashes, in which nine were fatal
  • Assisted 2,635 disabled motorists

The Virginia State Police will also this year be participating in the annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “Tie One on for Safety” campaign, which discourages drunk and drugged driving during the winter holidays.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGES MOTORISTS TO DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES THIS THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

RICHMOND – Traveling to spend time with family is a holiday tradition, and as millions hit the road this Thanksgiving, Virginia State Police urges motorists to drive to save lives so everyone arrives safely for the celebration.

Within the past two weeks, traffic crashes in Virginia have claimed the lives of 35 drivers and passengers, and nine pedestrians. From Jan. 1, 2017, to Nov. 16, 2017, preliminary reports indicate traffic crashes statewide have resulted in 710 deaths; compared to 640 deaths during the same timeframe in 2016.

“Tragically, traffic fatalities are on the rise in Virginia,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We’ve seen an 11 percent increase over this time last year. With so many people estimated to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend, we need everyone to help prevent crashes by driving smart, buckling up and never driving drunk or drugged. We want everyone to arrive alive and enjoy the holiday.”

To help prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police will once again be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., an acronym for the Combined Accident Reduction Effort. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints. As a participating agency, state police will increase its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the Commonwealth beginning Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through midnight, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017.

During last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police troopers:

  • Cited 9,235 speeders
  • Cited 2,928 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 132 drunken drivers
  • Cited 824 safety belt violations & 286 child restraint violations
  • Investigated 1,163 traffic crashes, in which eight were fatal

With additional troopers and other law enforcement working on Virginia’s highways this holiday weekend, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers to comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law. A life-saving law intended to protect public safety responders and others who have a responsibility to work the roads. Drivers are required to change to another travel lane or, when unable to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. The law also includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE PRODUCE OPIOID/HEROIN AWARENESS VIDEOS TO HELP STEM ABUSE & OVERDOSES

Alleghany County Sheriff Provides Testimonial to Tragedy of Addiction

RICHMOND – From March through July of this year, medical emergency departments across the Commonwealth each month have fielded more than 700 visits by Virginia residents for treatment for unintentional opioid/heroin or unspecified substance overdoses. Of those 700 overdose visits, approximately 160 resulted from heroin usage in June and another 150 in July. In the first half of 2016, fatal drug overdoses across the state increased by 35 percent.*

Even grimmer than the statistics are the stories behind each life impacted by an overdose and/or death related to opioid and heroin addictions. As a member agency of Governor McAuliffe’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse, the Virginia State Police has taken an active role in coordinating with federal, state and local law enforcement, public health agencies and first responders across the Commonwealth to combat, prevent and investigate opioid and heroin abuse and illegal distribution. Such efforts led to the collaboration of Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Drug Enforcement Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) C. Scott Wade and Alleghany County Sheriff Kevin W. Hall to collaborate on a video that tells the story of Sheriff Hall’s son, Ryan, and his battle with addiction. “Broken Dreams,” an emotional video testimony of the purposeful struggle to overcome addiction and persevere, is told from the deeply-personal perspectives of both Sheriff Hall and Ryan.

“This isn’t a story, it’s the real life account of what a young man and his family have had to go through in order to get their son and their lives back,” said SAA Wade, coordinator of the Eastern Shore Drug Task Force. “The fact that this is the child of a sheriff may be unique, but his story of addiction, the consequences and his daily struggle with staying drug-free are not. There are thousands across the Commonwealth in the same situation.”

The second video, “No Second Chance,” debuted recently on the Eastern Shore and follows the tragic consequences of a 20-year-old Accomack County woman who died from a heroin overdose in July 2016. Her mother and grandmother share their firsthand struggles to overcome the grief of losing a loved one at such a young age to heroin.

SSA Wade is working to have the videos integrated into opioid/heroin prevention programs across the Commonwealth and shown before audiences of all ages in schools, drug-prevention programs, treatment facilities, and community and civic groups statewide. “We cannot begin soon enough to further spread the message about the severely-addictive nature of opioids and heroin. The impact of opioid and heroin abuse is being felt in every corner of the Commonwealth. This video is designed to initiate discussion among parents and their children, teachers, law enforcement, medical professionals, and communities about what it’s going to take to stop and prevent the overdoses and deaths afflicting and overwhelming so many Virginians.”

Both videos can be downloaded from the VSP YouTube page:

Broken Dreams, Ruined Lives(Alleghany County) - https://youtu.be/f4g4AwKv2Hk

No Second Chance(Eastern Shore) - https://youtu.be/pW-_1QjeGLo

NEARLY 4,800 TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS & ARRESTS MADE DURING EAST COAST ‘DRIVE 2 SAVE LIVES’ SAFETY INITIATIVE

650+ Summonses & Arrests by Virginia State Troopers

RICHMOND – A two-day “Drive to Save Lives” traffic safety initiative that spanned 15 states along the Interstate 95 corridor last week resulted in more than 650 total traffic summonses and arrests by Virginia State Police.

On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, 2017, Virginia troopers cited 195 speeders and 61 drivers were charged with aggressive driving or other dangerous moving violations. Troopers also cited 35 motorists for failing to wear a seat belt and another 14 for child restraint violations. A total of 11 drunk drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by troopers. Other citations issued include inspection violations, equipment violations, expired safety inspections for commercial vehicles and size or weight violations.

In addition, Virginia troopers apprehended 21 wanted persons and made 42 criminal arrests.

Virginia State Police troopers dedicated nearly 2,300 hours to the stepped up patrol and enforcement efforts along the 179 miles of I-95 that stretch across Virginia from the border of North Carolina to Maryland.

“Traffic deaths are already up 12 percent this year over last and with the holiday travel season just weeks away, we cannot reinforce the ‘Drive to Save Lives’ message strongly enough,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Between October and December, crash numbers can jump by as many as 1,600 per month. With the increased potential for crashes on our highways, it’s incredibly important that all drivers do their part to buckle up, drop the distractions and make safety a priority.”

As of Oct. 27, 2017, there have been 662 reported traffic deaths on Virginia highways. On the same date in 2016, there were 584 reported traffic fatalities, which means 78 more persons have lost their lives in traffic crashes this year than last on Virginia’s roads.

During the multi-state “Drive to Save Lives” initiative, troopers across the 15 participating states affected a total of 4,776 traffic summonses and arrests, including 1,839 for speeding. Nearly 250 motorists were cited for seat belt violations and another 505 received citations for violations related to their driver’s license or registration. Troopers arrested 53 drivers along the I-95 corridor for drunk driving.

Other agencies that participated in the East Coast I-95 traffic enforcement operation are State Police and Highway Patrol agencies from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Funds generated from traffic summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION WITH THREE AWARDS

RICHMOND – Virginia State Police was honored with three awards during the 2017 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference held this week in Philadelphia.

Colonel Steve Flaherty, Superintendent and 40-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, received the prestigious J. Stannard Baker Award, which is awarded annually to a law enforcement professional who has made a significant lifetime contribution to highway safety.

The Department also received two awards recognizing its Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program and its support and assistance during a multi-agency investigation into a terrorist threat. 

The Leadership in the Prevention of Vehicle Crimes Award

Established in 1992, the HEAT program provides training and support to local law enforcement agencies, including grant funding, and works with citizens to spread awareness about auto theft prevention.

The HEAT program launched an aggressive digital media campaign in 2016 that focused on auto theft prevention education. HEAT utilized its Facebook page, YouTube channel, and website to spread the message, “Take your keys or take your chances” as well as purchasing digital banner advertisements on a variety of websites. The digital campaign, which peaked during July 2016 (also Auto Theft Awareness Month), generated more than 2,300 visits to HEATreward.com that month. HEAT also released two videos during the campaign, and those have nearly 65,000 views as of October 2017.

The Booz Allen Hamilton Leadership in the Prevention of Terrorism Award

In summer 2016, Virginia State Police personnel working with the FBI Washington Field Office Joint Terrorism Task Force took part in a multi-agency terrorism investigation, which resulted in the arrest of Mohammed Bailor (Jalloh), age 26, for attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization.

A former member of the Virginia Army National Guard, Jalloh came to the attention of authorities in April 2016. Investigation revealed that he had intentions of conducting or assisting in a terrorist attack. After months of surveillance and information gathering, Jalloh was arrested on July 3, 2016. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release.

The J. Stannard Baker Award

During his four decades with the Virginia State Police, Colonel Flaherty has left an indelible mark on highway safety in Virginia and beyond. Since his appointment to Superintendent on October 1, 2003, Colonel Flaherty has proven himself as an experienced, respected, and innovative leader committed to the safety of the people of Virginia. 

As an Assistant Safety Officer and safety Officer in the VSP Safety Division, Colonel Flaherty collaborated with car manufacturers, motor vehicle and trucking associations and numerous other specialty agencies to develop and publish uniform national and international vehicle inspection standards and specifications.

In 2000, as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Field Operations, Colonel Flaherty was instrumental in the design, development, and implementation of all BFO operational plans, administrative programs, and highway safety strategies that refined operations, enhanced services, and ensured fair and equal application of the law. One such program implemented under his leadership is the highly-effective “Operation Air, Land & Speed” traffic enforcement effort on Virginia’s interstates, utilizing off-duty troopers to augment high-visibility patrols.

As General Chair of the State & Provincial Police Division of the IACP, he was a driving force behind the development and implementation of the U.S.-wide “Drive to Save Lives” traffic safety campaign in 2014. Unprecedented in its support by state police and highway patrol leaders, police chiefs, and sheriffs, the traffic-safety initiative aimed to not only reduce traffic deaths by 15 percent, but to also improve officer safety on U.S.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE DEBUT “MOVE OVER” VIDEO AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

MARTINSVILLE, Va.  – The Virginia State Police debuted Tuesday (Oct. 24) a new safety video highlighting the “Move Over” law, which will be featured this weekend during the First Data 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Martinsville Speedway.

“With the dramatic increase in overall traffic deaths (12%) this year in Virginia, it’s important to remember we all have a role in safety on the roads,” said Captain Richard Denney, Salem Division Commander. “Buckling up, putting down the cell phone and never driving while intoxicated should already be part of every driver’s safety routine, and we hope moving over for emergency vehicles will become second nature as well.”

Each day, first responders and highway safety workers across the Commonwealth take on the dangerous task of patrolling and maintaining our highways. Over the past decade (2007-2016), 127 law enforcement officers nationwide have been struck and killed by a vehicle while working along the roadside.*

“Our highway crews put their lives on the line in work zones every day while working to improve travel for motorists in Virginia,” said Lisa Hughes, VDOT Residency Engineer, Martinsville. “They often have only a 12-pound cone separating them from traffic, so motorists who move over when approaching a work zone greatly impacts their safety on the job and their ability to go home to their families at the end of the day.”

Virginia’s “Move Over” law was enacted in 2002 in an effort to protect the men and women committed to safeguarding our highways. It requires drivers to change lanes or, when not able to safely do so, cautiously pass a stopped emergency vehicle, highway work truck or tow truck with flashing red, blue or amber lights.

Filmed in partnership with the Virginia State Police Association, Virginia Department of Transportation, Nationwide Insurance and the Ohio State Highway Patrol, this new video is the centerpiece of a renewed emphasis to heighten awareness of Virginia’s #MoveOver campaign by State Police.

*National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE PARTICIPATE IN EAST COAST DRIVE 2 SAVE LIVES TRAFFIC SAFETY INITIATIVE

15 State Law Enforcement Agencies Focusing on Interstate 95 Safety

RICHMOND – Virginia will be among 15 states to participate in a two-day “Drive to Save Lives” traffic safety initiative that coincides with National Teen Driver Safety Week. On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, 2017, Virginia State Police will be dedicating additional patrol resources to Interstate 95 traffic enforcement. Motorists can expect to see an increased presence of troopers along Virginia’s entire 179 miles of I-95, from the border of North Carolina to Maryland.

“With traffic deaths in Virginia having dramatically spiked this year in comparison to 2016, this multi-state operation could not come at a more critical time,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Traditionally there is always an increase in the number of traffic crashes on Virginia’s highways during the last three months of the year, so it is even more imperative for every Virginian to ‘Drive to Save Lives’ no matter the distance of one’s travels.”

As of Oct. 19, 2017, there have been 638 reported traffic deaths on Virginia highways. On the same date in 2016, there were 568 reported traffic fatalities, which means 70 more persons have lost their lives in traffic crashes this year than last on Virginia’s roads.

Tragically, 22 of those 2017 traffic deaths in the Commonwealth have been teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age.* With this initiative being held during National Teen Driver Safety Week, it’s important to highlight the fact that half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before they graduate from high school. Also, according to the National Organization for Youth Safety:

  • 66% of teen passengers who die in a crash are NOT wearing a seatbelt
  • 58% of teens involved in crashes are distracted
  • 25% of car crashes involved an underage drinking driver

“Parents and guardians set the example for their children,” said Flaherty. “If the adults buckle up, comply with speed limits and eliminate distractions while driving, then they pass along smart, safe and responsible driving practices for their children and young drivers to emulate.  Let’s prevent crashes and prevent injuries and fatalities by simply driving to save lives.”

Also participating in the East Coast I-95 traffic enforcement operation are State Police and Highway Patrol agencies from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

With increased patrols, State Police also remind drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE GRADUATES 126TH GENERATION OF NEW TROOPERS

RICHMOND – Today, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, the Commonwealth graduates its 126th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 30 new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.

The new troopers have received more than 1,600 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management. The members of the 126th Basic Session began their 29 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy March 23, 2017.

Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia beginning Oct. 10, 2017, for their final phase of training. Each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.

126th BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

New Trooper

Hometown

Assignment

Garrett Wayne Albright

Prince George

Prince George

Zachary Thomas Beaver

Victoria

Accomack

Dennis Robert Bicking, Jr.

Springfield

Arlington

Mark Allen Blankenship

Evington

Northampton

Jay Matthew Boone

Bluefield

Northampton

Lisa Anne Brooks

Lynchburg

Dinwiddie

Billy Kendall Brown

Clintwood

Prince George

Edward Aloysius Burns, III

St. Augustine, Florida

Arlington

Harold Lee Campbell

Nathaniel Cole Chester

Staunton

Jonesville

Rockingham

Greensville

Justin Curtis Clack

Lewiston, Idaho

Arlington

Nathaniel Andrew Dayes

Vinton

Arlington

Joshua Wayne Fowler

Lafayette, New Jersey

Frederick

Matthew John Fox

Roxbury, New Jersey

York

Devin Ryan Goode

Fluvanna

Hanover/Henrico

Christopher William Greene

Stanley

Warren

Mikel Nasef Hana

Richmond

Henrico

Dustin Lee Hayden-Gross

Marion

Dickenson

David Brent Jackson

Gloucester

New Kent

Jose Arturo Macedo

Clifton, New Jersey

Hanover/Henrico

Charles Gerard McKenna, II

Northport, New York

Henrico

Donald Thomas Murphy

Virginia Beach

Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Charles William Patton, Jr.

Dillwyn

Nottoway

Devon Taylor Saul

Gates, North Carolina

Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Jordon Ryan Sluss

Honaker

Tazewell

Alfred Daniel Smith, III

Smithfield

Sussex

John Gregory Sullivan

Stafford

Caroline

Edward Aaron Taylor

Brooklyn, New York

Chesterfield

Isaac Najee Thomas

Roselle, New Jersey

Arlington

Steven Andrew Thompson

Roanoke

Arlington

Virginia State Police welcomes its 127th Basic Session on Oct. 25, 2017. State Police is still accepting applications for its Accelerated Lateral Entry Program (ALEP) which begins in April 2018, as well as for those new to a law enforcement career. Information on both the ALEP and the standard Virginia State Police Trooper-Trainee Academy is available at www.virginiatrooper.org

LABOR DAY HOLIDAY TRAFFIC DEATHS AT RECORD LOW

With all Schools in Session, Virginians Reminded to #Drive2SaveLives

RICHMOND – Virginia witnessed an unprecedented drop in traffic deaths over the 2017 Labor Day weekend with three reported traffic deaths during the four-day holiday statistical counting period. The three fatal crashes occurred in the City of Suffolk and the counties of Appomattox and Frederick. The traffic crashes in Appomattox County and Suffolk each claimed the life of a motorcyclist. During the 2016 Labor Day weekend, there were eight traffic deaths and 16 fatal crashes during the 2015 holiday.

“Despite the encouraging and significant decline in traffic deaths during this past holiday weekend, Virginia is still averaging 50 more traffic deaths this year when compared to 2016,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The Labor Day weekend clearly demonstrates that we can prevent traffic deaths on our highways, so let’s use this as the momentum we need to continue driving down fatal traffic crashes for the remainder of 2017.”

During the holiday weekend, state police participated in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) program. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Through the state police’s stepped up presence on Virginia’s highways over Labor Day, troopers stopped and cited 7,381 speeders and another 2,092 reckless drivers. State police also cited 576 safety belt violations and 181 child safety seat violations. In addition, Virginia troopers assisted 3,205 disabled or stranded motorists, and investigated a total 747 traffic crashes.

State police has also joined nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies across Virginia to launch the 2017 Checkpoint Strikeforcecampaign, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). During the Labor Day weekend, state police arrested 97 drivers for DUI statewide. The Checkpoint Strikeforce traffic safety initiative and educational outreach continue through the end of the year.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

“We are also reminding all drivers of the importance of responsibly sharing the road with Virginia’s students and school buses, now that all schools across the Commonwealth are in session,” said Col. Flaherty. “For student drivers, whether high school or college, be sure to always buckle up, comply with posted speed limits and never drive distracted. Those students walking to and from school are urged to use sidewalks when available, walk towards traffic and increase your visibility by wearing bright colors, when possible.”

For more information on the latest youth driving tips and campaigns going on in local middle and high schools across the Commonwealth, please click on the Youth of Virginia Speak Out (YOVASO) Website at http://www.yovaso.org.  

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