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2019-9-5

HEAT Program Honors Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies and Officers

Awards Recognize Efforts in Auto-Theft Reduction

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia State Police (VSP) Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program presented awards to three Virginia police departments and nine police officers to recognize their efforts in reducing vehicle theft and theft of vehicle parts in the commonwealth. The awards ceremony took place on August 26 during the annual conference of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and Foundation held in Norfolk.

The Henrico County Police Division was the winner in the agency category serving more than 100,000 citizens. The Roanoke City Police Department took the top prize in the agency category serving serving a population from 20,001 to 100,000, while the Salem Police Department was recognized in the same category as an agency finalist.

Officer Melissa Foster with the Roanoke City Police Department and Officer Shane Richardson with the Henrico County Police Division took the top honors in the individual category. Detective Mark Adkins with the Salem Police Department and Detective Christopher Gordon with the Henrico County Police Division were named individual awards finalists.

Certificates of merit were presented to Officers Aubrey Hughes, William Jenkins Jr. and Shawn Maxwell Jr. with the Henrico County Police Division. Also receiving certificates of merit were Detective Thomas Nash, Roanoke City Police Department and Officer Thomas Newman, Salem Police Department.

“We are grateful to law enforcement agencies and officers from throughout Virginia who join with the Virginia State Police in fighting vehicle theft,” said First Sgt. Thomas Molnar, HEAT Program Coordinator. “These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize outstanding efforts.”

The HEAT Awards program is an annual competition open to all Virginia law enforcement entities and employees who work in auto theft enforcement and prevention. Nominees must demonstrate excellence in at least two of the following four categories: enforcement, intelligence gathering, prevention and recovery.

“Virginia citizens also have an important role to play in preventing auto theft,” said First Sgt. Molnar. “By following a few common-sense tips, they can protect their vehicles.” The HEAT program recommends the following:

  • Take your keys and lock your doors every time you leave your vehicle.
  • Never leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicle. Place them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when out and about.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Invest in an audible or visible deterrent.
  • Install GPS or other tracking devices.
  • Learn more about the HEAT program at HEATreward.com.

The Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program was established in 1992 to educate citizens and law enforcement about the theft of vehicles and vehicle parts. For more information, visit HEATreward.com. Visit Virginia State Police online at www.vsp.virginia.gov.

So, You Are Planning to Sell Your Timber!

If you are planning to sell timber, there are two important factors to consider. First, timber is a commodity, and demand and prices fluctuate widely. Second, if you are planning to sell your timber without employing a good consulting forester, you could be committing a cardinal sin.

“Selling your timber without consulting a forester is like selling your house without the aid of a Realtor,” said Dr. Jerry L. Bettis Sr., forestry specialist with the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) at Virginia State University (VSU). “You should never sell your timber without professional assistance.”

The Small Farm Outreach Program at VSU will hold three workshops on selling timber. The workshops will be held at the following locations: 

  • Date: Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Location: VCE, Appomattox County Office, 177 Morton Lane, Appomattox, VA 24522
  • Date: Oct. 9, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Location: VSU, Randolph Farm Pavilion, 4415 River Road, Petersburg, VA 23803
  • Date: Nov. 6, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Location:  VCE, Emporia/Greenville Office, 105 Oak Street, Emporia, VA 23847

These workshops are free and open to the public. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration is open for the September event. Registration for the October and November events will open later this fall. To register, visit http://www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link.

At the workshops, Bettis will discuss important considerations and tips for selling timber, including how to find and select a professional, consulting forester. Foresters can advise on issues, such as timber appraisal, harvest planning, timber sale coordination, and boundary marking.

There is no daily market price report or government price support for timber. Therefore, sellers need to be active daily in the local timber market to understand timber prices. They also need specialized training to understand how to measure timber volumes.  

Research has shown that selling timber with the aid of a good consulting forester earns 23 percent more per acre, 64 percent more per board foot, and 120 percent more on projected future income. With these kinds of returns, you can easily recuperate the costs of employing a consulting forester, which typically ranges between 8 to 12 percent of gross sales.

Bettis says to ask your woodland owning neighbors to recommend a consulting forester or you can also find a list of consulting foresters in your area by accessingwww.dof.virginia.gov or calling (434) 977-6555. If you are planning to sell timber, it is strongly recommended that you get professional assistance, ask plenty of questions, and do not forget to regenerate your cutover land, he added.

If you have forestry questions, contact Bettis at jbettis@vsu.edu or (804) 524-6967.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Small Farm Outreach Program office (smallfarm@vsu.edu) or call (804) 524-3292 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

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