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.

Mujer

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ADDS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM TO VIRGINIA ALERT RESOURCES

@VSPalerts Added to Communications Platforms

RICHMOND – Since the Virginia General Assembly established Virginia’s first missing person alert program in 2003 with the Virginia A.M.B.E.R. (for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert, the Virginia State Police has taken advantage of the ever-evolving landscape of communications technology to reach broader audiences as quickly and effectively as possible. This year the Virginia State Police added @VSPalerts on Twitter to its existing notification platforms.

“Just as the types of alerts have expanded over the years, so too have our means of notifying the public,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Every second counts when it comes to safely locating an abducted child or endangered adult or a missing child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Thus, it is imperative that an alert’s key details be disseminated across as many diverse communications channels as quickly as possible.”

Over the years, the Virginia General Assembly has established five missing persons alerts: Virginia AMBER Alert (2003); Virginia Senior Alert (2007); Virginia Blue Alert (2011); Virginia Critically Missing Adult “Ashanti” Alert (2018); and the Virginia Missing Child with Autism Alert (2020). State code designates the Virginia State Police as the operator of each alert for the purpose of identifying that each alert’s criteria is met and an activation is justified.

An AMBER Alert triggers activation of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), @VSPalerts and the Virginia State Police Twitter and Facebook pages, changeable message boards and a series of other communications/notification systems. For those instances where not all AMBER Alert criteria can be satisfied, the state police will initiate an Endangered Child Alert. This alert still enables the Department to bring the necessary attention to the missing and endangered child’s situation across traditional and social media platforms.

Since each program’s inception, Virginia has activated a total 62 AMBER Alerts, 181 Senior Alerts, 33 Endangered Child Alerts, 10 Endangered Adult/Ashanti Alerts and one Blue Alert.

Additional background information on each alert program is available at https://www.vaamberalert.com/VSPalerts-background.htm.

May is Motorcycle Safety Month

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and Virginia State Police is once again offering its “Ride 2 Save Lives” motorcycle self-assessment courses across the Commonwealth in the coming weeks.

The free motorcycle self-assessment courses allow current riders the opportunity to learn and practice rider safety, how to handle hazards, special situations, interstate highways, curve negotiation and much more. The courses are conducted by Virginia State Police Motors Troopers in a safe environment.

May 22 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown- Waters Edge Church

June 26 – 8:30 a.m. - Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

July 24 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church

August 21 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

September 25 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church

October 23 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

 A comprehensive listing of Ride 2 Save Lives courses can be found by visiting virginiastatepolice.eventbrite.com. Space is limited and advanced registration for these free courses is required.

 

Correction: VSP Seeking Tips to Locate Convicted Sex Offender of Lunenburg County

Virginia State Police is asking for the public’s help in locating a convicted sex offender who has failed to re-register, as required by state law. 

Michael Paul Trim, 44, is registered at a home in Victoria, Va., but absconded at some point and has not registered a new address. He last registered with state police in January 2021. He is believed to now be in the Hampton Roads area.

Trim is 5’9” in height and weighs approximately 155 pounds. He has blue eyes and brown hair.

Anyone with information about Trims's whereabouts is encouraged to contact state police by using the “Tips” link located under the offender’s picture on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry search page located here.

PHOTO ATTACHED: The attached photo is the property of the Virginia State Police, which grants permission for its publication/broadcast.

VIRGINIA AMONG 15 EAST COAST STATES PARTICIPATING IN ANNUAL “I-95 DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES”

RICHMOND – Virginia will be among 15 states, from Maine to Florida, participating in a two-day “Drive to Save Lives” traffic safety initiative along Interstate 95. On Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, 2021, Virginia State Police will be dedicating additional patrol resources to Interstate 95 traffic safety enforcement. Motorists can expect to see an increased presence of troopers along Virginia’s entire 178 miles of I-95, from the border of North Carolina to Maryland. This year the initiative coincides with Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

“With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Virginia’s new hands-free law, this enhanced enforcement initiative along the East Coast couldn’t come at a better time,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. “This time of year people are on the road for Spring Break, vacations and outdoor adventuring. Keeping your eyes on the road, buckling up, complying with posted speed limits and never driving intoxicated, will help ensure your spring travels are safe, especially along the I-95 corridor.”

 In 2020, Virginia recorded 37 traffic crash fatalities on I-95, six of which involved distracted driving. Additionally, five of those crashes involved drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In all, 625 people lost their lives in crashes along the entire 1,920 miles of I-95 last year.

In addition to complying with traffic laws, drivers are reminded that as of January 1, 2021, it is illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving a moving motor vehicle on Virginia highways. For more information on the new law, visit www.phonedown.org.

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 Safely Recover Abducted 6 Year Old After Short Pursuit

Greenville County, VA: Late yesterday evening (March 29) at approximately 10:30 p.m., the Virginia State Police Communications Center broadcasted a transmission to all its members concerning a 2017 Honda Civic Coupe that was possibly involved in an earlier abduction in Greensville County.  

During the broadcast it was learned that the adjoining police department, Prince George County, had attempted to pull the vehicle over and a pursuit entailed. The driver, 36 year old Crystal M. Maryland, had an active warrant, and the 6 year old female was believed to be inside the vehicle. The pursuit was terminated shortly after by that agency. 

Troopers in the area began to search the surrounding counties for the vehicle that had fled from prior law enforcement officers. At approximately 10:43 p.m., a trooper located the vehicle on Route 35 at the Sussex County/Southampton County line and a traffic stop was initiated. Maryland refused to stop and fled in the eastbound direction of Route 35 at a high rate of speed. In an effort to stop the Honda, the trooper's vehicle was struck by Maryland. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to run through the median, across the westbound lanes and into an embankment. Crystal Michelle Maryland was then taken into custody without incident. 

The 6 year old victim was inside the vehicle and escaped unharmed. The female victim was evaluated by medical personnel at the scene and the child's mother and family members were identified. She was released into their custody. 

The trooper escaped unharmed, while Maryland was transported to Southampton Memorial Hospital for a medical evaluation. Once cleared of her injuries, she was transported to Southampton Regional Jail for processing where she was served with the pending felony warrant for abduction.  Maryland was also charged by state police with the following; felony eluding, reckless driving, felony child endangerment, and failure to secure a child in an approved child restraint device.  Crystal Michelle Maryland received no bond.

Virginia State Police Conduct A Fatal Accident Investigation For Sheriff's Department

GREENSVILLE COUNTY, VA: In the early morning hours of March 28, the Virginia State Police was called upon to investigate a vehicle fatality that resulted from a police pursuit by Greensville County Sheriff's Department. 
 
At approximately 3:19 a.m., the Greensville Sheriff's Department received a disturbance call at the Quality Motel on Route 301. The complainant stated there was a white Ford Crown Victoria playing loud music in the motel parking lot. A deputy was dispatched to the scene and upon arrival observed a white Ford Crown Victoria exit the parking lot at a high rate of speed. A traffic stop was attempted, but the driver refused to stop for the deputy, traveling down Liberty Road at 60 mph. Although it was not raining, the roadway was wet with standing water. The driver of the Ford, 25 year old Daiquan T. Wright, drove over standing water, lost control of the vehicle, and ran off the roadway. Once off the roadway the vehicle struck a mailbox, fire hydrant, a fence and ultimately a tree, where the vehicle came to rest in an upright position. Wright was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the incident and died at the scene from injuries sustained. 
 
The Greensville County Sheriff's Department contacted the Virginia State Police to investigate the incident. The Virginia State Police Reconstruction Team was called to the scene to assist in the investigation. At this time it is unknown if alcohol played a contributing factor.
 
Notification to family members has been made for 25 year old Daiquan Tarez Wright of the hundred block of Liberty Road, Emporia, Virginia.
 
The Virginia State Police will be handling the fatal investigation only. Any questions concerning the pursuit and the policies and procedures of Greenville Sheriff's Department must be addressed by that agency.

Interstate 95 Lanes Shut Down Due to Accident Investigations

SUSSEX, VA: On today's date (March 23), the Virginia State Police was called upon to investigate two major accidents on Interstate 95, which caused the roadway/lane to be closed for several hours. 

At approximately 3:11 a.m., the driver of a 2013 Volvo tractor trailer, Darrell Phillips, was traveling southbound Interstate 95,when he ran off the roadway, struck the guardrail, entered the median and overturned in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95, at the 31 mile marker. The driver was entrapped in the vehicle but escaped uninjured. Phillips, 53 YOA, of Delaware, was charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain proper control of vehicle. 

    

Shortly after the accident in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95, a single vehicle accident occured in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 28 mile marker. The driver of a 2005 Nissan Titan, Christopher Smidt, was pulling an enclosed trailer carrying two Harley Davidson motorcycles, when he ran off the roadway and into the Nottoway River. Smidt and his passenger were able to exit the vehicle prior to it being submerged completely into the river. Both occupants were uninjured from the crash.  The Virginia State Police Search and Recovery Team were called to assist in recovering the vehicles from the water.

Smidt is from New Jersey and the investigation is on-going.

Photos provided are  property of the Virginia State Police which grants permission for its usage and publication.

DON’T RELY ON THE “LUCK OF THE IRISH.” DESIGNATE A SOBER DRIVER THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY

RICHMOND – A popular holiday and unofficial start of spring, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America date back to this country’s founding and celebrate the roots of millions with Irish ancestry. Unfortunately, these celebrations have resulted in St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, becoming one of the year’s most dangerous times to be on the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day weekend alone (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), more than three out of five (63%) traffic crash-related fatalities involved a drunk driver. In fact, from 2015 to 2019, a total of 280 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day period nationwide.

“As COVID-19 cases start to drop and more people get vaccinated, Virginians are venturing towards a more normal life and are eager to find a reason to celebrate,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Don’t let your first celebration be your last. And, just like practicing COVID-19 safety is about the entire community, so is not drinking and driving. Getting behind the wheel when intoxicated is a choice - a choice with deadly consequences for you, your passengers and every other motorist sharing the road with you.”

Safety isn’t about luck. If you’re going to party, party with a plan:

  • Ensure you have a designated sober driver, a plan to use public transportation or a ride share service BEFORE any drinking begins.
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Be honest with yourself and know that even if you only plan on having one drink, you should plan on having a designated driver.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, pull over safely and dial #77 on a cell phone or call 911.
  • If you know someone who has been drinking and is about to drive, take the keys and make arrangements to get them home safely.

To further prevent traffic deaths and injuries during St. Patrick’s Day, as well as during the traditional Spring Break season, the Virginia State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. The state-sponsored, national program, incorporates a nine-day statistical counting period that begins at 12:01 a.m., March 13, 2021, and concludes at midnight on March 21, 2021.

All Virginians are reminded to keep safety first anytime you are behind the wheel. Always buckle up, avoid distractions, put your phone down, share the road and don’t drink and drive.

Single vehicle Accident Claims Life in Greensville County

GREENSVILLE COUNTY, VA.:  Earlier this morning (March 12) at approximately 6:20 a.m., the Virginia State Police was called to investigate a single vehicle accident that occurred on Interstate 95/southbound at the 6.5 mile marker (north of Rockbridge Road). 

Upon arrival, the driver, Daniel L. Ware, was entrapped inside the vehicle and critically injured. Med-Flight was initiated to transport him to a VCU medical facility. During the flight, Ware's condition deteriorated and was diverted to Southside regional Medical center in Petersburg where he succumbed to his injuries.

Preliminary investigations reveal that Ware, operating a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a tree.  Ware was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Speed nor alcohol were contributing factors. 

Notification for Daniel L. Ware, 32 YOA, of Sicklerville, New Jersey, has been made.

Winter Storm Warnings = Winter Weather Driving Advisories & Tips

With winter storm watches and warnings starting today Thursday (Feb. 11) and lasting through late Friday (Feb. 12) for much of Virginia, the Virginia State Police is encouraging Virginians to plan ahead so you can avoid having to travel during inclement conditions. The National Weather Service is calling for accumulations of snow, as well as combinations of rain and sleet in the coming hours. VDOT is working to pre-treat the highways, but slippery and dangerous conditions are still anticipated.

The Virginia State Police is already preparing for the winter weather and will have all available troopers on patrol in order to respond as quickly as possible to traffic crashes, emergencies and disabled motorists.

If you must travel during the storm:

  • Know Before You Go! Before heading out, check Virginia road conditions at www.511virginia.org or download the VDOT 511 app.
  • Clear ALL snow and ice from the roof, trunk, hood and windows of your vehicle - car, SUV, minivan, pickup truck, commercial vehicle - before you travel.
  • Use your headlights - in rain AND snow.
  • Drive for conditions - slow your speed and increase your traveling distance between the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Buckle Up.
  • Avoid distractions - put down the phone.
  • Do not call 911 or #77 for road conditions.

Virginia State Police Trooper Honored by MADD Chapters

(Left) First Sergeant Ben E. Jeffrey Jones presents (right) Trooper T.S. Session her awards at the Area 35 Office in Emporia.

Virginia State Police Area 35 Commander, First Sergeant Ben E. Jeffrey Jones, is proud to recognize Trooper T.S. Session for her hard work and dedication to safeguard the roads within Area 35 from the deadly dangers of impaired drivers. Both the Virginia Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Southside Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) honored her for her exceptional efforts in relation to DUI and DUID arrests in 2020.

Trooper Session is a 2018 graduate of the Virginia State Police Academy and transferred to Area 35 in February 2019. Area 35 encompasses the city of Emporia and the counties of Brunswick and Greensville.

The attached photo is the property of the Virginia State Police, which grants permission for its publication/broadcast.

DON’T RACE THROUGH THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Celebrate Responsibly to Ring in the New Year  

RICHMOND – Everyone wants to say goodbye to 2020, but racing to get there may increase your chances of not reaching the finish line. Throughout 2020, Virginia has seen a spike in fatal speed-related crashes according to data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office. Year-to-date there have been more speed-related traffic deaths than in all of 2019. This year has been one of challenges and this holiday season will be like none in recent memory, but speeding, driving under the influence and not buckling up is no way to finish out 2020.

“Not only have speed-related traffic deaths increased this year, so have alcohol-related traffic deaths. Virginia is on pace to have more total fatal traffic crashes in 2020 than in 2019,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police. “And all of this while overall traffic crashes in Virginia this year are down significantly. This means each crash has been deadlier – deadlier because of speed, alcohol, distractions and individuals not wearing seatbelts.”

Virginia State Police is urging every motorist on the road this holiday season to be responsible, obey the traffic laws, ditch distractions and wear a seatbelt. Whether heading to the grocery store, the post office or delivering gifts to family and friends, choose to do it safely and do it responsibly.

Every year during the holidays, there is an increase in drunk-driving related fatalities and crashes across the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in December 2018, there were 839 lives lost in drunk-driving crashes nationwide. Of the 839 deaths, 285 occurred during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period.

“Remember, drinking and driving is never an option,” says Settle.

Drivers and passengers have many alternatives to arrive home safely. If you plan to attend a party or celebrate with a small group of friends during the holidays, please remember:

  • Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a friend, call family, call a cab or use public transportation.
  • If you know someone has been drinking. Do not let them drive. Arrange another safe way home.
  • If you believe you see an impaired driver on the road, call police. Remain alert and don’t hesitate to dial #77 to notify your nearest Virginia State Police Emergency Communications Center. Your actions could save someone’s life.

In addition to complying with traffic laws, drivers are reminded that effective January 1, 2021, it will be illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving a moving motor vehicle on Virginia highways.

Get into the habit of putting down your cell phone now, before the state-wide law goes into effect. For more information on the new law, visit phonedown.org.

Virginia State Police Investigating Mptorcycle Accident that Claimed the Life of Emporia Resident

Virginia State Police are investigating a single vehicle motorcycle accident that results in the death of the driver. 
 
On December 12, 2020 at approximately 2:41 p.m., the state police responded to a single vehicle with injuries on Route 611 (Dry Bread Road) west of Route 673 (Reavis Gin Road).
 
The driver of a  2000 Harley Davidson motorcycle, Jerry Wayne Hubbard, of the 400 block of Cleveland Avenue, Emporia, Virginia, lost control of the motorcycle, ran off the road and into a ditch, ejecting Hubbard. Hubbard was taken to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center where he later died from the injuries sustained from the accident. 
 
Speed nor alcohol were contributing factors in the accident.

Virginia State Police Investigate Fatal Accident In Greensville County

On December 11, 2020 at approximately 1:36 p.m., the Virginia State Police was called upon to investigate a single vehicle accident that resulted in a fatality. 

The accident occurred at the 7500 block of Dry Bread Road, 25 miles west of Doyles Lake Road. 

The driver of a 1989 Mercury Cougar, 30 year old Barbara Harris Rose, was traveling eastbound on Dry Bread Road when she lost control of the vehicle, ran off the roadway, and over corrected. Upon overcorrecting the vehicle, the vehicle began to flip several times before coming to rest in a field off the roadway. 

Harris was not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle, dying at the scene from injuries sustained. Harris had two children in the vehicle, a 6 year old that was med-flighted to MCV Richmond with life threatening injuries, and a 4 year old that was transported to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center with serious injuries but non-life threatening. 

Speed was a contributing factor. At this time it is unknown if alcohol was a  contributing factor.

Notification was made to family members.

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY WEEKEND CRASHES CLAIM 10 LIVES

Excessive speed continues to claim lives in the Commonwealth

RICHMOND – Over the Thanksgiving statistical counting period, preliminary data shows that speed played a factor in at least four fatal traffic crashes. Those four crashes led to the deaths of six people, including a teenager and 6-year-old boy. In addition, the teenager and young boy were not wearing appropriate safety restraints.

“Speed and lack of personal safety restraints continue to cost Virginians their lives,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “As we continue through the holiday season, I am pleading with Virginians of all ages to respect and comply with all traffic safety laws. Virginia State Police and your loved ones want you to arrive at your destination safely.”

In total, during the five-day period which began at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 25, 2020 and concluded at midnight Nov. 29, 2020, 10 people lost their lives in eight traffic crashes in Virginia. The fatal crashes occurred in the cities of Lynchburg, Newport News and Richmond and the counties of Frederick, Pittsylvania, Rockingham and Shenandoah. Of those crashes, one was alcohol related, four were speed related and one involved a pedestrian.

This is an increase from 2019 when there were eight traffic fatalities during the five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period. There were 12 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2018. *

In an effort to prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police participated in Operation C.A.R.E. - Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. Operation CARE is an annual, state-sponsored, national program during which state police increases its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period.

The 2020 Thanksgiving Holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 4,930 speeders and 1,706 reckless drivers statewide. Virginia troopers charged 67 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and cited 498 drivers for failing to buckle up themselves and/or juvenile passengers.

State police responded to 733 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth, with 117 of those resulting in injuries. State police also assisted 1,609 disabled/stranded motorists during the Thanksgiving weekend.

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.

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

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGING MOTORISTS TO SLOW DOWN AND PUT SAFETY FIRST THIS THANKSGIVING

RICHMOND – For many Virginians, Thanksgiving is going to look different than in previous years, with social distancing and outdoor meals. But, the rules of the road have not changed - slow down, wear a seatbelt and don’t drive distracted. Whether traveling to the grocery store or to grandma’s house, the same rings true, put your safety and the safety of others first.

“With lighter traffic on the roads, there may be a temptation to speed and a false sense of security that leads to drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “This year overall, state police have seen fewer crashes on Virginia highways but those crashes have been more deadly. Making sure you are driving the posted speed limit, driving for conditions and wearing your seatbelt are the best ways to stay safe on the road. Whatever your holiday celebrations look like this year, Virginia State Police want to make sure you arrive at your destination safely.”

To further prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police will once again be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. - Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. As part of the state-sponsored, national program, state police will be increasing its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts during the five-day statistical counting period that begins at 12:01 a.m., Nov. 25, 2020 and concludes at midnight on Nov. 29, 2020.

The 2019 Thanksgiving holiday C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 490 individuals who failed to buckle up on Virginia’s highways. State police also cited 5,221 speeders and 1,798 reckless drivers. A total of 83 drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

There were eight traffic fatalities during the 2019 five-day Thanksgiving statistical counting period and 12 traffic fatalities during the same period in 2018.

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.

55 PRIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT GRADUATE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ACADEMY

The 55 members of the Virginia State Police 133rd Basic Session were presented their diplomas Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 at 10 a.m. in a special, physically-distanced, outdoor graduation ceremony at the state police Academy. In accordance with Governor Ralph Northam’s latest directives related to COVID-19, no family, friends or media will be in attendance. The class will be divided into three separately-spaced groups in the parking lot and will be streamed live via the Virginia State Police Facebook page.

“To the very day of their graduation, the dedicated men and women of this Basic Session academy class have demonstrated their ability to adapt, overcome and succeed,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Fortunately, we were able to livestream the occasion for families and friends to witness this significant milestone for their loved ones. Not only was this a unique setting for the ceremony, but this is also only the second time in the Department’s 88 year history an Accelerated Lateral Entry Program has been held.”

The Accelerated Lateral Entry Program only accepts pre-certified Virginia law enforcement officers with at least three years of active-duty experience at the local and/or state level. Each candidate for trooper must have been in good standing with their former law enforcement employer(s) and underwent an extensive background investigative and testing process. Collectively, the 133rd Basic Session accounts for 426 years of prior law enforcement experience.

The 133rd Basic Session trooper trainees received more than 300 hours of classroom and field instruction in nearly 50 different subjects, including defensive tactics, cultural diversity, bias-free and community relations, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival and crisis management. The members of the 133rd Basic Session began their eight weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy on Sept. 28, 2020. 

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.

State police is currently hiring for 2021 Basic Session Academy classes. Those interested in joining the ranks of the Virginia State Police are encouraged to visit www.vatrooper.com for more information.

133rd  BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

 

133rd Basic Graduate                                                                         Assignment               

Austin Kenrick Anders                                                                         Franklin County

Dylan Wade Billiter                                                                             Tazewell County

Jonathan William Bloom                                                                    Chesterfield County

Christopher Stuart Boblett                                                                  Franklin County

Bryce Alan Campbell                                                                          Henrico County/Richmond

Jesse Bethlynnie Campbell                                                                 Bath County

Jason Gregory Carico                                                                          Bland County

Jermell Lamonte Chatman                                                                  Arlington County

Dylan Storm Coleman                                                                         New Kent County

Rickie Lewis Compton, Jr.                                                                   Halifax County

Scott Thomas Craig                                                                            Rockingham County

Zachary Ryan Davis                                                                             Rockbridge County

Peter Lawrence Dayton                                                                      Lunenburg County

Matthew James DeMoss                                                                    Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Michael Anthony Dunford                                                                  Giles County

Tyler Steven Easter                                                                             Franklin County

Andrew Thomas Ehrhard                                                                    Shenandoah County

Jonathan Thomas Fitch                                                                       Rockbridge County

Michael Floyd Fury                                                                              Fluvanna County

Nicholas Ryan Graham                                                                       Hampton/Newport News

Jeffery Todd Hackney                                                                         Giles County

Corey Michael Hall                                                                             King George County

Joel Riley Hodges                                                                                Franklin County

Matthew Ryan Hoppes                                                                       Bedford County

Mario Jamar Hunter                                                                           Isle of Wight County

Kenneth Wayne Joyner                                                                       Campbell County

Christopher Scott Kesler                                                                     Orange County

Ryan Thomas King                                                                              Roanoke County

James Clifton Kirkland                                                                        Campbell County

Seth Walker Layton                                                                             Henrico County/Richmond

Adam Eugene Martin                                                                          Mecklenburg County

Paul David McMillan                                                                          Botetourt County

Tyler Clifton Miller                                                                              Augusta County

Justin Randall Myrick                                                                          Pittsylvania County

James Henry Newby                                                                            Pittsylvania County

Alison Amber Nowacki                                                                        Richmond County

Matthew Joel O’Dell                                                                           Franklin County

Meet Ravjibhai Parbadia                                                                    Prince William County

Charles Hugo Parsons, III                                                                    Rockbridge County

Ronnie McCoy Pearce, Jr.                                                                   Sussex County

Joseph Christian Rader                                                                       Augusta County

Michael Lee Rogers                                                                            Henrico County

Barry Alan Schell                                                                                 Highland County

Sean Christopher Scott                                                                       Chesterfield County

Eric Byron Smith                                                                                 Page County

Gary O’Neil Smith                                                                               Henrico County/Richmond

Paul Anthony Sprouse                                                                        Rockbridge County

Matthew Prescott Stafford, II                                                             Bedford County

Joseph Michael Utt                                                                             Franklin County

Daniel Colby Vaughan                                                                         Henrico County/Richmond

Michael Dale Wade, II                                                                         Franklin County

James Douglas Waller                                                                        Bath County

Dylan James Welsh                                                                             Botetourt County

Charles Hubert Wheeler                                                                     Caroline County

Alison Jean Willis                                                                                Rockingham County

 

 

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WELCOME EXECUTIVE TEAM MEMBER

RICHMOND – On Oct. 25, 2020, Virginia State Police Captain Richard K. Boyd officially joined the Department’s executive team as a Major and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). Major Boyd started his career with Virginia State Police in 2004 after graduating from the academy with the 106th Basic Session. Boyd is picking up this leadership position from Major Keith Keesee, who is retiring effective Jan. 1, 2021. Keesee has served as the BCI Deputy Director since his appointment on Feb. 10, 2018. Keesee served with Virginia State Police for 30 years.

Prior to this promotion, Boyd was commander of the BCI Richmond Field Office where he ensured that the latest investigative tactics, extensive jurisdictional partnerships, and comprehensive and consistent training came together to produce positive outcomes while combating crime. In addition, Boyd is a member of the Central Virginia Overdose Working Group, the Richmond Regional Human Tracking Collaborative and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia.

Boyd started his journey with Virginia State Police as a Trooper assigned to the Culpeper Division’s Area 5 Office in the Fredericksburg area. From there, he continued to serve the Culpeper Division as a Special Agent where he investigated middle and upper level drug distributors and organizations on the state and federal level. He was then promoted to Supervisory Special Agent coordinating the FBI Safe Streets Task Force where he led a multi-jurisdictional team of law enforcement agents. In 2014, Boyd continued to serve the Culpeper Division as First Sergeant in the General Investigation Section (GIS) and then in 2016 as Lieutenant. In 2017, he came to Headquarters in Richmond where he was Captain and Director of the Office of Internal Affairs.

Major Boyd has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Clemson University, a Master’s of Legal Studies Degree from American University and attended the 2017 FBI National Academy 270th Session.

Statewide Pumpkin Contest Aims to Keep Youth and Teens Safe on Halloween Night

SALEM, VA—Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) is joining with the Virginia State Police (VSP), Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office, and State Farm to encourage youth and teens to make good choices and celebrate responsibly as part of the statewide Halloween Safety Campaign and Pumpkin Carving Contest. The campaign’s focus is to prevent a tragedy on what is supposed to be a fun night for youth.

The peer-to-peer campaign traditionally involves activities planned through school and youth group programs across the Commonwealth, however, this year students will participate from their homes. YOVASO is taking the campaign virtual with the #ProtectYourPumpkin Pumpkin Carving Contest. The only requirement for participation is to include a safety message (i.e. Buckle Up, Slow Down, etc.) and “YOVASO” on the pumpkin, and tag @_yovaso_ on social media with #ProtectYourPumpkin. Those who do not have social media can submit their entry to YOVASO by completing a simple entry form.

All are welcome to participate, but only youth ages 11-20 are eligible for prizes. Pumpkin entries are due to YOVASO by October 31, 2020 at midnight. YOVASO will pick 10 pumpkins for public voting November 2-4, 2020. Voting will close at noon on the 4th. The five entries with the most votes will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Schools and youth groups that plan to participate in trunk-or-treats or other Halloween safety events may request activity books, safety banners, and posters with the message: Staying Safe is the Trick, Having Fun is the Treat. Buckle Up, Be Seen, and Make Good Choices.

Nationwide, between 2014 and 2018, there were 145 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1).* According to NHTSA, 41% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2014 to 2018 were in crashes involving a drunk driver.

“Halloween falls on a weekend this year and that typically means more celebrations and an increase in risk for drivers and young trick-or-treaters,” said Mary King, YOVASO program manager.  “Poor decisions behind the wheel, such as texting and driving, underage drinking and drug use, speeding, and forgetting to buckle up can ruin what is supposed to be a fun occasion. Help keep this Halloween safe for all by celebrating responsibly and using extra caution when driving in neighborhoods.”  

Here Are Some Suggested Safety Tips for Teens to Follow for a safe Halloween:

  • Avoid driving during “Halloween Rush Hour” from 5:30-9 p.m. when children are trick–or-treating.

  • Drive below the speed limit in residential neighborhoods and use alternate routes when possible.

  • Scan ahead for trick-or-treaters and yield to pedestrians.

  • Use caution around stopped vehicles in neighborhoods and proceed slowly.

  • Drive distraction-free.

  • Celebrate responsibly and resist any peer pressure to celebrate Halloween with alcohol and/or drugs or to drive while impaired—it’s illegal.

  • Do not ride with any drivers who may have used alcohol and/or drugs.

  • Be on the alert for drivers who could be under the influence of something other than sweets.

  • Remember to always buckle up.

Safety Tips for Youth to Follow for a Fun and Safe Halloween:

  • Avoid distractions and leave electronic devices at home while walking or biking

  • Wear reflective clothing

  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick

  • Walk on sidewalks when possible

  • Only trick-or-treat in well-lit neighborhoods

  • Older students should always travel in pairs or large groups and let parents know where you      are going

  • Younger students should always trick or treat with a parent or adult supervision

  • Never approach a stranger’s car

  • Make good decisions and avoid any mischief that could ruin a fun night

  • Stay alert and Be Seen on Halloween in case motorists are not be watching out for you

 For more information on the Pumpkin Carving Contest and safety tips, visit the YOVASO website.

 

YOVASO is Virginia’s peer‐to‐peer education and prevention program for teen driver and passenger safety. Through YOVASO, teens work to advocate for safer driving among their peers and to develop positive prevention strategies for their schools and communities. The program, which currently has 115 active member schools and youth groups across Virginia, is administered by the Virginia State Police and funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. YOVASO also receives support from State Farm.

Sussex Resident Killed in Head On-Collision

SUSSEX COUNTY, VA: On the evening of October 7, 2020, at approximately 5:39 p.m., the Virginia State Police responded to a two vehicle accident with life threatening injuries on Hunt Road, west of Little Mill Road. 

The driver of a 2009 Honda Fit, Elyssandra Nicole Reeves, was transported via med-flight to Chippenham Hospital where she later succumbed to the injuries sustained in the accident. 

Preliminary investigations reveal that Reeves was traveling in the center of the roadway, on Hunts Road, when she collided head on with a 1994 Kenworth dump truck. The driver of the dump truck was not injured. Reeves was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the accident. Alcohol nor speed seem to be contributing factors in the crash.

Notification has been made for the deceased; 21 year old Elyssandra Nicole Reeves, of the 1800 block of Walkers Mill Road, Sussex, Virginia.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE LAUNCHES NEW FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST WEBSITE

New System Aids Public/Attorneys/Media with Submission & Tracking of FOIA Requests

RICHMOND – Effective Oct. 1, 2020, the Virginia State Police launched a new website strictly designed to aid the public with submitting and tracking Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to the Department. Located at www.vsp.nextrequest.com, the public may now use the web-based public records portal to submit their FOIA requests. The records management system also is available to attorneys to upload subpoena duces tecums* and discovery requests. Media are encouraged to use the system to submit FOIA requests to the Virginia State Police, as well.

“Within the first nine months of 2020, our Office of Legal Affairs has received, processed and responded to more than 3,180 FOIA requests for Virginia State Police records,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Public record, subpoena and discovery requests have been steadily increasing in recent years. This new online records management system will not only be of great benefit to requesters, but also streamlines the FOIA process within our statewide agency and helps the Department to more efficiently process and respond to requests.”

The new website, hosted by NextRequest©, is a secure platform that enables a requester to complete a simple form to submit a FOIA request to the Virginia State Police. The new website features a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to help requesters with understanding their FOIA rights, how to submit a request, costs, contacts, list of FOIA exemptions as granted by the Code of Virginia, and a link to the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. The secure platform assists the state police Office of Legal Affairs with redaction, reporting and payment of FOIA requests.

The new online portal is not for use for those seeking to request a criminal history background check. Such requests are still to be submitted via the Virginia State Police website at www.vsp.virginia.gov/CJIS_Criminal_Record_Check.shtm.

NextRequest© supports the records request software, which is used by city, county and state governments, law enforcement agencies and universities across the nation.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGING MOTORISTS TO KEEP AN EYE ON SAFETY AS FATAL CRASHES CONTINUE TO RISE IN THE COMMONWEALTH

RICHMOND – With most Virginians refraining from traditional vacations this year, Virginia State Police is urging those who are using the Labor Day weekend as a last chance for a getaway to do so safely and responsibly. AAA has reported road trips to be the main mode of vacation travel this summer and with Labor Day traffic fatalities on the rise for the past three years, motorists need to stay alert, stay sober and wear their seatbelts.
 
“It’s really quite simple - seatbelts save lives, distractions are deadly on roadways and driving impaired is unacceptable,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “I understand that this year has been particularly stressful and Virginians are looking to get away. We want you and your family to reach your destination safely and throughout Virginia you can expect to see more state troopers conducting patrols to ensure that safety.”
 
Virginia State Police’s traffic safety and enforcement efforts are part of Operation CARE – the Crash Awareness Reduction Effort, 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. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program begins Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., and continues through midnight Monday, Sept. 7, 2020.
 
The 2019 Labor Day weekend saw a rise in fatal crashes across the Commonwealth. A total of 17 individuals died in traffic crashes in Virginia during the 2019 four-day, holiday statistical counting period, compared to 14 deaths in 2018 and 5 deaths in 2017. In addition, according to preliminary data, as of Sept. 2, there have been 532 fatalities on Virginia highways in 2020 as compared to 531 in 2019.
 
“In a year where there have been fewer cars on the roads, this trend is disturbing,” said Settle. “Virginians must realize that actions have consequences and when you’re unsafe on the road, people pay the price. These are strong words, but this is a serious subject. Every day State Troopers notify family members of a loved one’s death. It’s not a job we want to do and no one wants to get that knock at the door. Your safety habits can help reverse the trend and save a life.”
 
Drivers and passengers are encouraged to safeguard themselves by always buckling up. State police is also actively participating in the annual “Checkpoint Strikeforce,” an anti-DUI enforcement and education program sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). State police is one of nearly 100 law enforcement agencies conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols through Labor Day in an effort to prevent and deter impaired driving and DUI/DUID-related crashes. In addition, state police reminds all motorists to drive phone- and distraction-free.

Charges Filed and Arrest Made in July Fatal Accident

From the Original Virginia State Police press release:

On July 23, 2020 at approximately 11:33 PM, the Virginia State Police Communications Center was notified of a motor vehicle crash which had the left lane blocked, of southbound I-95 at the 6 mile marker in Greensville County.
 
Preliminary investigations reveal that Shaketa Denise Williams was traveling southbound in a 2013 Honda CRV when she was struck in the rearby a 2016 Dodge Ram. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to strike the guard rail and spin out of control, causing the Dodge Ram to lose control, overturning in the median. 
 
Ms. Williams suffered non-life threatening injuries, but two of the female passengers, ages 9 and 11 years old, died upon impact. A third 12 year old female was transported to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SRMC) with life threatening injuries and later flown to Virginia Commonwealth University where she later succumbed to her injuries on the 25th of July.
 
The driver of the Dodge Ram, Travis Benjamin Vigil, 49 YOA, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to SRMC. 
 
Alcohol was a contributing factor.
 
Upon completion of the investigation and review by the Commonwealth Attorney, arrest warrants(3) were placed on Travis Benjamin Vigil, 49 YOA, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for felony involuntary manslaughter.
 
On August 27, 2020, with the assistant of the United States Marshal Service, Vigil was arrested and taken into custody in Montana. He is currently being held without bond at the Broadwater County Sheriff's Office awaiting extradition back to Virginia.

Virginia Launches 19th Annual Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign to Curb Impaired Driving

Governor Northam highlights increased enforcement patrols, reminds Virginians to travel safely

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today kicked off the Commonwealth’s 19th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce enforcement and public education campaign to combat impaired driving and prevent alcohol-related injuries and fatalities on Virginia’s roads. Modified to address safety and health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the period of increased enforcement will take place from August 26 through Labor Day weekend, and resume periodically around key holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve.

“This has been a challenging year, and now more than ever, we are all focused on keeping our loved ones safe,” said Governor Northam. “I am asking Virginians to apply the same collective action and shared responsibility that we have harnessed to stop the spread of COVID-19 to reverse the trends of drunk driving. The work of Checkpoint Strikeforce is a critical part of our efforts to reduce the number of fatalities on Virginia’s roads, and the message is simple: if you are old enough to drink, act like it—never get behind the wheel after you have been drinking.”

Last year, nearly one-third (31.9 percent) of traffic fatalities in Virginia were due to alcohol-related crashes, and 18,648 people were convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the Commonwealth. During Labor Day weekend alone, Virginia State Police personnel arrested 76 drunk drivers, averaging a DUI arrest every 75 minutes. Checkpoint Strikeforce is a crucial joint effort between public and private partners that works to stop these fatalities through surround-sound persuasion campaigning and high-visibility enforcement that reminds Virginians to get a safe ride after drinking or face arrest.

The Virginia State Police will work through Labor Day weekend as part of Operation CARE, or Crash Awareness Reduction Effort. 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. Virginia State Police will participate in this program starting at midnight on Friday, September 4, 2020 through midnight on Monday, September 7, 2020.

“Last year, 264 Virginians died on our roadways in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes—but even one death is too many,” said President and CEO of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program Kurt Erickson. “This year, increased patrols will be complemented by an innovative ad campaign that reflects the changes to socializing in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reminds Virginians that drinking and driving is not only irresponsible, it can be deadly.”

Since the inception of Virginia’s Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign in 2002, alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth have been reduced by more than a quarter (26.2 percent) and the number of alcohol-impaired traffic injuries annually occurring on the Virginia’s roadways have been nearly cut in half (46.3 percent).

The 2020 Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign launch is supported by new research from Lake Research Partners, which last month conducted a survey of Virginia drivers that are most likely to drive after drinking: 21- to 35-year-old males. The research showed that more than half (57 percent) of men surveyed admitted to having driven after consuming a few drinks or being driven by someone who has had a few drinks, despite a strong majority (95 percent) indicating that they believe it is important to make a plan to get home safely. Of the men surveyed, 52 percent said that they have needed a safe ride after drinking more or the same amount this year in comparison to last year, showing the desire to socialize despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to heightened enforcement, Checkpoint Strikeforce is continuing its “Act Like It” advertising campaign. The 30-second ad is an updated version of the spot which debuted in 2018 and was built on public opinion research that shows the campaign’s primary audience strongly agrees (81 percent, with 94 percent agreeing overall) that “people who drink and drive are not acting like responsible adults.” This year’s campaign will also include Spanish-language ads online and on streaming radio. The latest ad can be viewed at ActLikeIt.org.

Video of today’s virtual Checkpoint Strikeforce launch event is available here.

Checkpoint Strikeforce is part of a research-based multi-state, zero tolerance initiative designed to get impaired drivers off the roads using checkpoints and patrols along with education about the dangers and consequences of driving while intoxicated. Virginia’s Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign is supported by a grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to the nonprofit and Falls Church-based Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP).

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT FOR REACCREDITATION ASSESSMENT

RICHMOND – The public will have an opportunity to offer comments regarding the Virginia State Police when a national accreditation team assesses the Department in August. The Virginia State Police is in the process of reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).

“Accreditation provides both the Department and the public with quality assurance that the Virginia State Police is in step with today’s policing standards and practices,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We welcome the CALEA assessment team and the public’s input concerning this process and our abilities to fulfill our mission to best serve and protect the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

When the Virginia State Police achieved its initial accreditation from CALEA in 1986, the Department was only the second state law enforcement agency in the nation to receive this prestigious recognition.  Since then, the Virginia State Police has successfully maintained an accredited status. The reaccreditation process takes place every four years.

The public is invited to share its comments with the CALEA site-based assessment team on Aug. 3, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through a public information session on the Virginia State Police official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VirginiaStatePolice.

If for some reason an individual cannot participate during the public information session, but would still like to provide comments to the assessment team, he/she may do so by telephone or written correspondence.  The assessment team will be available to take phone calls Aug. 3, 2020, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A toll-free telephone number has been established for those wishing to contact the team: 1-866-468-4903. Telephone comments during the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the Department’s ability to comply with CALEA standards.

Those wishing to offer written comments about the Department’s ability to meet reaccreditation standards are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155 or email calea@calea.org with a subject line of, “VSP Public Comment.”

The CALEA assessment team is comprised of the following law enforcement practitioners:  Mr. W. Dean Register, Director of the Criminal Justice Professionalism Division of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Mr. Geoffrey Ice, (retired) of the Connecticut State Police.

Through the review of written materials, and interviews, the assessors will examine the Department’s policy and procedures, administration, operations, and support services for compliance with CALEA standards. The assessment process ensures that the Department regularly reviews all aspects of its operations and is in compliance with law enforcement standards established by the Commission.

A copy of the CALEA standards can be viewed by the public at the State Police Administrative Headquarters at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.  For those with additional questions, please contact Ms. Vanessa Casale, Virginia State Police Accreditation Manager, at 804-674-2005.

CALEA was created in 1979 to develop a set of law enforcement standards and to establish and administer an accreditation process through which law enforcement agencies could demonstrate voluntarily that they meet professionally-recognized criteria for excellence in management and service delivery.

Virginia State Police investigate a fatal accident that claimed the lives of three Emporia children.

On July 23, 2020 at approximately 11:33 PM, the Virginia State Police Communications Center was notified of a motor vehicle crash which had the left lane blocked, of southbound I-95 at the 6 mile marker in Greensville County.

Preliminary investigations reveal that Shaketa Denise Williams was traveling southbound in a 2013 Honda CRV when she was struck in the rearby a 2016 Dodge Ram. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to strike the guard rail and spin out of control, causing the Dodge Ram to lose control, overturning in the median.

Ms. Williams suffered non-life threatening injuries, but two of the female passengers, ages 9 and 11 years old, died upon impact. A third 12 year old female was transported to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SRMC) with life threatening injuries and later flown to Virginia Commonwealth University where she later succumbed to her injuries on the 25th of July.

The driver of the Dodge Ram, Travis Benjamin Vigil, 49 YOA, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to SRMC. 

Alcohol was a contributing factor.

Currently all charges are pending review with the Commonwealth Attorney, the investigation is on-going.

Families of the deceased have been notified. Updated information of the investigation will be provided when it becomes available for release.

VSP Investigate Fatatal Single Vehicle Crash in Brunswick County

Virginia State Police investigate a single vehicle crash that results in a fatality. 
 
Tuesday evening, at approximately 8:04PM, the Virginia State Police was called to investigate a single vehicle accident on Route 58, east of Route 638, in Brunswick County.
 
Preliminary investigations reveal that the driver of a 2001 Chevrolet Geo, Larry Jones, was traveling in the eastbound lanes of Route 58 when the driver lost control, ran off the roadway, striking several trees and overturned, killing Jones.
 
Larry Jones, 71 YOA, of the 800 block of Glendale Mill Road, of Freeman, Virginia, was wearing his safety belt and it is unknown at this time if alcohol was a contributing factor.

VSP Investigate Single Vehicle Pursuit that Ended in Fatality in Brunswick County

Virginia State Police investigate a single fatal accident as a result of  vehicle pursuit.
 
Earlier this morning, July 20, at approximately 5:21 AM, the Virginia State Police Communications Center received a call from Brunswick County Sheriff's Office requesting a trooper and the Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team to investigate a single vehicle fatality crash that resulted from a traffic pursuit, initiated by the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.
 
Preliminary investigations reveal that a 2019 Porsche Cayenne was traveling at a high rate of speed in the northbound lanes of Interstate 85, when the driver lost control of the vehicle at the 37mm, Brunswick County. The male driver ran off the roadway, ejecting the unrestrained driver. The vehicle overturned into the tree line, killing the driver, and seriously injuring the passenger. The male passenger was wearing his safety belt and had to be airlifted to Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital with life threatening injuries. 
 
Identification and notification to family members is currently pending. The investigation remains on-going. 

The driver has been identified as 29 year old Brian Alexander Thompson II of the 1100 block of Piazza Place, Hampton , Virginia. Notification has been made to family members. 

The passenger, 35 year old Marcus L. Jones of Hamlett, North Carolina, remains at VCU.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGES MOTORISTS TO CELEBRATE SMART, SAFE & SOBER DURING JULY 4 HOLIDAY WEEKEND

RICHMOND – With Virginia having moved into Phase Three of Governor Northam’s COVID-19 guidelines, the Virginia State Police is encouraging everyone to plan ahead for their celebratory travel plans this coming holiday weekend.
 
“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 Colonel 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 having a safer holiday weekend.”
 
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways during the coming holiday weekend, Virginia State Police will increase patrols from 12:01 a.m. Friday (July 3, 2020) through midnight Sunday (July 5, 2020) as part of the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). Operation C.A.R.E. 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.
 
During last year’s three-day Independence Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 79 drunk drivers. In addition, state troopers cited 5,517 speeders and 1,774 reckless drivers, issued 742 individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. During the three-day July 4, 2019 holiday counting period, there were seven traffic deaths on Virginia highways.
 
If planning to drink alcohol at a July 4 function, plan ahead and arrange a designated driver, use a rideshare service or taxi, or utilize public transportation to be certain you get home safely.  Party hosts are encouraged to serve non-alcoholic beverage options, and to help prevent any guests from drinking and driving home from their event.
 
With increased holiday 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.

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