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 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.

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 2019 is now available online at the Virginia State Police website. The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, showcases a new layout this year while continuing to provide precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses and arrests by the reporting agency.

Violent crime includes the offenses of murder, forcible sex offenses (rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling), robbery and aggravated assault. Overall, Virginia experienced a 2.45% increase in violent crime offenses compared to the previous reporting period. There were 18,717 violent crime offenses reported in 2019 compared to 18,269 violent crime offenses in 2018.

‘Forcible Fondling’ will be removed from inclusion in violent crime data due to the updated rape definition given by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The exclusion of ‘Forcible Fondling’ reflects a total of 16,018 violent crime offenses reported in 2019.

The following 2019 crime figures in Virginia are presented in the report:

►The number of reported homicides increased from 391 to 428 (9.5%).  Victims and offenders tended to be younger males; 37.2% of homicide victims were men between 18 and 34 and 52.2% of offenders were men between 18 and 34.  Nearly half (46.7%) of all homicides occurred at a residence/home.

►Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 4.2% compared to the previous year which included 11,040 motor vehicles reported stolen in 10,472 offenses. During 2019 10,575 motor vehicles were stolen in 10,044 offenses. In 2019, 6,252 motor vehicles were recovered (vehicles may have been stolen prior to 2019). Of all motor vehicles stolen, 41.3% were taken from the residence/home.  The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $99,358,971.

►Drug and narcotic arrests decreased by 6% when compared to the previous reporting period. Marijuana arrests accounted for 57% of all drug arrests with a decrease of 8.3% when compared to the previous reporting period. Arrests for amphetamines/methamphetamines had the greatest increase from 3,483 to 4,646 (33.4%).

►Fraud offenses increased 4.2% compared to 2018.  Over three-quarters of victims (76.8%) were individuals while 14.6% were businesses.  Of the individuals that were victims of fraud, 20.7% were age 65 or older.

►Burglary decreased 7.5%. Of the 13,978 burglaries and attempted burglaries, more than half (54.8%) took place during the day between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Three-quarters (75.3%) occurred at a residence/home.

►Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 78.9% of homicides and 50.8% of robberies. Firearms were used to a lesser extent in the offense of aggravated assault (28.2%). 

►There were 185 hate crime offenses, involving 187 victims, reported in 2019 representing a 16.2% increase compared to 2018. Over 60% (63.6%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation and religion were next highest (17.7%, 15.0%, respectively). Of all reported bias motivated crime, 61% were assault offenses (aggravated assault, simple assault) or destruction/damage/vandalism of property.  

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 sex offenses, 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 both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 274,636 arrests in 2019 compared to 279,288 arrests in 2018, representing an overall decrease in arrests in Virginia of 1.7%. Between 2018 and 2019, adult arrests for Group A and Group B offenses decreased 1.1%.  Juvenile arrests also decreased by 9.5%.

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

TRAFFIC CRASHES CLAIM EIGHT LIVES DURING 2020 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

11 Traffic Crashes During 2019 Memorial Day Weekend

RICHMOND – The 2020 Memorial Day weekend not only netted a reduction in overall traffic volumes on Virginia’s highways, but also a decrease in traffic deaths. Preliminary reports indicate eight people lost their lives during the four-day, holiday statistical counting period. During the same statistical counting period in 2019 and 2018, traffic crashes on Virginia highways resulted in 11 deaths.

Of the eight individuals killed this year on Virginia highways, two were riding on motorcycles and one was a pedestrian. The statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 22) and ended at midnight Monday (May 25). Virginia State Police statewide responded to 480 total traffic crashes during this past holiday weekend.

The fatal crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and the counties of Caroline, Montgomery, Pittsylvania, Prince William, Rockingham, Southampton and Sussex. The two fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in Pittsylvania and Rockingham counties. The pedestrian, who was pushing his bicycle when he was struck and killed, was in Sussex County.

"Even though we are thankful for the slight decrease in traffic fatalities over the Memorial Day weekend, eight deaths are still too many,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “It is also concerning to see reckless driving citations and DUI arrests practically on par with last year’s holiday weekend. Fewer drivers should have demonstrated a significant decline in the number of citations and traffic deaths. Sadly, that was not the case and too many motorists were putting too many lives at risk due to reckless choices and deadly driving behaviors.”

During the weekend’s statistical counting period, Virginia troopers statewide cited 2,489 reckless drivers and arrested 70 impaired drivers. During the 2019 Memorial Day weekend, state police cited 2,548 reckless drivers and arrested 75 drivers for DUI.

"Considering that traffic was much less than what we normally see on this particular holiday weekend, it is very concerning to have only reduced the death toll by three in comparison to the past two years,” said Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “As Virginia continues to gradually re-open through the Governor’s ‘Forward Virginia’ plan and more motorists return to the highways, it is imperative that Virginians make traffic safety a priority.”

The Virginia State Police holiday enforcement efforts are part of the Department’s annual participation in the Operation Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seatbelt. During the 2020 Operation CARE Memorial Day statistical counting period, Virginia troopers also cited 2,469 speeders and 224 seatbelt violations. State police assisted 1,460 disabled motorists during the holiday 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.

 

For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.

Virginia State Police investigate pedestrian fatality.

On Saturday May 23, the Virginia State Police was called to Route 301, north of South Halifax Road, Sussex County, to investigate a vehicle/pedestrian accident. 

The accident occurred at approximately 1030PM in the southbound lanes of Route 301(Blue Star Highway). Jeffery J. Hinchey, a pedestrian, was pushing his bicycle southbound, in the northbound lanes of Route 301, when a 2007 Honda, traveling in the northbound lanes, struck Hinchey. The female driver pulled over and called 911. Hinchey died from his injuries at the scene. The female driver was not injured.

Alcohol was NOT a contributing factor in the incident. Family members of the deceased have been notified,

DECEASED: Jeffery Joseph Hinchey, 55 YOA, of the 12000 block of Quay Street, Chester, Virginia.

Donor Buys State Police Meals, 100 More for Those in Need

Last week, state police was contacted about a donor wishing to buy meals for all the Troopers in Area 35/Emporia.  It was asked if it would be okay if we delivered those donated meals to members of the community less fortunate than us.  The donor was so moved by the gesture that she decided to purchase 100 more meals in addition to the 21 for us to deliver.  That challenge was gladly accepted by the men and women working this area. 

Trooper T.S. Session quickly began putting her Crime Prevention contacts to work and developed a list of people in need within the community.  The list tried to focus on children and elderly within the Emporia/Greensville County area. 

Meanwhile, Bojangles in Emporia began putting a plan in place to prepare the food to be delivered. 

Friday morning (April 10), Area 35 and Safety Division Troopers converged on Bojangles and split into small groups - armed with the proper personal protection equipment (PPE) & social distancing - to start the delivery process.  In addition to the meals, goodie bags were put together for the kids that included crayons, coloring books, pencils and VSP Junior Trooper stickers.  Also, each food order was given a card with the quote, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” to remind everyone to take care of one another.

In the end, everyone was overjoyed and a few tears were shed (from the Troopers and the people!)  And most importantly, everyone had a meal.

Sergeant S.A. Jackson, Sergeant M.A. Hernandez, Master Trooper C.D. Tucker (Sex Offender Investigative Unit), Trooper T.S. Session and Trooper M.T. Mann (l to r)

Trooper J.M. Balek, Trooper R.A. Vaughan, First Sergeant B.E.J. Jones, Senior Trooper W.K. Sasser (Safety Division Area 65) and Trooper L.W. Milyko (Safety Division Area 65) (l to r)

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES OF GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND DIRECTIVES

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police encourages all Virginians to adhere to Virginia Governor Northam’s directives and do their part by staying home in order to best mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 within the Commonwealth. State troopers, for their personal protection and for the safety of the public, are minimizing their direct contact with the public. All Department recruitment events, public presentations, training, ceremonies, etc., have all been canceled or postponed through June 10, 2020.

Governor Northam has directed state and local law enforcement to initially address violations of the following Executive Order 53 and Executive Order 55 directives with education and warnings. Persistent violation of these Executive Order (EO) directives can result in an individual(s) or business being charged with a class one misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine:

  • Prohibition of all public and private in-person, indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 individuals – with the exception of the operation of businesses not required to close under EO 53 and the gathering of family members living in the same residence;
  • Closure of all dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms and farmers markets;
  • Any brick and mortar retail business (not listed in paragraph 5 of EO 53) failing to limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close.
  • Closure of all public access to recreational and entertainment businesses;
  • Closure of public beaches for all activity, except for exercising and fishing;
  • Cancellation of in-person classes and instruction at institutions of higher education;
  • Cessation of all reservations for overnight stays of less than 14 nights at all privately-owned campgrounds

 Virginia State Police have been and will continue to assess Virginia EO violations on a case-by-case basis.

 State police is required to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth and will continue to have a visible presence within our communities and on the roads for the safety of those living, working and traveling in Virginia. The law still requires law enforcement to have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle. Virginia State Police will not be making random traffic stops on vehicles nor conducting checkpoints to determine if a driver is traveling for a permissible reason, as granted by EO 53 and EO 55.

The current Governor’s Executive Orders related to COVID-19:

  • Do not require an individual to carry documentation related to one’s purpose of travel;
  • Do not close Virginia roads/interstates to Virginia residents;
  • Do not restrict non-Virginia residents from traveling into and/or through Virginia;
  • Do not prevent Virginians from traveling out of the state. State police does encourage any Virginian(s) traveling out-of-state to check, in advance, the other state(s) for any travel restrictions in effect for that state(s). Governor Northam has advised Virginians returning from out-of-state and/or international travel to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

For any additional questions related to the statewide “Stay at Home” order, please go to www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/faq.

Virginia State Trooper struck by passing motorist

SUSSEX COUNTY: On Wednesday, March 25 at approximately 8:00 this morning, a Virginia State Trooper was on the closed median of southbound Interstate 95, south of Route 602,  observing traffic, when he was struck by another vehicle. The driver of a 2004 Chevrolet pick-up truck, Jerry Lee Vick, lost control of his vehicle, ran off the roadway, and struck the troopers vehicle in the rear. (See attached photos.) The trooper and Mr. Vick suffered minor, non-life threatening injuries. Vick, of Fort Washington, Maryland, was charged with reckless driving.

Cow Snarls Traffic on Interstate 64

Currently the Virginia State Police has the eastbound lanes of 64 at Greenbriar shutdown due to a cow on the interstate.At approximately 1:04PM the VSP received a call of a cow running down the interstate. Troopers have secured the cow, and are awaiting on animal control at this time. Further details to follow.

Update - Cow has been taken into custody. 
 
Earlier this afternoon, the owner of  a 98 GMC pick-up truck was pulling a trailer with livestock, on Interstate 64, in the city of Chesapeake. At some point, the livestock, a cow, was able to get loose from the trailer, and jump off the trailer uninjured. The cow continued down the interstate for over a mile causing a backup in both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 64. With the assistance of Chesapeake Police Department, VDOT, and some helpful citizens, the cow is safely back with its owner.

37 GRADUATE THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ACADEMY

RICHMOND – The 37 members of the 131st Basic Session officially graduated Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in advance of their originally scheduled graduation date of Friday, March 20, 2020. In accordance with Governor Ralph Northam’s directives related to COVID-19, traditional commencement exercises were canceled for Friday for the 36 new Troopers and one new Special Agent Accountant.

“This is the first time in decades that state police has had to postpone an Academy graduation ceremony,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “However, this in no way diminishes the Department’s pride in or appreciation of these new Troopers and Special Agent Accountant joining our ranks. We look forward to bringing these men and women and their families to our campus at a later date in order to properly celebrate their accomplishments of completing the Virginia State Police Academy.”

Colonel Settle met with the graduates mid-morning Tuesday for an official Uniform Inspection and to share a few final words with the class. The new Troopers and Special Agent Accountant then filed into the Academy and proceeded up the marble steps – which is an honor only afforded the trainees upon graduation. At the top of the steps, Colonel Settle and the Academy Staff officially congratulated the graduates. Colonel Settle presented each graduate with a Superintendent’s Challenge Coin.

“Since these graduates will not receive their official diploma until their graduation ceremony, each was presented a Challenge Coin,” said Colonel Settle. “They are the only State Police graduates to ever receive a coin from the Superintendent, which I hope they accept as a constant reminder of their oath to serve our Commonwealth with valor and pride, especially during such challenging times.”

The class has received more than 1,300 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 131st Basic Session began their 29 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy on Aug. 21, 2019.

The graduates of the 131st Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Florida, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.

The new Troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia the week of March 23, 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. Special Agent Accountant Mills will report to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office to begin his final training phase.

131st  BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

 

131st Basic Graduate                                      Hometown                                         Assignment

Ian Trent Abernathy                                        Chesapeake                             Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Abdulrahman Mohamed Aboutabl              Harrisonburg                                       Augusta

Thomas Jefferson Acosta, Jr.                          Jacksonville, FL                                   New Kent

Rafael J. Aguayo                                              Ridge, NY                                             Henrico

John Joseph Barrera, III                                  Williamsburg                                      Norfolk/Virginia Beach

William Hooker Bonnet, IV                            Forest                                                   Arlington

Anthony Joseph Bradt, Jr.                               Bloomingburg, NY                             Prince William

Shane Douglas Brooks                                    Chilhowie                                            Roanoke

Jacob Allen Burke                                            Radford                                               Arlington

Travis Todd Carr                                                Ivor                                                     Isle of Wight

Adam Van Clampitt                                          Lynchburg                                          Campbell

Ridge Tamos Duncan                                      Burke                                                   Prince William

Johnathan Dale Fish                                        Lynchburg                                           Chesterfield

Timothy Manning Fisher                                 Wake Forest, NC                                 Accomack

Sean Edward Glennan                                     Sewell, NJ                                            Henrico

Joshua Bryan Good                                         Luray                                                   Shenandoah

Cody Edward Gray                                          Bland                                                   Russell

Ricky Ray Hairston                                          Eden, NC                                             Campbell

Jordan Holt Hamlett                                       Naruna                                                Campbell

Joseph Holloman, III                                       Windsor                                               Brunswick

Nathan Allen Jennings                                    Dublin                                                  Roanoke

Duane Hunter Knox                                         Troutdale                                            Roanoke

Jackson Stuart Peach Lowther                        Gloucester                                           Frederick

Brooke Louise Martin                                     Mechanicsville                                    New Kent

John Hume Mills*                                           Gainesville                                          Appomattox

Paul Steven Perry                                            Gate City                                 Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Indiana Jacob Raccanello                               Locust Grove                                       Culpeper

Jacob William Reaves                                     Chatham                                             Greene

Dru Imani Khianti Redden-Robinson               Chantilly                                              Fairfax

Travon Lamont Smith                                     South Hill                                            Brunswick

Derek Emanuel Spencer                                  Abingdon                                             Botetourt

Nathan Andrew Stidham                                Wise                                                    Craig

Larry Darnell Tucker, Jr.                                  Hurt                                                     Amherst

Benjamin Perfecto Villa, II                              Palmyra                                               Augusta

Alexander Frederick West                              Culpeper                                             Frederick

Shawn Douglas Williams                                Ewing                                                  Nottoway

Holden Seth Young                                         Lebanon                                              Botetourt

*Special Agent Accountant

 

SUPER BOWL FANS DON’T LET FANS DRIVE DRUNK IN VIRGINIA

RICHMOND – Whether a 49ers or Chiefs fan, a guaranteed game-day loser is anyone who chooses to drive drunk on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2). The Virginia State Police is reminding all Virginians that if your game plan includes drinking as part of the Super Bowl festivities, then add a designated driver to your lineup.

In 2018, there were 7,181 alcohol-related crashes that claimed 278 lives on Virginia’s highways.* The costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

“Not only does an impaired driver put lives at risk on our highways, but also runs the very likely risk of getting arrested for DUI,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “On Sunday, Virginia troopers will be stepping up patrols during and following the Super Bowl in order to deter, detect and arrest drunk drivers. No game or drink is worth losing a life over, so please be responsible and Drive to Save Lives.”

If attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant:

  • Designate your sober driver, or plan another way to get home safely before the party begins.

  • If you don't have a designated driver, then ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come and get you; or just stay in for the night.

  • Use your community's sober ride program, reserve a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, or take public transportation.

  • Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink.

  • Always buckle up – it's still your best defense against drunk drivers.

If hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.

  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.

  • Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.

  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game and begin serving coffee and dessert.

  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who has had too much to drink.

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Wednesday Morning Crash Claims Two Souls

At approximately 4:24 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, January 29, the Virginia State Police Communications Center received a call of a two vehicle accident in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 25mm. Upon troopers arriving to the scene it was determined that a sedan and a tractor trailer had been involved in the accident and both driver and front seat passenger of the sedan were deceased.

Preliminary investigations reveal that a 2019 Mitsubishi Mirage was traveling in the right lane of Interstate 95 when it experienced possible mechanical problems. The driver stopped in the right lane of travel with no hazard light illuminated. While stopped in the lane of travel, a 2006 Volvo tractor trailer was traveling in the right lane and struck the Mitsuibishi in the rear, pushing the Mitsuibishi onto the shoulder. The tractor trailer lost control, slid off onto the shoulder and overturned. 

The driver of  the Mitsuibishi and front seat passenger both died upon impact. The third passenger, rear seat, was taken to the Medical College of Virginia, with non-life threatening injuries.  The driver of the tractor trailer suffered minor injuries. 

Notification has been made to family members. The driver is 57 year old Melanie Tapper of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, and the front seat passenger is a female minor.

Both driver and passengers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. Alcohol was not a contributing factor.
 

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