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2017-10-26

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VIRGINIA STATE POLICE RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION WITH THREE AWARDS

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

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

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

The Leadership in the Prevention of Vehicle Crimes Award

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

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

The Booz Allen Hamilton Leadership in the Prevention of Terrorism Award

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

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

The J. Stannard Baker Award

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

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

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

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

KAINE & COLLEAGUES INTRODUCE BILL TO INVEST $45 BILLION TOWARD COMBATING OPIOID CRISIS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) to introduce the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act, which wouldinvest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids and opioid addiction. This legislation would address a number of the critical shortcomings in the approach to combating the opioid epidemic, including the Trump Administration’s unwillingness to make a long-term investment in the fight.

“We need to see real action to back up the promises we’ve heard when it comes to the opioid epidemic. We have seen staggering numbers released recently showing how devastating the crisis is in Virginia, and we must take action to help Virginia communities treat and rehabilitate people suffering with addiction,” Kaine said. “The funding from the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act would go where it’s needed most: to the state and local governmentsthat are on the frontlines fighting this crisis.”

The Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act would:

-      Authorize and appropriate $4,474,800,000 for substance abuse programs for the individual states for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

-      Build upon bipartisanship by adding this funding to the Account for the State Response to the Opioid Abuse Crisis, which was created by the 21st Century Cures Act. The 21st Century Cures Act passed the Senate with 94 votes.

-      Expand the use of funding already allowed under 21st Century Cures, so that states may also use this money for detection, surveillance and treatment of co-occurring infections, as well as for surveillance, data collection and reporting on the number of opioid overdose deaths.

-      Promote research on addiction and pain related to substance abuse, and authorizes and appropriates $50,400,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2022. Under the bill, the National Institutes of Health would be responsible for distributing this money.

-      Provide stable, long-term funding, a total of $45 billion over ten years to the states and over five years to research efforts. This is similar to the stable, long-term investment that Senate Republicans proposed as a response to the opioid emergency.

-      Not replace coverage for treatment under Medicaid or the treatment requirements for private insurance in the Affordable Care Act. Both of these remain critical for combating the opioid abuse epidemic.

The Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act has been endorsed by American Psychiatric Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose,  International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA), National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Social Workers, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Safety Council, Treatment Communities of America, and Young People in Recovery.

 

The bill is also co-sponsored by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (DNH), Al Franken (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA).

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