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Virginia State Police

VSP Investigating Fatal Brunswick County Crash

Virginia State Police Master Trooper B.L. Tulloh is investigating a two-vehicle crash in Brunswick County. The crash occurred June 24, 2017, at 6:30 a.m., on Route 644 at Route 656.

A 2000 Mitsubishi was traveling south on Route 656. It pulled up to the stop sign, slowed for the stop sign and then slowly pulled into the intersection with Route 644. As the Mitsubishi pulled across Route 644 to make a left turn, it collided with a 2016 Honda traveling east on Route 644. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to run off the road and strike an embankment.

The passenger in the Honda, Laila N. Hawkins-Manning of Brodnax, Va., was seated in an infant seat. The child was not secured in the seat nor was the seat rear-facing, as required by law. The child was ejected from the seat in the crash, but remained inside the vehicle. The 4-month-old child was transported to VCU-CMH in South Hill, Va., where she succumbed to her injuries.

The driver of the Honda, Stephanie N. Hawkins, 31, of Brodnax, Va., was not injured in the crash. After consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Hawkins was charged with failure to secure a child under 8 years of age.

The driver of the Mitsubishi, Chavioleyette S. Lambert, 34, of LaCrosse, Va., was not injured in the crash. After consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, she was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.

The crash remains under investigation.

TRAFFIC DEATHS DECREASE SLIGHTLY OVER 2017 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

4 of 7 killed in crashes were motorcyclists

RICHMOND – The 2017 Memorial Day holiday weekend proved safer for those traveling the highways of Virginia in comparison to the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. During the four-day statistical counting period, preliminary numbers report a total of seven drivers and passengers died in six traffic crashes statewide this past holiday weekend. During the same time period in 2016, traffic crashes claimed a total of eight lives on Virginia highways.

The six fatal traffic crashes occurred in the cities of Christiansburg and Norfolk and the counties of Augusta, Bedford, Carroll and Rockingham. Sunday’s fatal crash in Rockingham County claimed the lives of two drivers involved in a head-on collision, both of whom were not wearing seat belts.

State troopers responded to and investigated a total of 652 traffic crashes statewide during the four-day statistical counting period. Of the six passenger vehicle fatalities over the holiday weekend, there were four fatal motorcycle crashes, which is particularly poignant as May is Motorcycle SafetyMonth. Two of those motorcyclists were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

“The number of traffic deaths on Virginia’s roadways continues to decrease, down 50 percent since 2015; However, even one fatality is too many, especially when taking basic safety precautions can save a life,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We’re asking motorists to make sure they put safety first before they hit the road this summer. Buckle up, put on a helmet, eliminate distractions, put the phone down and never drive drunk or drugged. These things could make the difference in surviving or avoiding a crash all together.” 

Virginia State Police also participated in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) over the holiday weekend, which is a traffic safety initiative that began 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26, 2017, and concluded Monday, May 29, 2017, at midnight. The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement agencies to increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays, like Memorial Day.

The 2016 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 10,468 speeders and 2,421 reckless drivers. Troopers cited 828 safety belt violations and 248 child restraint violations. A total of 110 drunken drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers.

Virginia State Police and law enforcement agencies nationwide also emphasized the importance of “Move Over” laws during the Memorial Day weekend. Virginia State Police organized and participated in a 24-hour Tweet-Along focused on sharing facts, impactful anecdotes and power images to raise awareness of these laws which require motorists to slow down or change lanes when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its flashing lights engaged.  

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. 

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE REMINDS MOTORISTS TO SLOW DOWN OR MOVE OVER THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

RICHMOND – Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and the Virginia State Police is taking this opportunity to remind motorists to do what’s right when they see lights – #MoveOver.

See lights- Do what's right.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads.

Drivers are required to change to another travel lane or, when unable to change lanes, cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. The law also includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.

From 2006 to 2015 nationwide, 128 law enforcement officers were struck by vehicles while conducting traffic stops, assisting motorists, directing traffic, or otherwise working at the roadside.*

Last year, five Virginia State Police troopers were injured after being involved in crashes in which a motorist failed to “Move Over.” Nationwide, 15 officers were struck and killed outside their vehicles.**

“Every day first responders and highway workers knowingly take on the dangerous task of working along the roadside to assist motorists or improve our highways,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We’re asking drivers to help protect those men and women by doing what’s right when they see flashing red, blue or amber lights – Move Over or Slow Down. It’s the law, and it could save a life.”

Since the 2017 Memorial Day holiday weekend falls within this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign, state police troopers will be even more vigilant in their efforts to increase seat belt usage among adults, teenagers and children. The two-week, concentrated educational and enforcement initiative began Monday and runs through June 4, 2017. The annual Click It or Ticket campaign combines high visibility enforcement of seat belt and child safety seat laws with outreach and education. 

Of the 761 total people killed last year in crashes throughout Virginia, 304 were unrestrained.***

Occupant restraint enforcement is a key component of the Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) traffic safety initiative that begins 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26, 2017, and concludes Monday, May 29, 2017, at midnight.

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

The 2016 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 913 individuals who failed to obey the law and buckle up, as well as issuing 273 citations for child safety seat violations on Virginia’s highways statewide. In addition, state police cited 11,048 speeders and 2,663 reckless drivers. A total of 131 drunken drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers.

There were 11 traffic fatalities statewide during the five-day period (May 27, 2016 – May 31, 2016) of the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. In 2015, there were 14 traffic deaths and, in 2014, Virginia experienced eight fatalities on Virginia’s highways during the holiday weekend.***

Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program recognizes Fraud Fighters

Richmond, Va. —Nine Fraud Fighters Awards were presented on May 10 during Fraud Awareness Week at the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (VA IASIU) annual training seminar in Richmond.

Fraud Fighters Awards are given yearly by the Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program (IFP) to individuals who go above and beyond in the fight against insurance fraud.

More than $21 million were paid to fraudulent claims in Virginia in 2016. Nationally, Insurance fraud is estimated to exceed $80 billion annually.

“Building a case against insurance fraud can be difficult,” said First Sgt. Steve Hall, Virginia State Police IFP coordinator. “And prosecuting insurance fraud can be even more of a challenge, so we certainly appreciate all the hard work of this year’s Fraud Fighters Awards winners.”

The Virginia General Assembly established the IFP in 1999 to initiate independent inquiries and investigations regarding suspected insurance fraud. The IFP established its Fraud Fighters Awards program in 2005.

Visit StampOutFraud.comto learn more about the Fraud Fighters Awards program and how you can help stamp out fraud in Virginia. Tips on insurance fraud can be submitted anonymously online or by dialing (877) 62FRAUD.

2017 Fraud Fighters Awards winners:

  •  Bradley Gregor, Virginia State Police Special Agent Accountant, Culpeper
  •  Chris Brennan, Virginia State Police Special Agent, Culpeper
  •  David Walker, Virginia State Police Special Agent, Fairfax
  •  James Liston, Virginia State Police Special Agent, Culpeper
  •  Lee Wietz, Virginia Bureau of Insurance Senior Investigator
  • Peggah Wilson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office for the Eastern District of N.C.
  • Rusty Fitzgerald, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, Orange County
  •  Shawn McCurry, Virginia State Police Sergeant, Warrenton
  • Tommy Southwick, Virginia Bureau of Insurance Senior Investigator

The Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program teaches citizens how to identify insurance fraud and trains law enforcement how to prevent it. If you have information regarding suspected insurance fraud, call 1-877-62FRAUD or visit StampOutFraud.com

STATE POLICE HONOR TROOPER CHAD P. DERMYER DURING ANNUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL SERVICE

Trooper Chad P. Dermyer

RICHMOND – The men and women of the Virginia State Police and their families gathereer together Wednesday, May 10, 2017, to honor those public safety professionals who have given the ultimate sacrifice in their service to the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the 2017 Virginia State Police Law Enforcement Memorial Service, special recognition was given to Trooper Chad P. Dermyer, 37, who lost his life March 31, 2016, in the City of Richmond. The Honorable John W. Marshall, former Secretary of Public Safety, provided the ceremony’s keynote address.

A poignant part of the service was the unveiling and dedication of Trooper Dermyer’s portrait before his family and fellow troopers. Following the ceremony, Trooper Dermyer’s portrait will be hung in the Colonel C.W. Woodson Jr. Memorial Gallery located within the Virginia State Police Academy. The gallery already holds the portraits of the state police’s other 61 courageous men and women who died in the line-of-duty while serving the citizens of the Commonwealth.

On the afternoon of March 31, 2016, Trooper Dermyer was among a team of troopers and special agents conducting field practical operations at the bus terminal in the City of Richmond. As Trooper Dermyer approached a male subject in the terminal, the subject pulled out a firearm and began shooting the trooper at close range. Trooper Dermyer died later that afternoon.

The service also recognized all of the Department’s law enforcement professionals who have died in the line of duty, and included a special tribute to the following eight troopers in which 2017 marks a significant milestone:    

Trooper William Stafford Tinsley

Born October 5, 1911, in Christiansburg, Va., Trooper Tinsley was 29 years old when he joined the State Police in 1941.

At the time, he was one of 220 men on the state police roster patrolling the Commonwealth.

He came to the Department with previous law enforcement experience  - having served as a deputy with the Roanoke County Sheriff’s Office.

He served only 14 months with the Department when…on the evening of September 5, 1942…Trooper Tinsley was involved in a traffic crash east of Salem.

As he was responding to a traffic crash, a motorist became confused upon hearing Trooper Tinsley’s emergency siren.

The trooper swerved to avoid the other vehicle, which caused the trooper’s vehicle to go up an embankment and overturn several times.

He was ejected from the patrol car and did not survive his injuries.

A month shy of his 31st birthday, Trooper Tinsley was survived by his wife, Isabelle.

75 years later, we will never forget.

 

Trooper Charles Eugene Morris

Carroll County, Virginia was the hometown of Trooper Charles Morris who was born December 27, 1931.

A military veteran, he joined the United States Army at the age of 17 and served his country for three years.

In 1957, he entered the Virginia State Police Academy and completed his basic school training three months later on February 21, 1958.

On the evening of March 2, 1962, Trooper Morris, the Patrick County Sheriff and a deputy responded to a domestic call at a farmhouse near the NC border.

When the three law enforcement officers arrived at the home - the Sheriff knocked on the door, while Trooper Morris and the deputy stood a few feet behind him.

Suddenly shots rang out from a 20-gauge shotgun and Trooper Morris was struck twice.

Despite the sheriff and deputy’s concerted and immediate actions, Trooper Morris died at the hospital.

He was 30 years-old and in the process of building a home with his wife when he was killed.

He was our 24th line of duty death.

55 years later, we will never forget.

 

Trooper Alexander McKie Cochran III  

A New Jersey native, Trooper Cochran was born January 23, 1959, and eventually moved with his parents to Virginia where he attended Rappahannock Community College.

The call to service came early to the young man who became a helicopter crew chief with the Virginia National Guard and achieved the rank of sergeant.

Prior to joining the state police, he worked as a security guard and EMT with a volunteer rescue squad.

But Trooper Cochran always had a desire to join the state police and graduated the Academy in the 73rd Basic School.

On the night of January 15, 1987, Trooper Cochran was off-duty in his apartment when he heard gunshots.

Grabbing his Department-issued revolver, he immediately responded to what had started as a domestic dispute between a husband and wife.

The husband had fired a shotgun from the second floor window of his home, striking another man standing outside the residence who was talking to his wife.

Responding to the scene, Trooper Cochran immediately realized medical attention was needed.

As he approached his patrol vehicle to call for assistance, he was shot and killed.

Trooper Cochran was 27-years-old.

30 years later, we will never forgot.

 

Trooper Harry Lee Henderson

Born January 3, 1944, Lee Henderson was a native of Staunton, Va.

After finishing high school in 1961, he earned an accounting degree from Valley Vocational Technical School.

He joined state police in 1973 – graduating as a member of the 57th Basic School and was assigned to Front Royal.

In the early morning hours of March 17, 1987, Trooper Henderson had stopped a motorist for a violation on Interstate 66 in Warren County.

He was inside his patrol vehicle preparing a summons when his cruiser was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer.

Trooper Henderson did not survive the crash.  

Actively involved in his community, Trooper Henderson was well known with the Boy Scouts having served 22 years as a Scoutmaster.

During his two decades of service with the organization, Trooper Henderson saw 46 of his scouts – including his son, Michael, achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

Trooper Henderson left behind a son and daughter.

30 years later, we will never forget.

 

Retired Sergeant Norman Wesley Hampton

A Richmond native and graduate of John Marshall High School, Sergeant Hampton was born October 22, 1937.

At the age of 19, he signed on as a Virginia State Police dispatcher and became a trooper two years later.

While serving the Commonwealth, he also served his country with the US Army from 1961 to 1963.

He was with the Department for 34 years before retiring in March of 1991.

Six years after his retirement, Hampton and his wife were walking along a South Carolina beach, June 3, 1997, when they heard a woman call for help.

A young boy had become separated from his raft while out in the Atlantic Ocean.

As his wife ran back down the beach to call 911, Sergeant Hampton ran into the ocean to rescue the 11-year-old.

According to news accounts, at the time – a spring storm had produced  powerful ocean waves, but Sgt. Hampton managed to assist the boy back on the raft.

Witnesses reported seeing Hampton being pulled under by the strong ocean currents.

The child made it to shore, but Hampton did not.

The local corner told a S.C. newspaper “for what it’s worth, I think what Mr. Hampton did was very heroic. His family should be honored to know he gave his life to save another.”

Retired Sergeant Hampton was 59 years old.

20 years later, we will never forget.

 

Senior Trooper Charles Mark Cosslett

Born February 24, 1962 in Norfolk, Mark Cosslett graduated from Monacan High School in Chesterfield County and immediately enlisted in the US Marine Corps in July 1981.

During his distinguished 4-years of military service, he earned several awards and medals including the Rifle Marksman and the Pistol Sharp Shooter Badges…and also served as a Military Police Officer.

He became a trooper in March 1986 – graduating as a member of the 77th Basic Session – and was assigned to Northern Virginia.

During the Fall of 2002 - the DC-MD & Northern VA areas were being terrorized by a sniper who had already claimed 13 lives.

On October 23, 2002, Senior Trooper Cosslett had spent the afternoon standing outside his son’s preschool, handing out Junior Trooper badges in an effort to help the area children feel safe during a very frightening and uncertain time.

He’d just returned to the Area Office when a “shots fired” call came over the state police radio.

While responding to the call on Interstate 95 near Springfield,

a tow-truck unexpectedly veered into the path of the trooper’s motorcycle causing a crash that claimed the 40 year-old trooper’s life.

Senior Trooper Cosslett was our

51st line of duty death.

15 years later, we will never forget.

 

Motorist Assistance Aide Horace Alvin Jarratt.

Horace Jarratt was born Oct. 24, 1940.

At the age of 64, Jarratt joined the state police – as a part-time civilian employee working as a Motorist Assistance Aide.

Through the years, he’d worked as a machine operator, truck driver, mechanic and manager of a service station.

But he it was his business -  Horace’s Towing - that he owned and operated for 9 years where he met and became friends with many state troopers.

After retiring from his wrecker business, he left Virginia only to return in 2004 and applied for the part-time Motorist Aide position.

The program was one in which civilian employees supported state troopers by helping motorists with minor issues on the road such as fixing flat tires, jump-starting vehicles or supplying gasoline to stranded motorists.

On the afternoon of April 25, 2007, Motorists Assistance Aide Jarratt pulled his state-issued vehicle onto the right shoulder of the northbound lanes of I-95 in Chesterfield County to respond to a call for debris in the roadway.

As he was attempting to remove a large piece of tire tread from the center lane for the safety of other motorists… a tractor-trailer swerved in an attempt to avoid the debris and struck Horace.

He died at the scene.

Horace Jarratt was the first state police civilian and motorist assistance aid to die in the line of duty.

He was 66-years-old and had been with the Department two years.

10 years later, we will never forget.

 

Trooper Andrew David Fox

Andrew Fox was born December 18, 1984 and grew up in Tazewell County.

He graduated Tazewell High School and growing up worked on farms in both Tazewell and Wythe counties.

His passion for farming led to a degree from Virginia Tech in agriculture science.

But, he found his calling in law enforcement and followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Town of Tazewell Police Department.

Later in 2006, he joined the Virginia State Police Academy and graduated the following year with the 111th Basic Session.

He was assigned to the Area 24 Office in Pulaski County and had just become a member of the Division IV Tact Team.

On the night of October 5, 2012, Trooper Fox was on special assignment directing traffic at the State Fair of Virginia in Hanover County.

A vehicle traveling through a Route 30 intersection failed to regard his direction and struck him.

Trooper Fox did not survive the crash.

He was 27-years-old and was survived by his wife, parents, and siblings.

He was the Department’s 58th Line of Duty Death.

5 years later, we will never forget.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE EXPERIENCING EMAIL OUTAGE

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police is currently working, in cooperation with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and Northrup Grumman, to identify, contain and eradicate malware that has impacted the Department’s email network. In order to address this concern, State Police will be unavailable to the public by email beginning 8 p.m. Wednesday (April 26, 2017). The shutdown is anticipated to last through noon Thursday (April 27, 2017).

Neither the malware nor the email shutdown will affect the Department’s daily field operations in the relation to traffic enforcement, traffic crash investigations, criminal investigations, vehicle inspections, motor carrier safety, Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN/NCIC), Firearms Transaction Program or criminal/non-criminal background checks.

During this time period, all State Police Headquarters and Area Offices will remain open during normal business hours. Those needing to reach State Police during normal business hours on Thursday, April 27, are asked to contact us by telephone. The main number for the Administrative Headquarters is 804-674-2000. Division and Area Office contact numbers are available on the VSP Website at http://www.vsp.virginia.gov/Office_Locations.shtm.

Those needing to contact the Virginia State Police in an emergency can still reach our Department at any time on a cell phone via #77.

State police will also utilize its Facebook and Twitter pages to provide updates.

The malware has impacted the Department’s ability to actively update the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Children Registry (SOR) website. As new information becomes available, records management and investigative updates related to the SOR are being done offline. As soon as the work stations assigned to the SOR are clear of any issues, the SOR will be immediately updated for the safety and welfare of the public. The public can still safely access the SOR via the State Police Website at www.vsp.virginia.gov.

The malware has not affected the abilities of the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Investigative Unit from fulfilling its state-mandated duties of conducting on-site residential and work address verifications. Nor does it have any impact on convicted sex offenders’ responsibilities to provide changes to, updates, register, or re-register with the Virginia State Police, as required by state law.

“We recognize the vital role email plays in regards to communicating with State Police, and appreciate the public’s patience and understanding as we diligently work to resolve this matter,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “While during this period we are required to communicate with the public through alternative means, our level of service should not otherwise be affected.”

VSP Warns of IRS Phone Cloning Scam

CHATHAM, Va. - Within the past 24 hours, the Virginia State Police have received calls from two Virginians and one New Yorker about IRS-impersonation telephone calls linked to a Virginia State Police Area 43 Office in Chatham. The scammers have cloned the state police office’s main number – (434) 432-7287 – as a tactic to help convince a caller that they are legitimate. This is a common ploy utilized by scammers as the annual IRS filing season comes to a close.

The Internal Revenue Service will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

According to the IRS Website, the aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. 

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

·         Please See: Consumer Alert: Scammers Change Tactics, Once Again

Some con artists have used video relay services (VRS) to try to scam deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Taxpayers are urged not trust calls just because they are made through VRS, as interpreters don’t screen calls for validity. For more details see the IRS YouTube video: Tax Scams via Video Relay Service .   

If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), report it by sending it to phishing@irs.gov. Learn more by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page.

KEEP THE SHENANIGANS OFF THE ROAD. CELEBRATE AND DRIVE RESPONSIBLY THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY

RICHMOND – For millions of Americans, partying is in the plan this St. Patrick’s Day, but Virginia State Police wants to remind those celebrating to plan for a safe ride home. 

Unfortunately on March 17, the number of drunk drivers on the road makes St. Patrick’s Day one of the deadliest holidays. Every 72 minutes during the holiday, a life is claimed in an alcohol-related crash. Virginia State Police will be increasing patrols to deter and detect those motorists who choose to drive under the influence.

Between 2011 and 2015, 252 individuals lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes during St. Patrick’s Day nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, from 6 p.m. March 16, to 5:59 a.m. March 18, 25 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.*

“Buzzed or drunk driving puts everyone’s life at risk,” says Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Impaired driving claimed 241 lives on Virginia’s highways in 2015 and each of these deaths was 100% preventable. There is no excuse for it when today’s technology allows you to call for a ride at the press of a button. A rideshare will cost you a few dollars, but driving drunk could cost someone their life.”

According to personal finance website WalletHub, the average St. Patrick’s Day partier will spent $38. The average cost of a taxi in the U.S, which is one of many options for a safe ride this holiday, is just $11-$18.

Did you know NHTSA has a SaferRide app which is available for Android and Apple users? The app can help call a taxi, or a friend for a ride home or identify your location so you can be picked up. For more information:

The Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en

For Apple users: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8

Let’s make 2017 safer. Plan Before You Party:

  • Ensure you have a designated sober driver before any drinking begins.
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call for a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, call a friend or family member or stay where you are if possible.
  • Consider using your local community’s Sober Rides program – in Northern Virginia call 1-800-200-TAXI;
  • To drink and drive is a crime. If you witness a drunk driver on the road, dial #77 on a cell phone for the nearest Virginia State Police Emergency Communications Center or call 911;
  • And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take the keys and help them make arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

All Virginians are reminded to drive to save lives on the road this St. Patrick’s Day and every day by always buckling up, avoiding distractions, sharing the road, driving drug & alcohol free, and obeying speed limits.

*National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGE SAFETY WITH IMPENDING STORM

RICHMOND – As the Virginia State Police prepares for the impending nor’easter, Virginians are encouraged to get ready and plan ahead, too. Forecasts are currently calling for regions of the Commonwealth to get either several inches of snow, rain and/or a combination of both.

Virginia State Police will have all available troopers and supervisors working in advance of and the duration of the storm as it makes its way across the Commonwealth. To prevent unnecessary traffic crashes from occurring on Virginia’s highways during the storm, state police advises residents to postpone travel plans and avoid driving, when possible.

If having to travel during the storm, drivers are reminded to do the following:

  • Use headlights. Increasing your visibility helps you to avoid slick and dangerous spots on the road, to include standing water and/or flooding. Headlights also help other drivers see you better.
  • Slow your speed. Though state police works closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to identify problem areas on Virginia’s highways during a storm, drivers still must drive for conditions. Slowing your speed gives you more time to safely react and avoid a crash. Drive your vehicle based on your ability to properly maintain control of your vehicle.
  • Don’t tailgate. You need increased stopping distance on slick road surfaces. Give yourself more space between vehicles traveling ahead of you in order to avoid rear end collisions.
  • Buckle Up. Most crashes that occur during inclement weather are caused by vehicles sliding off the road or other vehicles. Wearing your seat belt protects you from being thrown around the inside of your vehicle and suffering serious injury in a crash.
  • Put down your phone. Having to drive in severe snow or rain requires a driver’s full, uninterrupted attention. Do not text and drive or shoot video of the bad conditions while driving, as these actions put you, your passengers and other vehicles at extreme risk of a crash and/or injury.
  • Check Your Vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order for the conditions. Fill up the tank in advance. Check windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid, tire tread, battery life, etc.
  • Don’t leave home without a window scraper, blanket, bottled water, snack, cell phone charger and flashlight.

For the latest in road conditions and updates, please call 511 on a cell phone, download the App or go online to the VDOT Virginia Traffic Information Website at www.511virginia.org.

Virginians are advised to only call 911 or #77 on a cell phone in case of emergency. It is essential to keep emergency dispatch lines open for those in serious need of police, fire or medical response.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WELCOMES 125th GENERATION OF TROOPERS TO THE RANKS

 RICHMOND – On Friday, March 10, 2017, the Commonwealth will graduate its 125th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 49 new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.

The new troopers have received more than 1,600 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management. The members of the 125th Basic Session began their 29 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy Aug. 25, 2017.

The soon-to-be graduates of the 125th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia beginning March 13, 2017, for their final phase of training. Each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired up with a Field Training Officer learning his or her new patrol area.

1-8-17 6 p.m. VSP Traffic Stats

From 12 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7) through 6 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 8), Virginia State Police have responded to 772 traffic crashes and aided 1,234 disabled vehicles statewide. During the same time period, Virginia State Police have received a total of 3,928 calls for service.

With temperatures still well below freezing, any thawing that took place during the day will refreeze overnight and cause treacherous road conditions. Folks are still advised to stay home tonight and delay travel in the morning, if at all possible. To check road conditions in advance of leaving home, call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org.

State Police have still only investigated one reported traffic fatality – in Greene County. Fortunately, the majority of crashes have involved only damage to vehicles.

From 12:00 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7) – 6:00 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 8):

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

  • Traffic Crashes= 241
  • Disabled vehicles=229

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

  • Traffic Crashes=60
  • Disabled Vehicles=68

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

  • Traffic Crashes=98

Disabled Vehicles=90VSP responded to a traffic crash in Greene County around noon Saturday, in which an SUV struck a parked vehicle, ran off the road and overturned in a creek. The 40-year-old Madison County man died at the hospital.

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

  • Traffic Crashes=58
  • Disabled Vehicles=85

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

  • Traffic Crashes=162
  • Disabled Vehicles=520

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

  • Traffic Crashes=132
  • Disabled Vehicles=119

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

  • Traffic Crashes=21
  • Disabled Vehicles=123

This will be our final crash/disabled vehicle stat follow up for this storm.

1-8-17 - Noon Update on Virginia Winter Traffic Stats

Yes, the sun is an encouraging sign when it comes to Virginia’s roads thawing…but many secondary and rural roads are still snow-covered, slick and impassable. Virginians are reminded to still be patient rather than risk getting stuck or involved in a crash.

Stuck/disabled vehicles continue to be the most common emergency call for Virginia Troopers. From 12 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7) through 12 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 8), Virginia State Police have responded to 686 traffic crashes and aided 1,037 disabled vehicles statewide. During the same time period, Virginia State Police have received a total of 3,257 calls for service.

For those who do have to travel today…please keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Drive for Conditions – slow your speed and don’t tailgate
  • Always Buckle Up
  • Give Yourself Extra Travel Time to Reach Your Destination
  • Don’t Drive Distracted
  • Check Road Conditions in Advance of Leaving Home - Call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org.
  • State Police have still only investigated one reported traffic fatality – in Greene County. Fortunately, the majority of crashes have involved only damage to vehicles.

As of 1:15 p.m., Sunday, troopers are still on scene of 26 traffic crashes and 18 disabled vehicles statewide.

From 12:00 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7) – 12:00 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 8):

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

  • Traffic Crashes= 226
  • Disabled vehicles=207

The Caroline County Deputy Sheriff, whose vehicle was struck head-on by a DUI driver early Saturday morning, continues to recover from serious injuries sustained in the crash.

The VSP Sergeant, whose patrol car was struck Saturday evening on Interstate 95 in Chesterfield County in a multi-vehicle crash, has been treated and released from Chippenham Medical Center.

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

  • Traffic Crashes=49
  • Disabled Vehicles=55

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

  • Traffic Crashes=81
  • Disabled Vehicles=76

VSP responded to a traffic crash in Greene County around noon Saturday, in which an SUV struck a parked vehicle, ran off the road and overturned in a creek. The 40-year-old Madison County man died at the hospital.

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

  • Traffic Crashes=55
  • Disabled Vehicles=73

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

  • Traffic Crashes=141
  • Disabled Vehicles=434

Stuck vehicles on the Eastern Shore have been keeping Virginia Troopers busy all Sunday morning. Since 4:30 a.m., Sunday, Troopers on the Eastern Shore have responded to 37 disabled vehicles. Due to the snow drifts 3 feet to 4 feet high, VSP Troopers have had to request assistance from the Virginia National Guard. PHOTO attached of VNG Specialist Lakin & Sergeant Thomas, of the 1710 Transportation Company mobilized out of the Onancock Armory, who spent Sunday morning helping transport Troopers to calls for service.

 

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

Traffic Crashes=115

Disabled Vehicles=102

 

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

Traffic Crashes=19

Disabled Vehicles=90       

VSP Still Urging Drivers to Stay off the Roads

Since the storm’s arrival in Virginia, Virginia State Police troopers have responded to more than 660 traffic crashes and aided more than 900 disabled vehicles statewide (Time period: Midnight Saturday (Jan. 7) through 6 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 8)). As of 8:30 a.m., Sunday (Jan. 8), state troopers are aiding 15 stuck/disabled motorists and investigating three traffic crashes statewide.

State police have investigated one fatal crash, which occurred Saturday (Jan. 7) in Greene County.  Icy roads were a factor in that crash. Fortunately, the majority of crashes on Saturday involved only damage to vehicles.

Due to extremely cold temperatures and icy conditions, State Police are still encouraging drivers to be patient and stay off the roads until temperatures rise and the roads can be treated by VDOT. To check road conditions, please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org for the latest road condition updates. Virginians are asked to keep 911 and #77 lines open for emergencies.

VSP Responding to hundreds of crashes and stuck vehicles across the Commonwealth - Noon Update for 1-7-17

The Central Virginia, Hampton Roads and Southside Virginia regions continue to be the busiest for Virginia State Police troopers’ calls for service Saturday (Jan. 7). Fortunately, the majority of crashes have involved only damage to vehicles and there have been no reported traffic fatalities in Virginia.

Road conditions remain treacherous and Virginians are still advised to stay off the roads.

From midnight Saturday through noon Saturday, Virginia State Police have responded to 325 traffic crashes and 322 disabled vehicles statewide. During the same 12-hour period, Virginia State Police have received a total of 1,124 calls for service.

As of 11:45 a.m., troopers are still on scene of 37 traffic crashes and 35 disabled vehicles statewide.

From 12:00 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7) – 12:00 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 7):

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

  • Traffic Crashes= 86
  • Disabled vehicles=76

Following this morning’s crash involving a Caroline County Deputy Sheriff, a 30-year-old Ruther Glen, Va., man has been arrested for DUI-1st offense, having a concealed weapon while intoxicated, and DUI maiming. Virginia State Police are investigating the head-on crash involving the Caroline County Deputy Sheriff that occurred on Ladysmith Road at 5 a.m. The man’s pickup truck crossed the centerline and struck the deputy’s marked vehicle. The deputy was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. Crash remains under investigation. See photos of the aftermath of this accident in the update posted this  morning.

    

PHOTO of Powhite Parkway at Route 60 in North Chesterfield County at 10:30 a.m.; Photo of Route 288 in Chesterfield County at 11 a.m.

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

  • Traffic Crashes=19
  • Disabled Vehicles=17

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

  • Traffic Crashes=38
  • Disabled Vehicles=29

    

PHOTOS of Route 460 at Route 26 in Appomattox County at 11 a.m. Saturday by Trooper L.W. Atkins.

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

  • Traffic Crashes=35
  • Disabled Vehicles=33

 

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

  • Traffic Crashes=84
  • Disabled Vehicles=103
     

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

  • Traffic Crashes=60
  • Disabled Vehicles=41

 

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

  • Traffic Crashes=3
  • Disabled Vehicles=23        

 

For road conditions, please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org and not 911 or #77.

VSP Advises Virginians to Stay Off the Roads - Crash & Disabled Vehicle Stats for 7 a.m. Update Saturday 1/7/17

Virginia State Police have spent the overnight hours responding to multiple calls across the Commonwealth for disabled and crashed vehicles. Road conditions are treacherous and Virginians are advised to stay off the roads.

As of 7 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7), Virginia State Police are on the scene of 21 disabled vehicles and 55 traffic crashes statewide. There have been no reported fatal crashes.

From midnight Saturday through 5 a.m. Saturday, Virginia State Police have responded to 106 traffic crashes and 58 disabled vehicles statewide.

From 12:00 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7) – 5:00 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 7):

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

  • Traffic Crashes= 24
  • Disabled vehicles=8

Virginia State Police are investigating a head-on crash involving a Caroline County Deputy Sheriff on Ladysmith Road. At 5 a.m. Saturday, a pickup truck crossed the centerline and struck the deputy’s marked vehicle. The deputy has been transported to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. Crash remains under investigation. The driver of the pickup truck has been charged with a DUI and was taken to the Pumunkey Regional Jail.(Photos courtesy of the Virginia State Police).

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

  • Traffic Crashes=1
  • Disabled Vehicles=5

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

  • Traffic Crashes=2
  • Disabled Vehicles=5

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

  • Traffic Crashes=15
  • Disabled Vehicles=11

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

  • Traffic Crashes=38
  • Disabled Vehicles=12

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

  • Traffic Crashes=26
  • Disabled Vehicles=11

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

  • Traffic Crashes=0
  • Disabled Vehicles=6       

NJ Missing Persons Discovered in Dinwiddie County

Thanks to an alert Dinwiddie County, Va., property owner, the missing 71-year-old New Jersey woman and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter were located by their vehicle shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 28, 2016). Both were found sitting together against a tree approximately 45 feet from the silver Toyota Rav4 that was parked on private property at least a mile from Nash Road (16,000 block). The property owner had spotted the vehicle from afar and went to check on it, when he found the woman and the child. Ms. Briley was unconscious at the time of her discovery. No foul play is suspected in their disappearance.

Upon receiving the call from the local resident, the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police immediately responded to and remain on scene. State police is in contact with the lead investigative agency, the Township of Hamilton, N.J., Police Department.

It appears Barbara Briley turned off of Nash Road and onto a dirt road, which she followed about 3/10 of a mile before pulling off into the woods. At one point, she drove over a small tree, attempted to back up and the Rav4 got stuck in a remote area of the property. Based on evidence recovered at the scene, it appears the two were there for several days but had enough drinks and snacks to sustain them for the duration of that time.

Barbara Briley was flown by State Police Med-Flight helicopter to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Va., for treatment. She is listed in serious condition.

Five-year-old La’Myra Briley was alert and appeared unharmed, but has been transported from the scene to the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office for medical evaluation. The child is now in the custody of a family member.

10 Killed in Four Days over Holiday Weekend in Virginia

RICHMOND – The Christmas holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one on Virginia’s highways. During the four-day statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, through midnight Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, preliminary reports indicate 10 people died in traffic crashes across the Commonwealth.

The 10 fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Buchanan, Culpeper, Fauquier, Louisa, Prince William and Wise; and the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. Three of the deceased were pedestrians (Louisa County, Prince William County and the City of Suffolk). The fatal crash in the city of Chesapeake was a hit-and-run that is still under investigation by the Virginia State Police. Four of the drivers and passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.

“Tragically, too many families spent their Christmas with family making arrangements for funeral services,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We cannot stress enough the importance for drivers to make smart, safe and sober decisions during the remaining days of 2016. Let us finish out this year by simply doing what’s right when it comes to driving on Virginia’s highways. Please drive to save lives.”

On Thursday (Dec. 22), within hours of the start of the statistical counting period, two 16-year-old females lost their lives in a Halifax County traffic crash and a 40-year-old male was killed in a Wythe County traffic crash. Then, 50 minutes after midnight Tuesday (Dec. 27), a 27-year-old man was killed in a Chesterfield County crash.

All drivers are reminded with the New Year’s holiday this weekend to make a commitment to driving sober, driving without distraction, driving buckled up, and driving the posted speed limit.

Virginia State Police troopers will have an increased presence on highways across the Commonwealth during the New Year’s holiday weekend to ensure the safety of all motorists. Please also be alert to those troopers, firefighters, medics, wrecker drivers and highway maintenance workers working alongside our highways and comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law.

SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS – DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES

RICHMOND – With the holiday season upon us and plenty of festive occasions to attend, the Virginia State Police are reminding all partygoers that the best way to survive the holidays is to drive to save lives.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 people in the U.S. die every day in an alcohol-related vehicle crash - which translates to one person every 53 minutes. Drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the past three decades; however, the chance of being involved in an alcohol-impaired crash is still one in three over the course of a lifetime. Alcohol-related crash deaths and damages contribute to a cost of $52 billion per year.

Last year, nationwide, there were 10,265 deaths* resulting from alcohol-impaired traffic crashes, with 241 of those deaths occurring in Virginia.** Another 4,917 persons were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes across the Commonwealth.

“The fact that alcohol-related deaths and injuries on Virginia’s highways are decreasing is encouraging, but we still need all drivers to get the message,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Drunk driving isn’t a victimless crime. You could kill yourself or someone else, or get a DUI and go to jail. We need every driver to make smart, safe and sober decisions. Let's drive to save lives in these remaining days of 2016."

It’s illegal in Virginia to drive over the limit of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL). And it might not take as much alcohol as one might think to get there. So the safest approach is to only drive sober. If you plan on drinking at a holiday party, bar, or restaurant, let someone else do the driving – a sober friend, a taxi, public transportation or a Transportation Network Company, like Uber or Lyft

To detect and deter impaired driving, the Virginia State Police is once again participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign by increasing patrols and participating in DUI checkpoints with local police and sheriff’s offices across the Commonwealth.

In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, it is just as important for everyone to be alert and report a drunk driver to state police by dialing #77 on a cell phone. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. “We’ve got to work together to make our roads safer this December and year-round,” Flaherty said.

If you plan to drink, then plan to get home safely:

•Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, the risk of having a crash.

•If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving.  Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.

•If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or just stay put.

Trooper’s Father Seeks Support versus Sadness during the Holidays

RICHMOND – Law enforcement personnel on patrol through Richmond and Hampton Roads will get a “thank you” during the holidays from slain trooper’s father, John Dermyer, and the generosity of Lamar Outdoor Advertising. John Dermyer currently lives in Kansas City and reached out to Lamar Advertising about putting up a billboard during the holidays to thank local and state law enforcement for the service and protection they provide every day to local communities. The billboard advertising company not only agreed to help Mr. Dermyer, but offered to put up four digital billboards in the Kansas City region free of charge.

Lamar then agreed to do the same in Virginia, where his son served in both the Hampton Roads and Richmond regions as a Virginia State Police trooper. The Virginia digital billboards start Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, and will run through Christmas day.

Trooper Chad P. Dermyer, 37, was shot and killed while on duty March 31, 2016, as he approached a male subject at a bus terminal in the city of Richmond.

A Kansas City television station interviewed Mr. Dermyer Dec. 14, 2016, on the billboards: http://www.kmbc.com/article/slain-troopers-father-creates-billboard-with-message-of-support-to-police/8501835

TRAFFIC DEATHS DECLINE OVER THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

Virginians Still Encouraged to Drive to Save Lives During Winter Holiday Season

RICHMOND – Fortunately, a forecasted record volume of traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend did not yield an increase in traffic deaths across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Preliminary reports indicate a total of seven people were killed in seven traffic crashes statewide, compared to nine deaths during the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday and eight in 2014.

The 2016 Thanksgiving statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday (Nov. 23) and concluded at midnight Sunday (Nov. 27). This year’s fatal traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Caroline, Loudoun and Nottoway; and the cities of Newport News and Norfolk. Two pedestrians were killed in the crashes in Caroline and Nottoway counties. The crashes in Appomattox and Buckingham counties claimed the lives of two teenagers. Of the five drivers and passengers killed, four were not wearing seatbelts.

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

During the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police troopers:

  • Cited 9,594 speeders
  • Cited 2,812 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 137 drunken drivers
  • Cited 597 safety belt violations & 206 child restraint violations
  • Investigated 1,131 traffic crashes
  • Assisted 3,925 disabled/stranded motorists

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.

“As we transition into the winter holidays, Virginia State Police troopers will continue our heightened patrol presence across the Commonwealth for the safety of all motorists,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We are asking for Virginians to do their part, too, by always buckling up, obeying speed limits, driving alcohol and drug free, sharing the road, and not driving distracted. By working together, we can save countless lives on Virginia’s highways this holiday season.”

During the month of December, Virginia State Police will continue to participate in Checkpoint Strikeforce, a research-based, multi-state, zero-tolerance initiative designed to get impaired drivers off our roads using checkpoints and patrols. It also aims to educate the public about dangers and consequences of drunk driving. According to Insurance Institute of Highway Safety studies, sobriety checkpoints can reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities by as much as 20 percent through their ability to deter and detect drunk drivers.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE TROOPER TRAINEES PRODUCE “MANNEQUIN CHALLENGE” VIDEO TO BENEFIT THOSE IN NEED

Challenge Issued to Tennessee & Michigan Trooper Trainees

RICHMOND, Va. – The 55 members of the Virginia State Police Academy are taking a stand – literally- against hunger in local communities across the nation. On Monday (Nov. 20), the 125th Basic Session took their food drive to the next level by producing a “mannequin challenge” video at the state police Academy in North Chesterfield County.

The trooper-trainees were already purchasing food to donate to local food banks and churches within the Blackstone, Va., and Metro-Richmond communities in time for Thanksgiving, when they came up with the idea to go global. With the help of Virginia State Police Superintendent, Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, and Academy staff, the 125th Basic Session has issued a “food drive mannequin challenge” to Tennessee Highway Patrol Academy Class #1216 and Michigan State Police 131st and 132nd Trooper Recruit Classes.

“Since our jobs as troopers are not only to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth, but also to be community caretakers, we decided to ‘pay it forward’ by helping our communities by providing them with all the trimmings of a full Thanksgiving meal,” said Virginia State Police 125th Basic Session President, Trooper-Trainee T.C. Fairburn. “So with the current trend of mannequin challenges, our class thought producing our own video would be a fun and productive way to get the word out there to truly help others in need. Hopefully this idea will go viral with state police and highway patrol academy classes, nationwide, taking the challenge and helping give back this holiday season to the very communities we will serve and protect once we graduate from our respective academies.”

This is the first time the Virginia State Police has ever produced a video “challenge.” The VSP mannequin challenge is 2 minutes and 42 seconds long, and available on the VSP YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/6KACfdUixWk. The 125th Basic Session began their 29-week Academy in August 2016 and graduate in March 2017.

Virginia State Police remind motorists to secure unattended vehicles

Statistics show keys left inside nearly one in four stolen vehicles

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program is urging citizens to think twice before leaving their vehicles unattended with the keys inside.

There were 8,103 auto thefts in the Commonwealth in 2015, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that the keys or key fob had been left in 1,890 of those. Virginia State Police Special Agent Peter Lazear said the problem may be even greater than what the numbers show.

“Statistically, we’re seeing that one in four vehicles stolen has the keys inside,” he said. “But we hear it all the time from other law enforcement agencies that it’s more like half of the cars stolen have the keys inside.”

Look around the parking lot of any convenience store or gas station and you’re likely to see at least one unattended vehicle with the engine running, Lazear said.

“And the driver is nowhere in sight.”

Securing your vehicle becomes an especially hot topic when the weather turns cold.

“We’ve reached that time of year,” Lazear said. “People are warming up their cars in the mornings and leaving them unmonitored for minutes at a time. Those are easy targets. It’s also recommended that any items of value be removed from the vehicle or, at the very least, secured out of plain sight.”

To best protect your vehicle, Lazear said motorists should follow a layered approach to prevention. First and foremost, take your keys or take your chances.

“We can’t stress this enough,” he said. “Always lock your car and make sure the windows are closed whenever you’re not with the vehicle. And please avoid the temptation to leave your engine running when you go into a store.”

Second, be sure to activate the factory alarm system. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with an alarm, consider having one installed.

“Alarms make a lot of noise, and a lot of noise draws attention,” Lazear said. “Thieves don’t like attention.”

Layer three recommends using immobilizers or tracking systems. There are a number of products on the market at different price points, Lazear said.

“You may find it to be worth the investment.”

VSP Investigating Two Fatal Crashes in Brunswick County

Virginia State Police Trooper K.H. Pearce is investigating a single-vehicle fatal crash that occurred in Brunswick County. The crash occurred Saturday (Nov. 5) at 10:17 a.m. on Interstate 85 at the 38 mile marker.

A 2007 Saturn Aura was traveling south on I-85 when it ran off the left side of the interstate, struck a tree and overturned.

The driver, Destiny A. Freeman, 18, of Lorton, Va., was not injured in the crash. She was wearing a seat belt.

The passenger, Amari S. Newton, 18, of Alexandria, Va., was not wearing a seat belt. She died at the scene.

A third passenger, a 20-year-old male, was transported from the scene to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.

Freeman was charged with reckless driving. The crash remains under investigation.

Virginia State Police Trooper M.S. Ezell is investigating a single-vehicle fatal crash in Brunswick County. The crash occurred Sunday (Nov. 6) at 3:10 a.m., on Route 58, less than a mile east of Route 720.

A 2006 Audi A4 was traveling east on Route 58 when it ran off the left side of the highway, struck a culvert, struck two trees and finally came to rest in the median.

The driver, Mekiel T. Banks, 20, of Chicago, Ill., was not wearing a seat belt and was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

A passenger, Howard L. Griffin Jr., 26, of Nashville, Tenn., was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

Banks was charged with reckless driving. The crash remains under investigation.

STATE POLICE WELCOMES 124th GENERATION OF TROOPERS TO THE RANKS

RICHMOND – On Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, the Commonwealth will graduate its 124th generation of Virginia State Troopers. The 44 new troopers will be presented their diplomas during commencement exercises at 10 a.m. at the State Police Training Academy located at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield County.

The new troopers have received more than 1,600 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity and crisis management. The members of the 124th Basic Session began their 27 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy May 2, 2016.

The soon-to-be graduates of the 124th Basic Session are from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as California, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee.

Upon graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia beginning Nov. 7, 2016, 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.

124th BASIC GRADUATING CLASS

Name

Hometown

Patrol Assignment

Chase Stewart Autry

Jarratt

Brunswick

Thomas Robert Aaron  Barnett

Grundy

Lunenburg

Jonathan Christopher Tyler Berry

Williamsburg

Surry

Cody Ryan Billiter

Grundy

Botetourt

Evan Carter Brooke

Willis

Loudoun

Jeremy Antonio Cabrera

Yonkers, New York

Loudoun

William Nathaniel Campbell

Halifax County

Mecklenburg

Kelly Ann Carrubba

Woodbridge

Prince William

Dustin Cody Collins

Chilhowie

Prince William

Thomas Ryan Floch

Sayreville, New Jersey

Prince William

Albert Gasparyan

Fresno, California

Hampton/Newport News

Daniel Gray Giles

Duffield

Prince William

Marcus LeRon Gravely

Collinsville

Pittsylvania

Nigel Adian-Jae Guishard

Smithfield

Portsmouth/Suffolk/Chesapeake

Kenneth Shane Hammell, Jr.

Lancaster

Caroline

Michael David Harville

Courtland

Southampton

Logan Wayne Hodges

Meadows of  Dan

Botetourt

Thomas Ryan Horton

North Chesterfield

Chesterfield

Bryce William Jackson

Williamsburg

Hampton/Newport News

Robert Paul Martin

Tazewell

Mecklenburg

Jamar Nacefh Maxie

Jersey City, New Jersey

Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Josiah Luke Montanye

Farmville

Mecklenburg

Eric McKinley Moss

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Henrico

Justin Michael Palanchi

Mount Olive, New Jersey

Henrico

John Austin Cody Paxton

Rockbridge Baths

Springfield (Express Lanes)

Corey Spencer Peer

Maurertown

Greene

Johnathan Edward Perry

Buchanan

Greene

Jay Phuc Phan

Newport News

Hampton/Newport News

Malachi Emery Phillips

Johnson City, Tennessee

Springfield

Royce Miken Pinner

Sunbury, North Carolina

Henrico

Elijah John Redwine

Centreville

Dulles Greenway

Jacob Anthony Reichard

Bedford

Appomattox

Jasnique Apryle Rolle

Hampton

Norfolk/Virginia Beach

Douglas Dylyn Schaeffer

Blue Ridge

Rockbridge

Thomas Edward Semones

Christiansburg

Hampton/Newport News

Jimmy Lee Simone, II

Carroll County

King George

Savannah Rae Stagner

Mount Solon

Rockbridge

Jessee Allen Stiltner

Lebanon

Hampton/Newport News

Caleb Andrew Thompson

Staunton

Henrico

Brandon Marshall Tripp

New Church

Accomack

Nicholas Joseph Wakeman

Edinburg

Shenandoah

Jason Matthew Walker

Bumpass

Powhatan

Isaiah David Welch

Otis, Oregon

Rockbridge

Mark Anthony Zbinovec

Williamsburg

Hampton/Newport News

Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program post-storm recommendations

In wake of Hurricane Matthew, property owners are reminded to exercise caution

RICHMOND, Va.—The Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program is reminding citizens who suffer property damage as a result of severe weather to take precautions before approving repairs to their home or vehicle.

Policyholders shouldn’t hire a contractor or mechanic until they’ve confirmed with their insurance provider that the work is covered.

John Huddleston, president of the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (VAIASIU), said standard homeowner’s policies don’t typically cover flood damage but auto insurance policies sometimes do.

Huddleston also warned policyholders against fly-by-night contractors that sometimes surface after a severe weather event.

“Take care of your safety first,” Huddleston said. “Protect property from further damage. Make prompt notification to carriers. And always make sure you check out a potential contractor’s background.”

It’s recommended that consumers hire licensed contractors. Consumers can confirm licensure and view any past disciplinary actions on the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation website at www.dpor.virginia.gov.

First Sgt. Steve Hall, Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program coordinator, said that property owners also have a responsibility in how they handle claims.

“Use your insurance coverage, that’s what it’s there for,” he said. “But don’t get carried away. If you try to claim pre-existing damage or inflate your claim to recoup deductibles or premiums, that’s attempting to obtain money by false pretense, and it’s illegal.”

More than $21 million in fraudulent claims were collected in Virginia last year and another $19.6 million in fraudulent claims were attempted. Nationally, insurers are estimated to lose more than $80 billion each year to insurance fraud.

“Those losses get passed to the consumer,” Hall said. “Insurance fraud ultimately costs each Virginian hundreds of dollars each year.”

Virginia State Police HEAT program rewards auto theft prevention efforts

Agencies, individuals recognized at annual law enforcement conferences

RICHMOND, Va.— The Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program honored the 2015-2016 HEAT Awards recipients at the annual conferences of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association in Tysons Corner on Sept. 13 and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police in Roanoke on Sept. 19.

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

“Stolen cars are sometimes used to commit more serious offenses,” said Virginia State Police First Sgt. Steve Hall, HEAT program coordinator. “It’s important that we acknowledge some of the work that’s being done to prevent auto theft.”

Auto thefts in Virginia have declined 62 percent since 1992, but there was a 7.2 percent increase from 2014-2015.

“It’s a reminder as to why auto theft prevention is important,” Hall said. “Even though the overall numbers are down and it may not seem like an issue, if you wake up tomorrow and your car is gone, that’s going to be a pretty big issue to you.”

The complete list of HEAT Awards recipients is below. To learn more about HEAT Awards, visit HEATreward.com/resources/default.aspx.

Virginia State Police Captain Thomas W. Turner Receives 2016 President’s Award

Virginia State Police Captain Thomas W. Turner, a 50-year-veteran of the department, is the 2016 recipient of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police President’s Award. Captain Turner was recognized at the VACP Annual Awards Banquet on September 20 at the Hotel Roanoke Conference Center.

Captain Turner began his career with the Virginia State Police in 1966 as a dispatcher and transitioned to State Trooper just one day after his 21st birthday. From his early days with the department, Trooper Turner made serving the public the focus of his law enforcement career. And as he rose through the ranks, he maintained this priority in his duties and actions.

Captain Turner’s true talent emerged when he was first assigned to the Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) as a lieutenant in 1996, where he later became Division Commander in 2007.

As the Division Commander, Captain Turner has been on the ground floor of creating data systems for the administration of justice. He is a visionary, capable of not only seeing the needs of criminal justice agencies, but also envisioning how such systems can be used to better serve the administration of justice. Captain Turner has put tools in place to ensure data is retrievable in a variety of formats for countless criminal justice entities so that criminal history data can be used throughout the criminal justice system.

Virginia has one of the nation’s leading sex offender registries because of Captain Turner’s commitment and tireless efforts. He has been integral to the development of the registry and serves as a ready resource for law enforcement agencies that use the registry.

Captain Turner’s leadership enabled the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center to grow into a nationally recognized and model program. The center handles the speedy transfer of firearms to non-prohibited persons while maintaining an impressive record of arresting individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Captain Turner chairs of the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board, which makes recommendations to the Director regarding policy, technical, and operational issues for the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division programs, including the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

Captain Turner has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, and Criminal History Record (SEARCH). He was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for AFIS Internet, and Vice Chairman of the FBI/Compact Council’s Subcommittee on Policy and Procedures.  He fully recognizes the importance of his role on these national committees and uses his expansive knowledge and expertise to improve criminal justice services to Virginia’s criminal justice agencies.

Recently, Captain Turner was recognized by the FBI for his pivotal role in solving a series of rape cases in Virginia and Kuwait. His persistence coupled with his latent print database knowledge led the Norfolk Police to make inquiries into recently accessible non-criminal fingerprint files. A latent print taken from a Norfolk crime scene matched fingerprints of a Navy serviceman. The FBI deemed this case the “Biometric Hit of the Year.”

As a subject matter expert in the vast array of criminal justice information/data, Captain Turner’s knowledge and expertise is often sought by law enforcement officials across the Commonwealth and far beyond. He personally involves himself with other agency’s concerns and provides expert knowledge and direction. In Virginia, most law enforcement executives know that if they have a CJIS question, Captain Turner will know the answer—and he won’t have to do “research” to provide a response.

In the fall, Captain Turner will retire from the Virginia State Police with 50 years of service to the Commonwealth. He will leave a tremendous void in the agency and across Virginia. His historical knowledge of criminal justice and his overwhelming desire to serve can never be replaced. He will truly be missed, and Virginia law enforcement will never be able to thank him enough for this enduring dedication.

The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is proud to recognize Virginia State Police Captain Tom Turner with the 2016 President’s Award.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ANNOUNCE NEW LEADERSHIP FOR ADMINISTRATIVE BUREAU

RICHMOND – With the recent appointment of a new Deputy Superintendent, the Virginia State Police has moved forward with appointing a new Director and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS). In August, Lt. Colonel Tracy S. Russillo was promoted from her position as BASS Director to Deputy Superintendent. The BASS Deputy Director, Major Kirk S. Marlowe, has been appointed to fill the vacancy of BASS Director and Captain L.W. “Lee” Miller III, will be moving into the position of BASS Deputy Director effective Sept. 10, 2016.

 

Marlowe, 50, was promoted to the position of BASS Deputy Director on Dec. 25, 2015, from division commander for the High Tech Crimes Division (HTCD) within the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). He began his career with state police Aug. 1, 1988, and spent seven years in the Richmond Division as a trooper and special agent before he was promoted to Academy sergeant in 1996. Over the years with state police, he has supervised the Violent Crimes Unit and Staff Inspection Section as a first sergeant. In 2004, Marlowe was promoted to lieutenant of the Richmond BCI Field Office and later transferred to the Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction (CCI) Unit. He achieved the rank of captain in 2009 and oversaw the Support Services Division before being assigned to establish and supervise the new HTCD. Marlowe is a graduate of the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. He also graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security with a master’s degree in security studies and was a valedictorian of the Administrative Officer’s Graduate Course at the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville.

 

Miller, 47, has served as the division commander of the Information and Communication Technologies Division since September 2013. Prior to his promotion to captain, Miller served nine years in the capacities of lieutenant and first sergeant in the BCI Criminal Intelligence Division. He joined State Police as a dispatcher in 1992 and was assigned to the State Police Culpeper Division. He graduated from the State Police Academy in May 1994 with his first patrol assignment in Caroline County. Three years later, Miller was promoted to special agent in the Drug Enforcement Section of the Richmond BCI Field Office. A graduate of Emory and Henry College with a bachelor’s degree in history and geography, he has received numerous service awards during his tenure with the Department and has served on numerous state and national boards and subcommittees related to public safety telecommunications and homeland security. He is also a 2007 graduate of the National Criminal Justice Command College.

DRIVE SOBER AND SAVE LIVES THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Motorists Reminded to Heed Potential for Heavy Rains Related to Hurricane Hermine

RICHMOND – Summer is winding down, which means thousands of motorists will be heading out on highways across the Commonwealth this Labor Day weekend. Travelers can expect to see more stationary and roving patrols by Virginia State Police troopers as part of the Department’s participation in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) program. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program means troopers will increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the Commonwealth beginning Friday morning, Sep. 2, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through midnight Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.

Last year, Virginia experienced 16 traffic deaths during the four-day holiday counting period. This was an increase from 2014 when 11 individuals lost their lives in crashes during the Labor Day weekend. In addition to investigating 617 total traffic crashes during last year’s holiday weekend, State Police stopped 11,412 speeders and 3,189 reckless drivers. Troopers cited 933 safety belt violations and 336 child safety seat violations.

Also of concentration this Labor Day weekend is impaired driving. State police is joining nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies to participate in the 2016 Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). Last year’s Labor Day weekend netted 119 DUI arrests by Virginia troopers.

“Drunk driving takes a life, on average, every 36 hours in Virginia,” Lt. Colonel George L. Daniels Jr., Bureau of Field Operations Director said at a Checkpoint Strikeforce kickoff press conference in Richmond Thursday. “Drunk drivers don’t discriminate. They put everyone on the road at risk—a painful and never-ending reality for the families of the 241 people who died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in Virginia last year.”

State Police are also reminding motorists to make safety a priority if traveling to and/or from the Hampton Roads region this holiday weekend. With Hurricane Hermine’s path currently forecasted to impact Hampton Roads, there is a serious potential for heavy rains, strong winds, and flooding in the coastal region. Drivers are advised to monitor the weather forecasts throughout the holiday weekend. Motorists are also advised to never drive through flooded roadways or high, standing water, due to the severe threat of your vehicle getting stuck or carried away in the current. When driving in heavy rain, always use your headlights, buckle up, slow down for adverse road conditions, and remain alert to other motorists and high water.

For more information on storm preparations, safety tips, and advisories related to this storm, go to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WARN RESIDENTS OF PHONE SCAM & CALLER ID SPOOFING

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia State Police are warning residents of an ongoing phone scam in which the caller says he is calling from the IRS and demands payment by verbally threatening and intimidating the individual. In addition, the caller ID number used by this scam is a legitimate Virginia State Police Area Office phone number. State police has received numerous calls concerning this scam within the past few days.

In each case, the caller has a “thick foreign accent” and identifies him/herself as working for the IRS. The scammer also has personal information about the individual being called – information that can be commonly found by searching the Internet. If the individual refuses to pay, then the fake IRS caller becomes very agitated and impatient, and begins threatening the individual with imprisonment or other severe punishment if the person does not promise to provide payment.

Also adding confusion and concern for those being targeted by the fake IRS caller is the use of a legitimate state police office number with an 804 area code. This is known as “spoofing”and enables the caller to disguise his true identity. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally.  U.S. law and FCC rules prohibit most types of spoofing.

The IRS phone scam is common and often preys on senior citizens. One individual reported to State Police Wednesday (Aug. 17, 2016) that she had just sent the caller $2,000 in gift cards. Just this week the Fredericksburg Police Departmentreported a 72-year-old resident was targeted and scammed out of more than $12,000.

Common characteristics of the IRS Phone Scamare as follows:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administrationat 1.800.366.4484.
  • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Additional ways to prevent you and your loved ones from falling victim to any phone scam are as follows:

  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious. 
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
  • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it.  Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number.  A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.

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