The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has evaluated its existing community policing efforts and programs over the last year, and is embracing the lofty challenge of joining twelve other exclusive communities in becoming a Certified Crime Prevention Community (CCPC) through the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The goal of the CCPC program is to publicly recognize and certify localities that have implemented a defined set of community safety strategies as part of a comprehensive community safety/crime prevention effort to the betterment of their community.
The CCPC Program was created through gubernatorial executive order in 1998 by the New Partnership Commission for Community Safety to promote community safety, particularly focusing on youth and family safety. The CCPC with its twelve core community safety elements is identified as a best-practice amongst law enforcement agencies wishing to set themselves apart from mediocrity, and to institute cutting-edge community policing efforts. The twelve CCPC core safety elements include instituting the following:
- Community Crime Prevention/Safety Council
- DCJS Certified Crime Prevention Specialist
- Neighborhood Watch Program
- Community Policing/Crime Control Planning Process
- Organized Distribution of Community Safety Literature
- Deputy Trained Community Safety/Risk Assessments
- Crime Analyst
- Comprehensive School Safety Audit Process
- Business Outreach Program
- Organized Referral Process for Crime Victims
- Youth Delinquency Prevention Program
- VLEPSC Accreditation
To this end, the WCSO will be incorporating the twelve-core community safety and crime prevention elements under the umbrella of their program plan, which will be coordinated through the Community Policing Unit (CPU), led by Lieutenant Robbie Seal and the CPU Sergeant.
According to DCJS other popular programs may be considered optional under the CCPC guidelines; however, Sheriff Mark Butler states these initiatives will continue because they are meaningful and provide real value to our residents. These include D.A.R.E., Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (S.A.L.T.) / TRIAD, National Night Out, and School Resource Officer are examples of such programs. The Sheriff’s Office recently renewed its memorandum of understanding with the Warren County School Board on April 7, 2021 to extend the presence of SROs in county schools through 2026, and has applied for a State grant through DCJS to add an additional SRO to our schools.
There are several tangible incentives and values for becoming a certified crime prevention community, such as becoming a recognized leader in community safety, sending a clear signal to criminals that criminal behavior will not be tolerated, and the Sheriff’s Office will be given preference in the State Criminal Justice Grant application process.
The certification is a great marketing tool for community and economic development efforts to attract families, tourism, and businesses interested in finding a safe location in which to live, work, and play. Other benefits may include insurance premium reductions from insurance companies for county policyholders. Becoming a CCPC enhances the professionalism of county government and Sheriff’s Office by showing we can meet rigorous standards related to community safety. Once certified, which Sheriff Butler hopes to achieve in twelve months, the county would have to recertify every three years afterwards.
There are three basic eligibility requirements that must be met in order to participate in the program. These include being a community or locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia, adopting a resolution of participation and filing this resolution with DCJS, and designating a local coordinator for the certification effort. These requisites are currently being completed, with resolution to be presented to the Board of Supervisors and a promotional review for the new CPU Sergeant being completed prior to June 1, 2021.
Collaboration with the Sheriff’s Community Advisory Council (CAC) members continues to yield fresh ideas from our citizens. The CAC Chairman, Bruce Townshend states “I really believe that once Warren County achieves the CCPC certification it will make this community safer for everyone, and a more desirable destination for tourists, businesses and people who want to live in the Shenandoah Valley. We already have so much to offer. The CCPC will make us stand out from the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Near future actions include convening a working group to shape the process, completing an assessment/gap analysis of existing Sheriff’s Office programs and community needs, assigning roles and responsibilities to correct any identified shortfalls, ensuring the twelve core community safety elements are completed or in-progress, and finally – submitting the certification packet to DCJS. Any questions or those interested in finding out more about the CCPC Program are asked to contact Lt. Robbie Seal at (540) 635-4128.
Naming change for LFCC – want to participate in telephone town hall on May 6th?
After celebrating our 50-year milestone, the Lord Fairfax Community College board made the decision to find a new name for our college — one that aligns with our mission, vision, and values. With an eye toward selecting a name befitting of our college’s rich history, welcoming culture, and bright future, they engaged a task force and a team of naming and branding professionals.
As they approached the end of this journey, they want to invite you to participate in a Q&A discussion about the renaming process, their aspirations for the new name, and the list of naming finalists. The discussion will take place on May 6 from 6:30-7:30 pm.
Registration will close 3 hours before the event; 3:30 on May 6. Click here to register.
For 50 years, LFCC has been welcoming students from all walks of life, from every race, every religion, every socio-economic group, every generation. As our 50th-year draws toward a close, we are excited to be given the opportunity to really examine how we want to move the college forward for the next 50 years – and beyond.
After months of study, research, discussion, and contemplation, it became evident that our name – the first introduction to the college our potential students receive – must change. In the days following George Floyd’s murder, Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, was determined that the 23 institutions he oversees in Virginia do better and contribute solutions to our nation’s ills.
“Equity and access to opportunity have been at the heart of our community college mission since we first opened our doors in 1966,” Chancellor DuBois said. “We need to invest ourselves, and our colleges, in actions that elevate equity before we can realize the rhetorical promise of equality – and that work begins now.”
In July 2020, the State Board for Community Colleges passed a resolution asking all community colleges in Virginia to review their names. This provided us with an opportunity to reflect upon and honor our past while ensuring our name and brand reflect our values and our future.
The name Lord Fairfax was chosen in 1969 – a year before the college opened. The original college board chose the name in part for its link to the region’s colonial history. Thomas, the 6th Lord Fairfax, was born in England, and would ultimately hold more than 5 million acres from Virginia’s Northern Neck to near what is now Pittsburgh. He became a friend of George Washington, although his loyalties lay with the British during the Revolutionary War. Lord Fairfax – like many large landowners at the time – used enslaved workers to further enrich himself. There are historical records indicating he also engaged in the long-term sexual abuse of enslaved women.
Our research showed that 90 percent of those surveyed were unaware of Thomas, Lord Fairfax, and some respondents found the name confusing since they associated it with Fairfax County in Virginia, and Fairfax, W.Va. Additionally, we discovered that people feel an affinity for the college because of what it has meant to them, and not to the man for which it was named.
Most importantly, we learned that when those surveyed learned more about the history of Thomas, the 6th Lord Fairfax, support for changing the name more than doubled in all demographics, except one. Among people of color, that support more than quadrupled – it increased from 14 percent to 61 percent. Integrity and diversity are among LFCC’s core values. This means we exemplify honesty, character, and respect for our communities, and we honor the uniqueness of individuals and communities. The college needs a name that honors those values.
College Board Vice Chair Mike Wenger said considering whether or not to rename LFCC was a “challenge that everyone took very seriously, saying, “Throughout the effort, everyone consistently came back to the values of the college and our shared concern for the students and communities we have served and will serve over the coming decades. It seems appropriate that these six months of self-reflection came during our 50th year and in the midst of a major strategic planning effort to lay the foundation for the next 50 years.
“The process has been comprehensive, disciplined, inclusive, deliberative, and, above all else, respectful of our responsibility for the history and future of the college. Hard-working groups reached out to constituents, dug into the records, read history, gathered data, and debated issues. We considered the overall college branding with an eye to the future. The process invited deliberations about the values we want to inculcate, the focus we hope the college brand projects, and the breadth of community reach we want to facilitate. Though this decision wasn’t easy, it was in many ways clear.”
Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, who represents Shenandoah County on the Board, said, “Often, we just move forward day by day without thinking about our name, so this gives us a great opportunity to look at ourselves and determine who we are in relation to our values, our mission, where we are today as an institution, and where we want to go tomorrow. Lord Fairfax doesn’t represent anything we are about.
“Our students come to us from different backgrounds, but they value the opportunity presented by earning an education at LFCC. The college embraces inclusion, opportunity, equality, access to education, and helping students find their way forward. Our faculty is devoted to that. We want people to feel welcome where they serve and live, and if we exclude some part of our faculty and some part of our students, that’s not who we are, whether that exclusion is intentional or unintentional. I think for our students, for our faculty, and for our future, it’s the right time to take this opportunity to rename the college and move forward, capturing all we have accomplished in the past and the bright future we have ahead.”
The college is now in the exciting phase of searching for a name that will move us forward and stand the test of time, one that will serve as a welcoming beacon to all students, a name for which we can feel pride. A task force made up of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and board members will work with our communities as we embark upon this task. Our goal is for the board to have a name to consider by this summer.
Following the college board’s decision to rename the college, LFCC President Kim Blosser shared with faculty and staff a video message the evening of Feb. 4, 2021. She noted, “We have a fantastic history and so much to be proud of – our college has changed the lives of many thousands of people in our service region and beyond. Our dedication to our mission and our values is what has made our community college the asset it is today. As we develop our new strategic plan and look forward to our next 50 years, we will find a name that better suits our vision of an inclusive, equitable learning environment for every student, one that improves their economic mobility and supports the economic development of the communities we serve. And we will involve our employees, our students, and our community members in this process; we will do this together.”
Main Street Vaccine Clinic in Front Royal on May 10th
Front Royal Brewing Company and the VA Heath Department are bringing a Covid walk-in vaccine clinic to Main Street! The clinic will be from 8:00-11:00 am on Monday, May 10th at Front Royal Brewing Company.
WALK-IN APPOINTMENTS ONLY, NO NEED TO REGISTER BEFOREHAND
The Virginia Department of Health will be giving the Moderna vaccine which is a two-dose shot. Anyone (18 and over) that hasn’t received the first dose of a vaccine is welcome. So you can bring your friends and family members too.
Anyone who gets the first dose at the brewery will automatically be guaranteed to get their second dose here four weeks later. Right now, the second dose is planned for June 7, 2021, at the Front Royal Brewing Company. This is expected to be quite a popular event, so get here early (first come, first served).
IMPORTANT: Please click that you are going /interested on the Facebook event here, so we have an estimate of how much of the vaccine the Health Department will need. This will NOT reserve your spot, the Health Department just wants to get an idea of how many vaccines to bring. COME EARLY! This will be a popular event!
Family Fun Day is this Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Gazebo
Yes, there will be a 2021 Family Fun Day – and it will be this Saturday, May 8, 2021, at the Gazebo in downtown Front Royal. The activities will start at 10:00 am till 6:00 pm.
Family Fun Day is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event, hosted in Front Royal, Virginia, by C & C Frozen Treats. Family Fun Day is an official 501c3 nonprofit and will be happy to accept your tax-deductible donation to help fund this year’s event.
If you love and support the community of Front Royal and the surrounding areas, we encourage you to come out and bring your family and friends to enjoy this community-building event with an antique car show, kid’s events, and of course ICE CREAM! Let’s not forget that Nina will be boiling crawfish! Don’t miss the fun!
Missing economic impact payments? File 2020 tax return with the IRS to receive it
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the third round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP) in April. Most Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients should have received their EIPs by now. If a person is missing their first or second EIP, they need to file a 2020 tax return with the IRS and claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) as soon as possible.
Any person who did not receive his or her EIP, or the full amount of their EIP, please read this carefully. To get any missing first or second EIPs, file a 2020 tax return with the IRS and claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) immediately. People should file the 2020 tax return even if they have no income to report for 2020. When the tax return is processed, the IRS will pay the RRC as a tax refund. The IRS will send any additional third EIP amount owed in 2021 separately.
If people already filed their 2020 tax return, they do not need to do anything else.
Visit Social Security’s Economic Impact Payments and Tax Credits page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/eip/ to learn more.
For questions about tax-related topics and economic impact payments, please contact the IRS.
Read the IRS’ April 28 press release at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/nearly-2-million-more-economic-impact-payments-disbursed-under-the-american-rescue-plan-continuing-payments-reach-approximately-163-million for more information.
For Social Security information, please visit the agency’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/.
Front Royal woman injured in Winchester Airport crash landing
Virginia State Police Trooper A. Eckman responded to a report of a plane crash in Frederick County. The crash occurred Monday, May 3rd, at 11:41 a.m. along the 490 block of Airport Road.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a Single Engine Jabiru Aircraft was attempting to land at the Winchester Regional Airport when it collided with an aircraft hangar.
The pilot, a 49-year-old female, of Front Royal, Virginia, suffered minor injuries in the crash and was transported to Winchester Medical Center for treatment.
No one on the ground was injured as a result of the crash. The FAA and NTSB were notified of the crash, and the crash remains under investigation.
Sheriff Butler criticized locally, praised nationally in Washington Post article
While being roundly criticized by local “politicians” in Front Royal, Warren County’s first-term Sheriff Mark Butler is presented as a hero of sorts in the Sunday, May 2nd edition of the Washington Post.
Only last week while Butler was being publicly chastised by, among others, Front Royal Mayor Christopher Holloway and controversial town council member Jacob Meza, a Post reporter/photographer team was working on an article describing Butler’s activities in bringing Coronavirus shots to house-bound residents in our county’s rural areas.
The Post, one of the nation’s three major newspapers – the other two are the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times – was working the story on April 28, just about the time the pejorative and lengthy letter signed by Holloway was sent to Warren Board of Supervisors Chairperson Cheryl L. Cullers about the sheriff and his deputies’ handling of a town solid waste truck crew concerning suspected illegal dumping of sewage waste by town crews into the county’s Bentonville landfill.
Meanwhile, Butler was earning plaudits from the national newspaper and local residents for the work he and his deputies were involved in, facilitating COVID-19 vaccine shots for the area’s elderly and home-bound citizens.
Reporter Jenna Portnoy described how Butler’s deputies, who know their way around sprawling areas and back roads, were accompanied by public health personnel who administer the injections.
One sub-headline in the Post article stated: “Warren County, Va., sheriff’s office is teaming with nurses to bring shots to the hard to reach” and another, “Sheriff’s office aids public health officials in vaccine efforts” in rather larger type face. Butler was quoted as saying his deputies “enforce the laws” in this 200 square-mile region “but also are used to provide social services such as delivering Meals on Wheels, tracking residents with medical conditions… and calling on frail and home bound people daily to check on them.”
“The vaccination program fits in with that mission,” Sheriff Butler is quoted as saying.
Impacted county residents mentioned, and some photographed by the Post’s Matt McClain, include Randy Vaughan, 96, a World War II veteran, one of 17 people attended to that day by nurse Paula Mills and Sheriff’s Deputy Cindy Burke; and Jeanie Clarke, 77, who said she was “flabbergasted” when the sheriff’s office called to say they were coming.