Henrico County’s general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools earned a combined 3 Achievement Awards from the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) which recognizes excellence in local government programs for 2016.
Henrico’s award-winning programs are listed below:
One of the primary challenges for modern public safety agencies is to have a workforce reflecting the diversity of its community. When a public safety agency does not mirror the diversity of its community, it could stand to reason that the level of trust and confidence the residents of the community have in their public safety agency could be jeopardized. In an effort to make sure the Division of Fire’s compliment reflects the community we serve, a joint project including subject matter expertise from the Henrico County Division of Fire (DOF), the Henrico County Department of Human Resources (HR), and the Henrico County Attorney’s Office was implemented to revise the 2014-2015 Entry-Level Firefighter Hiring Process. The project’s goal is to hire the highest quality candidate representative of our community and is the best fit for Henrico Division of Fire.
Situational awareness during incidents and events is one of the most important factors to support response and recovery efforts before, during, and after a disaster. Integrating volunteers to support career public safety personnel in times of crisis empowers citizens by allowing them to be a part of the preparation, response, and recovery to an event or incident in Henrico County.
Formally established in August 2015, the Henrico County Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) pairs the knowledge of trained volunteers with the career public information and intelligence agencies to assist in monitoring social media and provide information and resources to support response and recovery efforts during any incident or event in the region.
In May 2015, realizing that there was a need for change as it related to arrests by police officers at Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS), Chief Douglas A. Middleton, with the assistance of a host of others, created a new policy that provided police officers, whether School Resource Officers (SROs) or field personnel, with greater discretion in the application of arrests or diversion opportunities. When it is reasonable, in the interests of the juvenile and the juvenile’s family, and when the safety of the community or another person is not at risk, officers shall release a juvenile on a Juvenile Violation Report. The results of these changes have been dramatic in reducing the number of arrests. Custodial arrests by officers for the first semester of 2015 (4), as compared to the first semester of 2014 (199) show a dramatic deduction in custodial arrests of students by officers. A yearly Juvenile Services Officer (JSO) certification has been established and consists of training that is relevant and practical for all SROs.