Community Raises Money for Family of Hit-and-Run Victim — A GoFundMe started on Friday (Sept. 3) by the sister of Reston resident Andrew Willingham, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Fairfax County Parkway last week, has received more than $257,000 as of 7:30 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday). The money will go toward helping Willingham’s wife and two sons with expenses, including a future college fund. [Patch]
County Launches Data Hub for Reston Parks — “You can now access the latest information on urban parks and athletic fields associated with redevelopment in the Reston Transit Station Areas through the new Urban Parks Activity Hub. The new online hub is one of three components of the Reston Data Visualization project created by the Department of Planning and Development in coordination with the Park Authority.” [Fairfax County Government]
Herndon Police Chief With Rare State Award — “Chief [Maggie] DeBoard and Executive Director Dana Schrad were recognized by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation with the 2021 Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement Award…This award recognizes an individual’s conspicuous act or achievement in the performance of their duty that results in an exceptional and responsible contribution to the law enforcement profession here in VA.” [Herndon Police/Twitter]
Reston Contractor CEO Recalls Company’s 9/11 Origins — Reston-based defense technology contractor EverWatch Corp. CEO John Hillen says his life “is very oddly wrapped up with 9/11.” His experience in downtown New York City on Sept. 11, 2001 propelled him from Wall Street to the State Department under the George W. Bush administration, and his company now provides tools for defense missions that directly stem from the attacks. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Google Announces Vaccine Mandate — Google, which employs more than 420 people in Virginia, has extended its work-from-home policy through Oct. 18, but COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for workers who return to offices. A spokesperson told Reston Now that the pandemic has not affected the tech company’s real estate plans, which include an expansion at Reston Station. [CNBC/NBC4]
E-Scooters Spotted in Reston Town Center — At least 15 rentable, battery-powered Bird scooters have been set up in Reston Town Center as part of the company’s Fairfax County deployment. Restonian deems RTC “actually a decent place for these scooters” and looks forward to using them to “effortlessly scoot from the Apple Store to the former site of the Macaroni Grill to pay our #respects some day in the not-so-distant future.” [Restonian]
Taste of Reston Will Be “Reimagined” — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is turning its annual Taste of Reston food festival into a single-day event with reduced capacity that will unfold throughout Reston, rather than the usual multi-day affair at Reston Town Center. With more pressing issues weighing on patrons and restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a cancellation last year, the chamber feels “this is the time to reimagine how we produce future Taste of Reston events.” [Patch]
Herndon Police Chief Advocates for Mental Health Resources — As president of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation, Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard joined other law enforcement and mental health professionals on Tuesday (July 27) to urge the state to allocate more resources to mental health services. She argued that police shouldn’t be tasked with handling mental health issues. [Patch]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The Herndon Police Department plans to join a regional team that will investigate officer-involved investigations, a move that the department hopes will create an expert-led, independent and objective process for investigations.
For over a year, police chiefs from Northern Virginia worked to create a Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) to investigate officer-involved critical incidents like police shootings, use-of-force incidents that result in death or life-threatening injuries, police officer suicides, and in-custody deaths.
At a Herndon Town Council meeting on Dec. 1, Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said the team would boost public confidence in the investigation process, rule out potential conflicts of interest, and create a process for objective investigations.
“It’s a way for us to make sure these are done independently without bias, which really has been one of the outcries of police reform across the country,” DeBoard said.
Currently, HPD works with the Fairfax County Police Department to address similar issues. Absent a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), DeBoard said the process is challenged by FCPD’s limited availability if multiple incidents require a prompt investigation.
DeBoard also noted that HPD can develop the expertise of its staff by taking part in investigations of other jurisdictions.
Alexandria recently pulled out of the proposed team because of delays in bringing the project forward to its City Council. But 11 other jurisdictions have committed to take part in the task force:
- Arlington County
- Falls Church
- Manassas Park
- Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police Department
- Prince William County
Members of the Herndon Town Council agreed with the need for the program at the meeting.
According to a Dec. 1 staff report, taking part in CIRT will not result in additional expenses, other than overtime expenses that are already allocated in HPD’s current budget.
CIRT will not investigate car crashes that result in death, unless the car itself was used as deadly force. Completed case investigations will go before the Commonwealth’s Attorney, who will decide whether to prosecute any individuals.
Maggie DeBoard, the Town of Herndon’s police chief, has been named the president of a statewide police foundation.
DeBoard was named the president of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police & Foundation, a nonprofit professional membership association and educational foundation.
Dana Schrad, executive director of VACP, said that DeBoard is the first female president for the organization.
“Although she would be the first to downplay the significance of this, Chief DeBoard is a stellar example of a dedicated police professional and a true leader among police executives,” Schrad wrote in a statement.
VACP was founded in 1926 and has more than 600 members made up of active and retired state, federal, local, and private law enforcement and criminal justice agency executives, administrators, and managers.
Photo via Herndon Police Department