Selected police officers from the Reston District Station will begin wearing body cameras in March as part of the Fairfax County Police Department’s pilot program that was approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors last month.
The station was added to the program, which originally would have outfitted all patrol officers in the Mount Vernon and Mason district stations, because extra equipment is available, police said.
Researchers from American University who are studying the program determined it was more appropriate to outfit half of the patrol officers in each district in order to create a control group that would allow researchers to compare data between officers who do and do not have body cameras and work in the same area of the county.
“The Reston area was chosen because it differs from the two police districts already included in the program. The patrol areas within the Reston District include a number of high-rise buildings as well as stops along Metro’s Silver Line. Additionally, our Reston District Police Station is the newest building among our stations, and already has the physical infrastructure in place to accommodate the technical needs of the program,” the police department said in a statement.
The pilot program includes 230 cameras, which will be worn on the outside of the officer’s uniform or vest on a full-time basis. The addition of the Reston District Station is not projected to increase the cost of the three-month program, which will cost roughly $684,000 in fiscal year 2018. The department has the option of extending the program from three to six months.
In an Oct. 2015 report, the county’s Ad Hoc Police Review Commission recommended the program in order to increase community trust, improve evidence collection, decrease the number of complains against police officers and drive a “civilizing effect.”
“Statistics have clearly shown a decrease in use of force encounters, and in the resultant number of complaints by civilians against the local police departments once those departments employ [body cameras]. The reduction in complaints and the level of violence from both law enforcement officers and civilians with whom they interact daily perhaps serves as the greatest motivation for FCPD to begin using the cameras,” according to the report.
Cameras will record during any encounter of law enforcement and the pubic related to a call for service, a law enforcement action, subject stop, traffic stop, search or police service. Police officers are also expected to activate the devises in a private resident so long as officers have the legal authority to be in that location.
The devices are from Axon, a law enforcement technology giant formerly known as Taser International.
According to police spokeswoman, the checkpoint will take place from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Police did not give advance notice of the exact checkpoint location.
FCPD regularly holds checkpoints in various parts of the county in order to monitor for intoxicated drivers.
Officers from the Reston District Station will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint this Friday. Don't drink and drive! pic.twitter.com/xkkzm5FSRJ
— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) November 7, 2017
The 56-mile Reston District covers Reston, Great Falls, and parts of Vienna, Oak Hill and Herndon.
Along with publicity and awareness, checkpoints have proven to be effective in the fight against drunk driving, police say.
Image courtesy of FCPD
That and another larceny — the theft of a package from a residence on Great Passage Boulevard, a Great Falls address — were the sole Reston District items on the latest Fairfax County Police crime report.
FCPD has previously given tips to help avoid package theft. Among the suggestions are to require a signature upon delivery and/or have items delivered to your workplace.
RESTON DISTRICT STATION
1000 block of Great Passage Boulevard, package from residence
11600 block of Plaza America Drive, tip jar from business
FCPD also reported an incident involving a guinea pig being thrown from a balcony in the 2200 block of Castle Rock Square, which we reported Tuesday afternoon.
The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported only three items over the Christmas holiday.
Among them: an apparent Christmas Eve burglary at the Hidden Creek Country Club, a theft of silverware from a home on Manning Street and the theft of a licence plate from a vehicle on Oak Hampton Place.
RESTON DISTRICT STATION
BURGLARY: 1700 block of Clubhouse Road (Hidden Creek Country Club), 12/24/16 around 2:45 a.m. The business was burglarized. It could not be determined at the time whether anything was missing. There were no signs of forced entry.
1000 block of Manning Street, silverware from residence
2500 block of Oak Hampton Place, license plate from vehicle
The Fairfax County Police Department has released two new videos on how to prevent human trafficking.
Det. Bill Woolf of the FCPD’s Human Trafficking Unit advises parents to monitor their teenagers’ online activity to protect them from predators.
“If parents aren’t engaged, if they’re not monitoring their kids’ activities and behaviors, it’s very possible that they could be being scouted and manipulated into teen sex trafficking,” Woolf said.
Police promoted the videos on Tuesday for the one-year anniversary of the “Just Ask” Prevention Project, for which the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force received a $1 million federal grant.
More than 250 human trafficking victims were identified in Northern Virginia in the past year, Woolf told The Centreville Independent. Help was offered to victims after police received 141 tips from locals, Woolf said.
A Reston man was charged with sex trafficking in May after he manipulated a mentally incapacitated woman into prostitution, police said.
Police said that David Seafolk-Kopp, 56, was shot while taking a break from paddling. He told police he saw a red dot near the lower part of his stomach and felt an excruciating amount of pain shortly thereafter.
Officials said the man launched his kayak from a friend’s home near Pasadena, Md., but was unable to make it back to shore until Sunday morning.
Seafolk-Kopp was taken to Baltimore’s Shock Trauma with non-life threatening injuries. The Baltimore Sun reported that he was treated and released.
Police told the Sun that they don’t have a motive or suspect, but the incident is under investigation.
Police say Maura Fussell arrived at the magistrate’s office around 11:00 p.m. seeking to visit her husband, who had been arrested in Clarendon earlier that day.
She was drunk, completely naked and refused to get dressed or leave in a cab, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Sternbeck was unable to say whether Fussell arrived at the office wearing clothes and subsequently removed them, or whether she arrived there naked.
Fussell was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and drunk in public. She was held in jail until sober, police said.
Frederick Police officers on a patrol beat at the Country Hill Apartments complex in the 1000 block of Heather Ridge Drive observed a pick-up truck with several shopping carts in the bed, according to a police news release.
Officers contacted the driver, identified as Richard Henry Johnson, of the 11000 block of Olde Tiverton Circle, Reston, and the passenger, identified as Haydee Melendez, of the same address, and determined they were stealing the carts to sell for scrap metal, according to the news release.
Police arrested both of Johnson and Melendez and transported them to the Frederick County Detention Center’s central booking unit. The two faces charges of theft less than $1,000 and theft scheme less than $1,000.
Photos: Richard Henry Johnson, Haydee Melendez/Frederick Police
A resident reported an unknown man was sleeping in a home in the 1600 block of Becontree Lane about 3 p.m. on Oct. 24. Entry was made through an unlocked door. Police arrested Suliman Abdelrahman, 51. Nothing was reported missing from the home, police said.
In other police news:
1000 block of Vintage Place, Oct, 21. A resident reported someone entered the residence and took property.
12000 block of Greywing Square, Oct, 23. A resident reported someone entered the residence and took property.
2400 block of Centreville Road, cell phone and wallet from business
11400 block of South Lakes Drive, cell phone from school
1200 block of Trotting Horse Lane, purse from residence
Information provided by the Fairfax County Police. An arrest does not indicate a conviction.