FYI Alexandria - October 21, 2016

Page archived as of November 3, 2016

Welcome to FYI Alexandria!

Welcome to our new community newsletter, FYI Alexandria, which will be delivered to your inbox twice a month. Our goal is to keep you informed of what's happening in City government and up-to-date with City-related meetings, events and other happenings in your community. We'll also include links to news releases issued by the City and its departments, and recaps of major actions by Alexandria City Council.

FYI Alexandria will be distributed via Alexandria eNews, Facebook, and Twitter, and will be available in print at City libraries and recreation centers.  We’d love to hear what you think of it; let us know by emailing us at

Top News

Alexandria Police Department Expands Online and Telephone Crime Reporting Options

Did someone hit your car overnight? Did your bank contact you because someone used your credit card? Were items stolen from your car? If the suspect in these crimes is unknown, it is not necessary for a police officer to come out and take a report. The Alexandria Police Department (APD) offers online and telephone options for reporting specific crimes that are no longer in progress and have no known suspects. These options can help you report incidents such as larceny/theft (including a theft from a vehicle); destruction or vandalism of property (with the exception of graffiti, which you can report online); tampering with auto; hit and run (a car crash in which the driver of the striking vehicle does not leave contact info); identity theft; harassing, annoying, or obscene phone calls; and lost property.

Option #1: Using the APD Online Reporting System. By filing a report online, you will be given a temporary report number and notified by email of the permanent report number that you may use for insurance purposes. You can access the online reporting form by visiting

Option #2: Calling Police Non-Emergency at 703.746.4444. If you call our non-emergency number, dispatchers will relay your name, contact number and summary of the crime to the Telephone Reporting Unit. You should be contacted within three business days to provide a report over the phone.

APD provides a system to report certain crimes and incidents online and by telephone, in order to increase the number of police officers available for community policing and emergency response. Online reports do not automatically initiate an investigation or assign a police officer to the case; however, each and every report is reviewed by an investigative supervisor. Data from the online and telephone reports is also collected to help the Police Department develop tactics and deploy resources. Individuals making reports may be contacted if additional investigation is needed.

This approach was recommended by a staffing study conducted for the Alexandria Police Department in 2016 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

GO Alex: Alexandria's Resource for Transportation Alternatives

Go Alex

The City's transportation alternatives program has a new look. Formerly known as Local Motion, "GO Alex" is a one-stop shop for travelers to learn about transportation options in Alexandria. The program provides residents, commuters and visitors with information and resources about getting in and around the City. GO Alex encourages the reduction of automobile dependence, increasing mobility, and improving air quality through the promotion of public transit, ridesharing, bicycling, and walking as money and time-saving alternatives.

City's Community Rating System Annual Progress Reports Now Available

Alexandria is a participant in the Community Rating System (CRS) program administered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages communities to implement floodplain management activities that exceed those required by the NFIP. Communities are urged to meet three goals: 1) reduce flood damage to insurable property; 2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and 3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. Because of Alexandria's participation in the CRS, city residents may receive a discount of up to 20% on flood insurance premiums (contact your homeowner's or renter's policy provider for more information). As of July 31, 2016, there were 1,616 flood insurance policies in force in Alexandria.

As part of the CRS, Alexandria conducted a Repetitive Loss Area Analysis (RLAA) for areas that experience frequent damage from flooding events. The RLAA document was adopted by the City in 2012. Alexandria also adopted the Northern Virginia Hazard Mitigation Plan and its subsequent update in April 2012, which includes the City's Floodplain Management Plan. To continue receiving credit for the RLAA and the Floodplain Management activities, the City must submit annual public progress reports, which are now available online.

Alexandria Police Officer Receives Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing

APD Officer Receives AwardAlexandria Police Officer Bennie Evans was one of 12 law enforcement officers from nine jurisdictions across the country to receive the inaugural U.S. Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Services in Community Policing. The award, presented to Officer Evans by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on October 6, recognizes local or tribal sworn police officers and deputies who exemplify remarkable achievements in innovative community policing strategies, criminal investigations and field operations. Officer Evans was selected for the way he embraces community policing during field operations and through voluntary participation in projects for the police department and local nonprofit organizations. A lead instructor in the Police Department's Crisis Intervention Team, Officer Evans provides officer training in suicide intervention, substance abuse and other issues. He also serves as the department's homeless outreach liaison. He works to help residents in need and has helped build trust in the communities he serves. Officer Evans has successfully de-escalated numerous violent and attempted suicide calls for service.

Alexandria's Captain's Row Named One of Nation's "Adorable Cobblestone Streets"

Old Town Alexandria's cobblestone "Captain's Row," was named by as #2 of the nation's "top ten most adorable cobblestone streets." Captain's Row, which is located on the 100 block of Prince Street (between Lee and Union Streets), beat India Street in Nantucket (#3); Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia (#4), and South Ann Street, Baltimore (#10). The top rating went to Acorn Street in Boston.

City Council Meeting Highlights

October 5: Legislative Meeting -- Ben Brenman Awards

City Council endorsed a proclamation honoring the winners of the 2016 Brenman Award. The Alexandria Archaeological Commission (AAC) established the award in 2007 in honor of the late activist and retired U.S. Army colonel, Bernard "Ben" Brenman, a founding member of the AAC. The 2016 Brenman Awards highlighted the Hotel Indigo development project, at 220 S. Union St., as the first major archaeological investigation undertaken as part of the current waterfront redevelopment initiative in compliance with the Archaeological Protection Code. This investigation resulted in several discoveries, including the location of the 1749 shoreline of Alexandria, trash-filled privies that provide evidence of the daily life of the city's past residents, a bulkhead built for filling the shallow cove on which Alexandria was founded, the stone and wood foundation of an 18th-century warehouse constructed as one of the first public works projects in the city, and timbers of a portion of the hull of an 18th-century ship.

The 2016 honorees are John Mullen, Principal Archaeologist and Assistant Manager at Thunderbird Archaeology, a division of Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (for Outstanding Professional Archaeologist); Dr. George Schwarz, of the Naval History and Heritage Command's Underwater Archaeology Branch (for Outstanding Maritime Archaeologist); and Michael Wilson, Senior Vice President for Construction, Carr City Centers, (for Outstanding Developer).

In The Community

Drug Take Back Events Scheduled for October 22

To help prevent abuse and theft of medication, the Alexandria Police Department and Alexandria Sheriff's Office are holding Drug Take Back events on Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three locations: The Neighborhood Pharmacy of Del Ray at 2204 Mt. Vernon Ave., Police Headquarters at 3600 Wheeler Ave., and First Baptist Church at 2932 King St. Officers and deputies, with assistance from the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria and Alexandria Renew Enterprises, will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs and other medications. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

The Drug Take Back initiative addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. People may not be aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Many people do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicines, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards. Drug Take Back events provide the public with a convenient and secure way to safely dispose of expired, unused, and unwanted medications.

SOHO Mentors Needed to Start Immediately

Space of His Own and Space of Her Own programs are starting this month, and dedicated, fun, caring adults are still needed to mentor. Work with a vulnerable fifth grader, helping him or her live healthfully, communicate openly, progress academically, give back to others, and lead a fulfilling life. Each week, our mentors meet with their mentees at a local school, where they enjoy dinner together and engage in hands-on art and carpentry projects. SOHO's creative mentoring approach provides the space for relationships to grown. If being involved in one of these programs appeals to you, please call 703.746.4501 or email or Start your mentoring journey today!

Sheriff Authorizes Pink Badges for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Wreat Laying at Arlington National Cemetery

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne has authorized deputies to wear custom-made breast cancer awareness badges throughout October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This tradition first began in 2013 when deputies ordered and purchased the badges themselves after Deputy Amy Clinton lost her battle against the disease. Some deputies wearing them are breast cancer survivors who share their experiences to emphasize the importance of early detection and to support others battling the disease.

L to R: Sergeant Lynn Oliver and Deputy Valarie Wright, both breast cancer survivors, wear pink badges in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It Takes a Village: Ending Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Debra Evans, Chief of the City's Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center, recently joined Sergeant Joe Green of the Alexandria Police and Lisa Stapleton, Chief of Probation and Parole, on NBC News4 to talk about the Domestic Violence Intervention Project, a comprehensive and cooperative approach by law enforcement and domestic violence advocates to combat domestic and sexual violence. Watch their interview with News4 Midday's Eun Yang to learn more about how Alexandria is trying to stop domestic violence before it happens and help the victims after it does.

Native Plant Sale Continues

Beautify your yard, help grow Alexandria's tree canopy and the environment by planting high quality and ecologically valuable native tree and shrub species in your yard. Plants such black gum, flowering dogwood, white oak, elderberry, post oak, black oak, and sassafras are now available, while supplies last. Prices range between $20-$30. For additional information and detailed descriptions of each species, view the 2016 Native Plant Sale flier. Orders will be accepted through October 30 and can be placed online by visiting WebTrac or in person at the Jerome "Buddie" Ford Nature Center, 5750 Sanger Ave. Plants will be available for pick up at the Center on Saturday, November 5, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Alexandria Assists Dogs in Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Hosts #StormSurge Adoption Event

Dog Adoption EventThe Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is helping to make room in overcrowded animal shelters affected by Hurricane Matthew and is inviting the Alexandria community to join in the relief effort. On October 13, acting as an emergency placement partner for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the AWLA received three dogs from Charleston Animal Society in South Carolina. The dogs were at the shelter waiting for adoption when the hurricane struck. They were transferred north to make room for local animals who need temporary housing until they are reunited with their owners.

HSUS arrived at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter on October 16 with a rig full of dogs from storm-affected shelters in North Carolina. AWLA will be taking in six more dogs and serving as the pickup location for several additional rescue groups who are helping. All dogs will undergo complete veterinary and behavioral evaluations to determine how quickly they can be made available for adoption.

AWLA is turning to the Alexandria community for assistance. All dog adoption fees have been waived for a #StormSurge adoption event, which will continue through 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 23. AWLA is also looking for potential fosters to temporarily house dogs; contact for more information.

Have a Safe, "Spooktacular" Halloween!

Halloween is celebrated with a variety of family-friendly festivities all over Alexandria. The City of Alexandria does not set official trick-or-treating hours for Halloween, so expect the children in your neighborhood to head out for trick-or-treating on the day it is traditionally celebrated - October 31. Check out the City's Halloween page for information on how to have a healthy and safe holiday, then go to Visit Alexandria's website for information about Halloween happenings around town.

City Scene

Video: City Stormwater Program

The City has drafted a framework for a potential fee to more equitably fund its stormwater management program and Chesapeake Bay cleanup mandates. The City has launched a public engagement effort to explain the potential fee and solicit feedback, and City Council, which directed that such a framework be developed, will consider whether to move forward with a new fee in the course of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget process. Check out the video to learn more about stormwater and how the City manages it, and read more about stormwater

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