Sheriff’s Office Initiatives
During Sheriff Crawford's tenure, many new programs for staff, the community and inmates have been implemented. They are as follows:
Community Crime Prevention
TRIAD-- The Triad partnership in Virginia, through the Office of the Attorney General, protects our growing elderly population. A major purpose of Triad is to develop, expand and implement effective crime prevention and safety programs for older Virginians.
H.E.A.T.-A program to Help Eliminate Auto Theft
911 Cell Phone Bank Program-- The Petersburg Sheriff's Office is asking that you donate your old and unused cell phones to assist victims of abuse and the elderly here in the Petersburg community.
Night Out Against Crime-- On "Night Out Against Crime", all Lieutenants, Captains, the Major, the Colonel and I, visit many of the neighborhoods throughout the city to show our support of our community.
Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program- The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program teaches children in pre-K through third grade four important steps to take if they find a gun. These steps are presented in an easy-to-remember format consisting of the following simple rules: If you see a gun: STOP! Don't Touch.
Leave the Area. Tell an Adult. The purpose of the Eddie Eagle Program isn't to teach whether guns are good or bad, but rather to promote the protection and safety of children. The program makes no value judgments about firearms, and no firearms are ever used in the program. Like swimming pools, electrical outlets, matchbooks and household poison, they're treated simply as a fact of everyday life. With firearms found in about half of all American households, it's a stance that makes sense
Meals on Wheels-We deliver meals to the elderly and disabled with the Meals on Wheels organization every other week.
Project Lifesaver-The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to locate and rescue missing persons who suffer from Alzheimer's, Dementia or Autism.
Friday Night at the Arts-Each second Friday night of each month the Sheriff's Administrative Office has remained open to display the artwork of local talented artists.
Guest Speaker at Schools/Civic/Social/Churches- The Sheriff has spoken to many groups and organizations, as well as, attended and participated in community health fairs, community days, youth functions, and various other events that have been held for the public.
Purchase of Tents-- In an effort to provide resources to this community, the Petersburg Sheriff's Office purchased three (3) tents which are available to the community, at no cost.
Scholarship Opportunities- The Petersburg Sheriff's Office along with the Virginia Sheriff's Institute awards scholarships to students from Petersburg who are criminal justice majors or in a related criminal justice field.
Sheriff's Office Website- We have established a link on the Petersburg City's website for the Petersburg Sheriff's Office. The website link is: www.petersburg-so.com.
Easter Bunny Project- During the Easter holidays, our life size Easter Bunny (a Deputy) visits children who are hospitalized, local day cares on Easter Friday and children in the Park for the city wide Easter
Egg Hunt on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. The Easter Bunny also takes pictures with all of the children and gives them a stuffed Easter Bunny, coloring books and other toys.
File of Life- The File of Life is a mini-medical history posted on the outside of one's refrigerator and/or personally carried in a wallet or purse. The FILE OF LIFE card enables medics to obtain a quick medical history when the patient is unable to offer one. The card eliminates the risk of the patient, who, in a frightened state, may forget to mention something important. The card, which is kept in a red plastic pocket labeled FILE OF LIFE, lists the patient's name, emergency medical contacts, insurance policy and social security numbers, health problems, medications, dosages, allergies, recent surgeries, religion, doctor's name and a health care proxy. The entire pocket is held, with a magnet to the outside of the refrigerator.
The Yellow Dot Program- This is a program geared for senior drivers 60 yrs old and over In an emergency situation, 1st responders can identify driver as a 'senior' and participant in this lifesaving program. If a senior driver becomes disabled, or involved in an accident, the yellow dot will speak for them. First responders will see yellow dot, and recognize them as a senior driver with potential medical issues. Responders know to look in glove box for senior's medical pack. Works like "File of Life" but for a vehicle.
Offender Watch Program- Offender Watch has become established as the industry-standard sex offender registration, management and community notification solution at both the state and local level. Citizens may search for a specific offender, or for any publishable sex offenders living near a specific address. Users may also confidentially register any address within the participating jurisdictions to receive email alerts each time a new sex offender moves near that specific address.
The Are You Okay?® telephone reassurance system eases the concern of friends and family who may find it difficult to maintain consistent, reliable contact. Parents of a 9-year-old child may want to make sure their child is home on time from school. An 85-year-old woman wants the independence of living alone in her home along with the security of being monitored. The RUOK® system brings a sense of comfort into every subscriber's home.
Each day at a pre-arranged time, RUOK® automatically makes these computerized monitoring calls inexpensively and without interruption to normal community services. If the RUOK® subscriber doesn't answer after a preset number of call attempts, an alert is given visually on the computer's monitor and audibly on the computer's speakers. A printout containing emergency information on the subscriber, including doctor name and phone number, contact name and phone number, next of kin and brief medical history is generated.
The P. A. T. R. I. O. T. ( Parents And Teens Riding It Out Together) PROGRAM
While parent-child conversations about drinking are essential, talking isn't enough-you also need to take concrete action to help your child resist alcohol. Research strongly shows that active, supportive involvement by parents and guardians can help teens avoid underage drinking and prevent later alcohol misuse.
This program is to provide training and education to the young drivers in the Tri-City area to help them understand the consequences of drinking and driving.
Annual Bicycle Safety Clinic- Bike riding is a lot of fun, but accidents happen. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries. Some of these injuries are so serious that children die, usually from head injuries. Through education, enforcement, outreach and legislation, bicycle safety program goals are directed toward reducing bicycle injuries and fatalities.
Honor/Color Guard-We have a team of 11 Deputies who have worked hard and trained to become the Honor/Color Guard for the Petersburg Sheriff's Office.
Educational & Training Conferences-Staff has attended the National Sheriff's Association Conference, the Virginia Sheriff's Association Conference, the American Jail Association Conference in the last year.
Inmate Programs/Physical Improvements to the Jail-
Jail Audit-In 2006, 2007, and 2008, the Petersburg jail and the Jail Annex underwent a Life, Health and Safety inspection and received a 100% compliance score at both locations.
Department of Corrections Audit-The Virginia Department of Corrections audited all areas of the jail
and the jail annex and the Petersburg City Jail and Jail Annex received 100% compliance in both facilities.
Physical Improvements to Jail and Jail Annex- We have given the jail and the jail annex a complete facelift on the inside and the outside with new paint, trimmings as well as, new landscaping around the jail .
Religious and Volunteer Programs-We have organized a viable religious and volunteer program to have ministers and volunteers coming in to provide programs and services for the inmates on a regular basis.
Academic Programs-Since arriving at the Petersburg Sheriff's Office, we have had 12 inmates to receive their GED certificates .
Viable Work Release Program-The entire work release program was revamped to include the procedures under which the inmates can participate in the program and the responsibilities of the employers.
Offender Reentry Program- The Petersburg Sheriff's Office has implemented The Positive S.T.E.P.S. Re-entry Program to initiate pre-release/transition services to offenders through partnerships with local agencies. Through the Positive S.T.E.P.S program, offenders are connected with resources and services that will provide for a smoother transition and participation in programming. This is a structured program that operates 24 hours a day in a positive social environment with focus on appropriate social values and cognitive development.
The Petersburg Puppy Program- Professional trainers, work with select dogs from shelters and rescue organizations for our jail facility. Before entering the facility, the animals are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and tested and treated for intestinal parasites and, if necessary, for heartworms. The animals will live with inmate handlers who are carefully selected to participate in the program. The handlers will provide for the animals' every need, as well as socialize and train the dogs. With this program, the inmate handlers are given an opportunity to return something positive back to the community -a healthy, well adjusted and socialized animal companion. The handlers obtain a feeling of satisfaction and pride by knowing that they are helping the animals. Other benefits for the handlers include enhanced self esteem, the opportunity to learn teamwork and new job skills, improved communication skills with fellow inmates and facility personnel, and increased morale throughout the jail. They also experience the unconditional love of a pet.
Working with other City Departments/Schools -We partner with the Parks & Leisure Services Department by providing staff to participate with the activities that the department has for the Senior Citizen community. We
provide security to the Petersburg High School athletic games and for the High School graduation..
Virginia State University-Since the Spring of 2006, the Petersburg Sheriff's Office has provided internship opportunities to students from Virginia State University who are seeking degrees in the criminal justice field.
Weed and Seed Committee/SAVY- We have become a part of the Weed and Seed steering committee and the SAVY committee, thus continuing to partner with various community entities to improve our city.
Local Sheriffs-The tri-city Sheriffs (Hopewell, Colonial Heights & Petersburg) work together on a regular basis for the betterment of each of our communities, as well as with other Sheriff's across the country.
Virginia Department of Corrections-We have established a partnership with the Virginia Department of Corrections and they have proven to be a valuable resource in a number of areas.
This is just a snapshot of some of the initiatives that have been undertaken in my first year of office. We will continue to be an integral part in improving our community and if there is anything that we can do as a department, we are willing to serve.
Sheriff Crawford believes in "EXCELLENCE THROUGH COMMITMENT AND SERVICE" and she looks forward to serving the Petersburg community for many years