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Issue 152

Friday, February 17, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

This week many elected officials and community members from the region came to together for a press event (see Chair's Calendar). It was a wonderful display of collaboration. Something I think of often in my role as County Chair.

Our County spans almost 350 square miles and is home to almost a half a million people. If you travel from the northwestern tip to the southeastern corner the topography will vary as greatly as the issues important to the people of that area.

My role as Chair is to consider all of them. I strive to create a collaborative environment where we can come together and consider the County as a whole. I truly believe collaboration is a key to ensuring the best for the residents of Prince William County.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Regional Press Event

Wednesday, February 15, Chair Wheeler joined federal, state, and local elected officials in Springfield at a press event to show strong community support and promote Virginia’s case as the best destination for the new FBI Headquarters. Joining the Chair were Senator Mark Warner, Senator Tim Kaine, Governor Glenn Youngkin, Representative Gerry Connolly, Representative Don Beyer, Representative Abigail Spanberger, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair At-Large Phyllis J. Randall, and various community leaders.

County Celebration

Thursday, February 16, Chair Wheeler attended the PWC Black History Committee's celebration for Black History Month. Speakers at the event included members of the PWC Black History Committee, included Chairman Byron Jenkins (right in photo), County Executive Christopher Shorter, PWC Human Rights Commission Chair Curtis Porter, and PWC Poet Laureate Emerita Kim B. Miller. You can read more about the engaging celebration and the speakers moving stories here.

Chamber Event

Friday, February 17, Chair Wheeler attended the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce's Congressional Funding Award Event. The event celebrated the Chamber's initiatives and support it has received from Congressional funding, and also recognized the progress and impact it has made in the Northern Virginia community. Senator Tim Kaine (top left photo center) provided the keynote address. While there Chair Wheeler connected with Town of Dumfries Mayor Derrick Wood (bottom right photo right) and Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sam Wiggins (bottom right photo center).

Town Planning Session

Friday, February 17, Chair Wheeler provided remarks at the Town of Dumfries Extended Work Session - Council Planning Retreat. Other elected officials attending included Virginia General Assembly member Senator Jeremy McPike and Delegates Elizabeth Guzman, Candi King, and Luke Torian, as well as City of Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, February 28

2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Links to the agenda and to register to participate in Public Comment Time remotely will be shared in issue prior to the meeting.

County News

PWC has been awarded almost $1 million in the U.S. Department of Transportation's new competitive grant program, Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A), to improve roads and address traffic fatalities. The $992,000 received by the PWC Department of Transportation will be used to develop a comprehensive safety action plan. The application was submitted by PWC in coordination with the City of Manassas and the Towns of Occoquan, Haymarket, and Dumfries. It will build off previous successful planning and public engagement efforts, including key stakeholders like the County’s Racial and Social Justice and Sustainability Commissions, and create opportunities for meaningful community engagement to ensure policies and strategies improve safety equitably.

More About the Grant Program

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the new SS4A discretionary program with $5 billion in appropriated funds over the next 5 years for regional, local, and Tribal initiatives to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. In total, Virginia projects received over $7 million (pages 47-49) of the $800 million in this round of grant funding. Of those 18 projects funded, PWC was awarded the largest grant amount in the Commonwealth!

Environmental Project Gets Underway

In September 2021, the BOCS unanimously approved a Gas Use Agreement and License at the Prince William County Sanitary Landfill. Work on the OPAL Fuels Inc. state-of-the-art Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Facility is now underway and expected to be completed this Fall. OPAL Fuels is a nationwide leader in the production and distribution of low-carbon intensity RNG for heavy-duty trucks.

What the Facility Will Do and its Benefits

Landfills generate landfill gas (LFG), which is comprised of 50% methane, a greenhouse gas that is a primary contributor to climate change. The OPAL Fuels' facility will capture, convert, and process 95% of the captured methane on-site, significantly reducing the need for combustion of LFG at the landfill and reducing, by well over 90%, the emissions of pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. The RNG is then transferred offsite for use as vehicle fuel or to power homes and businesses. At full output, the new facility will produce approximately 12.4 million gas gallon equivalents of RNG per year.

Tuesday, February 21, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm, PWC and OPAL Fuels Inc. are hosting a Community Information Forum about the project at the James J. McCoart Building in Woodbridge.

Community Meetings on School Safety and Security

PWC School System is considering the addition of advanced security screening technology as early as the 2023-24 school year. Evolv Express® is a crowd screening system that keeps high volume entrances flowing as visitors walk through at a natural pace. It is being used in venues around the country, including public events, schools, hospitals, theme parks, stadiums, performing arts centers, houses of worship, and workplaces. Evolv Express is not a metal detector and instead uses artificial intelligence and sensor technology to instantly distinguish a phone or personal item from a potential weapon or component of a weapon. You can learn more and see Evolve Express in action in the video below.

Upcoming Safety and Security Community Meetings

Attend one the meetings below to engage in the ongoing discussions about the school division's comprehensive approach to deter, detect, and defend,” including the use of new preventative technology:

Your Input Requested

PWC, along with seven other local jurisdictions, are joining the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to create a joint Regional Fair Housing Plan with strategies to expand access to safe and affordable housing. It's the first time in 25 years jurisdictions have united to create a plan. The 60-day public comment period is open through Friday, March 31. You can learn more, read the plan, and submit your feedback here.

Applications are Being Accepted

Through Sunday, March 5, Governor Glenn Youngkin is now accepting applications for the 2023 Governor’s Fellows Program, a prestigious opportunity for rising seniors and recent graduates to get a firsthand look at the executive branch in action. Since 1982, fellows have worked alongside the Governor’s Cabinet and staff, learning about state government and assisting in essential work for the Commonwealth. Learn more and apply here.

Qualified Applicants

  • Rising college seniors, graduating college seniors or enrolled as degree candidates in a graduate/professional school
  • Enrolled in a Virginia college/university or a Virginia resident enrolled in an out-of-state institution
  • Committed to excellence in academics
  • Able to demonstrate leadership ability
  • Involved in extracurricular activities
  • Active in community service

Interviews will begin on Monday, March 13, and offers will be extended on Friday, April 14. The program runs from Thursday, June 1, through Friday, July 28.

Learn How to Respond

Friday, February 24, 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, PWC Community Services is hosting a free REVIVE-Opioid Overdose Recognition and Response Training virtual workshop. The class, led by a qualified instructor from the Behavioral Health and Wellness team, will include how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, how to administer naloxone nasal spray to potentially reverse the effects, and more on what to do and not do in an opioid overdose emergency. Participants will receive naloxone nasal spray after completing the class. Register for the class here

More About the REVIVE!

REVIVE! is the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education program. Since 2013, fatal drug overdose has been the leading method of unnatural death in Virginia, surpassing homicide, suicide, motor vehicles accidents, and undetermined deaths. Opioids have been the driving force behind the large increases in fatal overdoses since 2013. In 2019, there were 1,289 deaths from all-opioids which includes all versions of fentanyl, heroin, prescription opioids and illicitly manufactured synthetic opioids. Naloxone (branded name Narcan) is a prescription medicine that reverses opioid overdoses by temporarily blocking the effects of opioids and helps the person to breathe again.

Spread the Word

George Mason University’s Office of Community and Local Government Relations (GCR) is looking for an Associate Director based at the Science and Technology Campus in PWC. The GRC serves as the lead liaison to the external community and is responsible for connecting and developing sustainable strategic partnerships between the University and local government leaders and agencies, individuals, and business and community organizations.

About the Position

The Associate Director is responsible for assisting in developing the strategic direction of community and local government relations and represents the University to the primary communities of Prince William County, City of Manassas, and City of Manassas Park. You can learn more about the job posting and find the application link is here. The deadline for initial consideration is March 14.

County Happenings

Special Fill the Cruiser Event

Thursday, February 23, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, the PWC Police Department is hosting a Fill the Cruiser Pet Supply Drive for the PWC Animal Shelter (County News issue 130) at the Central District Station, located at 5036 Davis Ford Road in Woodbridge. You will receive a free "Walk & Watch" Bandana for each donation while supplies last. Click here for the list of supplies needed.

Get Outside and Learn Something New

PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is offering Adult Kayaking Classes on Saturday, March 8 and March 28, from 12:30 to 3:30 at Silver Lake Regional Park in Haymarket. Participants will learn the basic skills needed including fitting a life vest, paddle strokes, general water safety, getting in and out of a kayak for both tandem or solo kayaks. Class is $35, open to 18, and is limited so register early.

Lots of Fun Options for Kids

There is still time to register for PWC Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Spring Break Camps for the week of April 3. There are a variety of offerings that focus on different areas like archery, golf, Minecraft, animal, and gardening. Ages range from 5 to 17, depending on the class. You can also give your child a fun and exciting camp experience from the comfort and convenience of your own home with Camp in a Box kits. You can find the list of camps and register here.

County Kudos

People Making a Difference

The Virginia Community Criminal Justice Association (VCCJA) has recognized Tomaudrie Thomas (left), Christopher Mayers (center), and Steven Austin (right) of the PWC Criminal Justice Services Agency (CJS) with outstanding service awards. A non-profit membership organization, the VCCJA is comprised of over 550 member organizations and individuals representing all sectors of public safety and treatment providers who are focused on enhancing public safety through the development and expansion of pretrial, community corrections and other criminal justice programs

About the PWC CJS

The PWC CJS (Department Tour and Talk issue 101) promotes public safety through reduced recidivism by providing efficient, effective, innovative assessment, and supervision programs to empower clients to achieve success and improve individual growth. Its three programs, Pretrial Supervision, Local Offender Probation Services, and Domestic Violence Program, serve the Thirty-First Judicial District, which includes PWC, and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

Tomaudrie Thomas

The CJS Deputy Director, Tomaudrie was awarded the Outstanding Service Award for VCCJA Leadership for her work on the VCCJA, where she has served over 15 years as secretary, treasurer, vice-president and now president-elect.

More About Tomaudrie's Work

Tomaudrie spearheaded CJS’s Harm Reduction Community Collaborator Naloxone Program, which trains people on probation or pretrial supervision, and their families, how to use Naloxone, a life-saving medication that can reverse fatal opioid overdoses. She participates on the County's Strategic Planning Committee and is co-lead for the community’s Public Safety Assessment (PSA) Implementation Team. She also is assisting Virginia's PSA committee in the agency’s equity and inclusion work plan development and implementation. Thomas is also currently working with the VCCJA President to address secondary trauma for community corrections and pretrial staff.

Christopher Mayers

A CJS Senior Probation-Pretrial Officer, Christopher was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for his work in enhancing the development of the Veterans’ Drug Treatment Docket program.

More About Christopher's Work

Christopher adopted a screening process that accounts for equity in the Treatment docket program and developed a quick referral form. He and the docket team developed a marketing plan, created a new progress report, developed a new logo and brochures, and a docket workbook for the veterans. Christopher finalized the addition of a Veteran Mentor Coordinator along with three mentors and developed a system to track mentor volunteer hours. Seven veterans are currently in the program and two are awaiting legal decisions to participate. The program has adopted Moral Recognition Therapy as their Criminal Thinking group and he has taken the lead role in facilitating the weekly group sessions. 

Steven Austin

The CJS Director, Steven was awarded the Collaboration and Innovation Award for his work in leading local stakeholders to establish a Veterans Drug Treatment Docket and a Drug Treatment Court in PWC.

More About Steven's Work

The Treatment Docket offers eligible veteran defendants with substance dependency or mental illness a criminal specialty docket with coordinated services to address their needs. Participants are assigned a veteran mentor who acts as a battle buddy to help them through the process. The Treatment Court is a supervised treatment program that diverts people from jail and places them in a supervised, intensive program that provides extensive therapeutic treatment. Steven supports professional development for CJS staff and created an environment where employees are empowered to participate in the development of agency practices and how processes are put into place. 

Helpful Links


How to Get Vaccinated (including boosters):

How to get tested:


Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
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