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Issue 175

Friday, August 11, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

I know it's a busy time as we take advantage of the last full month of Summer and at the same time many PWC families are preparing for students to head back to school (August 21st!). So, I wanted to take a moment to bring your attention to a recently issued survey about safety and our community. 

First a little background information. Since the decline of the pandemic, there has been an increase in crime across the nation and we have seen that in Prince William County. That is why the Board of Supervisors initiated our broad, sweeping Community Safety Initiative (presentation link and County News issue 144), hired a Director for this program, Wesley Dawson (County News issue 169), and allocated $422,018 in staffing and additional operating costs in the now active FY2024 County Budget (page 164).

With that in mind, it was good to see in the recent Police Department Community Satisfaction Survey referenced above, our community feels the effects of these actions According to the survey, residents feel safe and know what an exceptional Police Department we have. An overview of the survey results and a link to the full report can be found in the lead County News article below, as well as an informative video interview with our Chief of Police, Chief Newsham. This sense of safety and appreciation for our dedicated men and women in blue was also very apparent when I participated in last week's National Night Out (Chair's Calendar below).

This Board of Supervisors is committed to keeping our County residents safe and has substantially increased funding for our Police Department and other Public Safety Departments in recent years. Please know that the safety of all our communities remains a top priority for your County government.

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar


Tuesday, August 1, Chair Wheeler participated in PWC's National Night Out (County News issue 174). This year, members of the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office traveled to neighborhoods across the County in four separate motorcade routes and joined in 15 different block parties. If you want to see the event in action can check out all the fun in this video.

Watch the video below of the night to see all the fun!


Saturday, August 5, Chair Wheeler attended the Manassas African-American Heritage Festival (BOCS issue 174). The event had over 100 exhibitor booths including UVA Health offering free blood pressure screenings, PWC School System highlighting employment opportunities, and PWC Public Libraries' providing information on the wide-variety of resources it offers.

Facility Addition

Wednesday, August 9, Chair Wheeler spoke at the NOVA BMX ribbon cutting for its new Covered Staging Area. The course, located in Woodbridge, is a thrilling destination for BMX enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. This state-of-the-art facility features a meticulously designed track with challenging jumps, berms, and rhythm sections. The NOVA BMX course has hosted Battlefield Nationals multiple times now, making this a course popular around the nation.

"This new amenity stands as a testament to the passion and commitment of the Northern Virginia BMX team, and we are immensely grateful for their unwavering dedication to our community and for further solidifying Prince William County as a premier destination for BMX enthusiasts from around the world."

Ann Wheeler

Chair At-Large Board of County Supervisors

"Track" Star

Northern Virginian Cutter Williams, well known competitor at the NOVA BMX track, was selected for the Junior Men's Team USA competing at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship this month in Glasgow, Scotland. He races this weekend! Meet Cutter and hear his unique journey into BMX racing (and see some thrilling racing clips!) in the video below. You can keep up to date on Cutter's racing career and his Olympic aspirations on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

School Event

Thursday, August 10, Chair Wheeler attended the Unity Braxton Middle School Summer Community Event. In addition to connecting with PWC Schools Superintendent Dr. LaTanya McDade (top right), Chair Wheeler stopped by many of the information booths including the PWC Department of Public Safety Communications (top left), the new PWC Innovation Elementary School (which opens its doors for the first time this month! left middle), and Keep Prince William Beautiful (top center).

Next Meeting

The BOCS is in August recess. The first BOCS meeting after recess will be Tuesday, September 12, at 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

Biennial Survey Results

The results of the recent PWC Police Department Community Satisfaction Survey (County News issue 153) were very positive about the quality of life in the community. The 2023 results are consistent with the Department's 2020 survey and notably higher than 2018. The survey was conducted by Logit Group, independent of the Department. In total, approximately 800 interviews were completed by telephone at random, on varying days and times in both English and Spanish. 

The positive satisfaction rates (i.e., rates combining those satisfied (5-7) and very satisfied (8-10) on a 10-point scale) were:

  • The Quality of Life in the County 97%
  • Overall Performance of Police Department 95%
  • How Safe Residents Feel in Their Neighborhood 97%
  • How Safe Residents Feel in Commercial Areas of the County 95%

Learn more in the full survey results here, a recent InsideNoVA article, and an interview with Police Chief Newsham in the video below.

School Meals

All students at 44 schools will receive free breakfast and lunch during the 2023-24 school year as part of the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). Seven schools have been added to CEP this year. Families with students who attend schools not in the CEP can apply to receive free and reduced-price school meals online.

Mental Health

Ellie Mental Health is opening its Woodbridge Therapy Clinic Monday, August 14. New to PWC, Ellie will provide individual, family and group counseling for ages 5 to 99. Inclusive to all, its mission is to compassionately transform the culture of mental health care by providing creative solutions that make wellness accessible in every community. At the Woodbridge location it has created a comfy, judgment-free zone where you can be authentic, get real about where you’re at in your mental health, and receive the compassionate care you deserve. Additionally, it works with many insurance providers.

Founded in 2015, Ellie focuses on destigmatizing mental health by compassionately transforming the culture of mental health care and providing creative solutions that make wellness accessible in every community. Ellie believes that struggling with mental health issues is 100% normal. It is okay to not be okay, it is okay to have a bad day and we can talk about the "elephant" in the room.

Did You Know?

Help with Cell Dead Zones

Cell phones are a part of our activities of daily living and dead zones can be, at a minimum, annoying. One such zone is on Prince William Parkway north of Hoadly and below where it turns at Liberia. Cell Coverage Mapping helps track poor coverage areas to eliminate dead zones and improve your cell coverage. Please designate areas where you experience no coverage, gaps in coverage or poor coverage, with your current cell phone provider on its map. It only takes 30 seconds to complete the 3 question survey!


This week, Advance Prince William launched its new website highlighting how PWC is becoming the nation’s “New Technology Capital.” A pioneering organization, it is focused on joining forces with local residents, business leaders, government officials, entrepreneurs, and global technology companies to strengthen the future of technology in our County. Advance Prince William will provide vital information to the community to ensure that each resident understands how they will benefit from this phenomenal growth.

Learn more about the role Data Centers play in our lives in the video below.

By being one of the world’s leading locations in technology and data support, hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and thousands of new high-paying jobs will continue to enable the County to invest heavily in upgrading existing schools, increasing pay for teachers and first responders, improving the transportation infrastructure, making critical investments in public safety, and achieving environmental 

sustainability goals.

County Kudos

Making a Difference

Crossroads Connection works with counselors at PWC Public Schools by providing weekend food students impacted by food insecurity. Dave and Joan Gifford started Crossroads in 2010 with 1 school and 7 children in their basement in Heritage Hunt. It became a chartered club of Heritage Hunt in 2014 and in 2019 a mission of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran church. In 2021 established a separate facility and recently relocated to a larger.

Today, through the support of community partners, volunteers and donors, Crossroads serves weekend meals to over 300 Western PWC students during the school year. Assistance is needed with pre-packing, packing, delivery, and bulk food deliveries. Use Crossroads Sign Up Genius to see upcoming volunteer opportunities or explore ways to make a monetary contribution here.

County Happenings

Back-to-School Event

Saturday, August 12, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm ,the Prince William County Community Foundation (PWCFF), in collaboration with PWC Schools and with the a wide variety of partners, is hosting a free Community Back-to-School Day , at Freedom High School in Woodbridge. The event will include almost 70 vendors, free food bags, food trucks, kids zone, FHS band, DJ, backpacks filled with school supplies, and much more! 

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Family Health Connection Mobile Clinic will also be to there to provide primary care services to qualifying adults.

PWCCF (Chair's Calendar issue 129), founded in 2018 by PWC resident Dr. Gattis, provides philanthropic resources to sustain a healthy and vital PWC communities now and into the future. Its programs focus on the social, environmental, and economic health of the our residents.

A Summer Favorite Returns

The Prince William County Fair is back for its 74th year starting Saturday, August 11, through Saturday, August 19. There will be carnival rides for adults and kids, a demolition derby, monster trucks, pageants, all the usual fair foods, and more. Get all the details here.

Celebrating “Esprit de Corps”

Thursday, August 17, 7:00 pm, The Marine Corps’ Battle Color Detachment will perform at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The highly skilled unit of Marines will celebrate the historic pride of the Marine Corps through the finest in music and ceremonial drill. The Marine Band performs a varied repertoire including new works for wind ensemble, traditional concert band literature, challenging orchestral transcriptions, and the patriotic marches that made it famous. The free event will be held outside on the museum's entry plaza. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets. 

The detachment will feature:

Movie Night Under the Stars

Saturday, August 19, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, come out PWC Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism's next family movie night at Veterans Memorial Park in Woodbridge. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, will begin at sunset. Please bring your own lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Parent attendance required for under the age of 16. The event is free, but pre-registration is required and fills up fast! Deadline to register is three days before the program date.

Kid's Fitness

Registration is open for PWC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism's annual Kids for Kids Triathlon at Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center in Woodbridge Sunday, September 17. Participants will swim in the pool, run along the trail and pedal around the fitness center. The event is an opportunity to get outside and celebrate fitness. Learn more and register to participate here.

To be best prepared, sign up for the optional Kids for Kids Triathlon Training Clinic taught by triathlon-certified coaches. The clinic offers guidance for the event, including course layout and tips to for a successful experience.

The Kid for Kids Triathlon is largely successful because of volunteer support.

Minimum responsibilities on day-of will include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring safety for everyone
  • Excessive smiling and/or cheering
  • Loud clapping
  • Overt acts of encouragement

Learn more and to get involved here.

Save the Date

Saturday, September 16, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, the PWC Police Department is hosting its annual Community Fair at the Sean Connaughton Plaza, located at 1 County Complex Court in Woodbridge to celebrate diversity, embrace unity, and showcase the many facets of police work. The family-friendly event will feature displays from County public-safety agencies and government organizations, have fun activities, pet adoptions, live music, food trucks, and more.

Background investigators and recruiters will be present to speak to anyone interested in a career as a police officer. 

Helpful PWC Links

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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