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CPAAAN Investigation:  Norfolk

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Guest Speakers


The K9 Patrol

The K9 Unit was the featured topic at the September 2014 general meeting. The K9 Unit complements the operation of the 3 patrol divisions by allowing for use of fewer officers and increasing their safety and effectiveness. The Norfolk K9 unit was established in 1959 at the suggestion of then Mayor Fred Duckworth and is now the second largest in the state, with 19 handlers.

NPD Sgt. Rob Chambers, a 15 year veteran police officer and Virginia Police Work Dog Association Master Trainer, provided a very informative presentation that included the breeds of dogs used, the dog selection process, the lengthy training, and conditions under which dogs are utilized. Of interest is that Norfolk K9 unit hosts dogs and policeman teams from other areas for training purposes.

The presentation was followed by an actual K9 demonstration by Officer Ryan McNiff and his dog, Krijger (which means Warrior in Dutch), exhibited an impressive obedience and jumping display. Sgt. Chambers played the role of the “suspect” who was trying to get away while Officer McNiff and his dog pursued.





The CPAAAN members were treated to an enjoyable presentation by Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the Norfolk Office of the FBI. Royce attended college in Reno Nevada where he joined the Army ROTC program then entered flight training and became an Apache helicopter pilot. After 7 yrs. in the army he decided to join the FBI.

First job was in Dallas investigating white collar crimes. He then joined the hostage rescue team flying tactical helicopter. He was later assigned to Attorney General, John Ashcroft’s security detail. From there he became the manager of the Organized Crime and Drug Program in Las Vegas.

Royce was then assigned to Austin Texas as Assistant Special Agent In Charge of the FBI Field office. His next assignment was Chief of Staff for the executive assistant director who was #4 guy out of 36,000 in FBI. He then became SAIC of Norfolk Field office.

Royce’s exciting background in the FBI enabled him to provide an excellent, enjoyable program for the members.



Identity Theft and Strategies for Crime Prevention

Identity Theft and Strategies for Crime Prevention was the subject presented by Detective Ireland at the March general meeting. NPD Det. Ireland has enjoyed a 25 year progressive path from traffic to bicycle patrol, tactical, and economic crimes but his real passion has been the prevention of fraud. It began because so many older folks like his dad were losing part or all of their retirement; which had been accumulated over a lifetime of hard work. Schemes perfected by criminals were devised to separate the elderly victims from their life savings. The seniors are now becoming better informed by networking with their peers to the point where the most vulnerable group have become the 20 thru 29 year age group. The methods of fraud have become more advanced and moved into the arena of identity theft and computer crimes.

Detective Ireland’s presentation was filled with sound advice and on line sources designed to be a self-defense strategy. By providing awareness of the scope and sophistication of today’s criminals he is not just tracking and prosecuting but providing self-help tools needed to avoid becoming victims of crime. These criminals prey on those who play by the rules, support and educate their families and save for retirement. Ask questions and arm yourself with reasoning and common sense to avoid being a victim of fraud.




The meeting for October 2013 featured the Harbor Patrol/Dive Unit, a component of the NPD Homeland Security Division. Officers R.J. Hryniewich (L) and Alex Keeling (R) described the duties of the unit, which is to maintain the safety of citizens in our waterways and to be constantly prepared to protect against waterborne threats such as terrorism or other security threats. A thorough description of the diving procedures, including depth time and frequency of dives was provided. Multiple types of equipment such as a side scanner, the various types of diving suits, and communication devices were available for members to see; the purpose of each was then described. NPD Harbor Patrol Dive Unit enjoys a very good reputation, and has supported other smaller localities by helping to setup their departments; it also assists many other surrounding cities as needed. During and after the presentation there were many questions asked and answered. Thanks to the Harbor Patrol for a very interesting and informative evening!

Sgt. W. Kelly of the Norfolk Police Department Homicide Division spoke to the membership on March 19, 2013 on the topic of cold cases. Last year the NPD applied for and was awarded a three year grant which enables the Homicide Division to focus exclusively on unsolved cases. The grant allows experienced homicide investigators and additional resources to be dedicated to cold case files; these files stay open indefinitely. Available witnesses may be interviewed again. Evidence from the case file is periodically reviewed to determine if new testing processes are available. Sgt. Kelly provided an update on the progress of these investigations over the last year. Several cases have been solved, the oldest one dating back to 1975 and others as recent as 2012. In some cases, witnesses decided to give information that they did not previously. Continuing dedication and improved forensic science methods, including DNA testing, have contributed greatly to the success of the Cold Case Squad.



The Economic Crimes Unit of the Norfolk Police Department presented a very interesting and beneficial program to CPAAAN members on February 19, 2013. Seen (L-R) are Investigator Hash, Sargent Mayer, Investigator Brown, Investigator Copeland, and Detective Andre Perry. These members of the unit were in attendance to alert our group about the various types of scams that exist today, including counterfeit currency and bad checks. Fraud and Identity theft have expanded rapidly due to cyber-crime; citizens need to be aware of the growing volume of economic crimes and how to be proactive. Following the program there was a lengthy Question and Answer period during which advice was given on how a person can keep from being a victim of these types of crime and where to report a suspicious activity.





Lt. Alex A. D. McConnaghy, Norfolk Police Department Community Policing Coordinator was the speaker at the January 2013 CPAAAN general membership meeting. Community policing involves reaching out to and interacting with citizens, businesses and civic leagues to prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime. Among the programs in place are Neighbors Building Neighborhoods, National Night Out, Chess Life for Kids, a Youth Academy for elementary school children, and the Criminal Justice Explorers Academy for junior and senior high school students. NPD is making efforts to educate citizens of all ages about keeping themselves and their property safe.



In November Bob Batcher, Communications Director for the City of Norfolk, spoke to the members about a relatively new program, Neighbors Building Neighborhoods. The concept is that the residents themselves can have a great impact on their own neighborhoods by volunteering their skills and talents to help solve neighborhood issues. When members of the community work together to improve the conditions and look out for each other as good neighbors the result is improved relationships and revitalization of the area.

Information can be obtained through your civic league and Community Resource Officers. If seeking further assistance or requesting
service you may contact the Norfolk Cares Assistance Center at 664-6510.



Sgt. Danielle Avery, guest speaker for the CPAAAN October 16 meeting presented some very helpful information on “How to Stay Informed” and  provided  CPAAAN members with the  tools and strategies to accomplish this.   The primary method for becoming informed is research, whether it is through personal contacts, internet resources, or local regional or national news. Internet resources include the various search engines such as Google News, Yahoo! News, and the home pages for the local TV stations.    The national media homepages include CNN, Fox News, and NBC News.  

There are internet sites contracted by the City of Norfolk to provide specific information regarding our community. Crimemapping.com in partnership with the Norfolk Police Departments provides current crime statistics online.

The Crime View Community application is available within the City of Norfolk’s homepage (www.norfolk.gov) for citizens of Norfolk to research areas in which they are interested.  On the home page click on the Crime Data section in the left hand column  and click on Crime View Community.  This is an interactive site that allows you to search via various categories such as civic league, zip code, type of crime, and specific range of dates and distance to landmarks.

Cold Case Files was the topic of the March 20, 2012 general membership meeting. Guest speaker Sgt. Wayne Handley of the Homicide Division of the Norfolk Police Department described the criteria for being a cold case, the advances in forensic testing, and the challenges that come with seeking resolution to a homicide that remains unsolved after many years. The Norfolk Police Department keeps all old cases open and readily accessible for review, particularly from the standpoint of recently developed tests. Through a recent grant, NPD has a Cold Case Squad which is composed of Sgt. Handley (in picture on left) and four investigators who devote their time and efforts exclusively to these cases. Sgt. Handley reminded our group that citizen input of details, time frames, and locations is always helpful and he welcomes such information. There was a lengthy question and answer period during the very interesting presentation.

Norfolk Victim/Witness Assistance Program-Marlene Bright

Marlene Bright, Assistant Director of the Victim – Witness Program was the guest speaker for February 2012. The Victim/Witness Assistance Program is a part of the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney and is funded by a grant administered by Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services. Its mission is to advocate for and empower individuals who have been victimized by crime in the City of Norfolk. The definition of victim includes spouses, children, parents and guardians of minor or mentally or physically incapacitated victims as well as homicide victims. Victims of crime have certain rights, and may be entitled to assistance and services through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund. Examples of assistance include protection, interpreter services, seeking restitution and preparing a Victim Impact Statement. To obtain information on how these rights may apply to you contact the Norfolk Victim/Witness Assistance Program at 664-4850

James Rogers, Special Assistant to the City Manager on Community Based initiatives was the guest speaker for the general meeting on January 17, 2012. The topic, "Well Managed Government" is one that is important to all Norfolk citizens. The City Administration's vision of well-managed government is a data-driven organization which provides effective and efficient programs and services that are responsive, accountable, inclusive, and customer focused. This is accomplished in a number of ways including open communication with the residents, building a high quality workforce and developing safe and healthy communities.

FBI Special Agent Alex J. Turner

Alex J. Turner, FBI Special Agent in charge of the Norfolk Field Office was the guest speaker at the November general meeting. A 27 year veteran of the FBI, Mr. Turner spoke on the history and duties of the FBI and its interaction with other law enforcement and government agencies. Interestingly, the FBI began 103 years ago with 5 agents. Today there are 36,000 agents. These days the number one issue our country faces is terrorism, both international and domestic. Of particular concern are homegrown violent extremists who seek to fit into everyday life unnoticed, but have the goal of doing harm.

The priorities for the FBI in the Hampton Roads area are violent gangs, economic fraud including ID theft, cyber crimes such as pornography, and white collar crimes, for example internal fraud within a financial institution.

Special Agent Turner answered many questions posed by our members. It was a most informative program that was enjoyed by all.

Our guest speaker for October was Norfolk International Airport Chief of Police Jayward Hanna. After serving for 31 years on the Norfolk Police Department and rising to the position of Assistant Chief, Chief Hanna thought he would have an easy time transitioning to his new position as Airport Chief. What he discovered was that he had to deal with numerous agencies such as Drug Enforcement, Homeland Security, FBI, ICE, Customs and the FAA. The Norfolk Airport Authority owns the airport, which sits on 750 acres of land. The Authority consist of a Board of Commissioners appointed by the Norfolk City Council for a two year term.

The Norfolk Airport Police force consists of 37 sworn officers and 10 non-sworn employees who provide protection at the airport 24 hours a day 365 days per year. Police dogs are trained to detect explosives. The primary goal of the Norfolk Airport Police is to assure safety and security for the traveling public and the airline personnel and to deter terrorist activities. Employees are well trained and subject to background checks and regular screening.

Screening of passengers is a necessary process that must be done prior to boarding a plane. If there is no screening of a passenger, there will be no flying for that person. Early next year there will be some newer less invasive screening equipment that will be put in place.

The presentation was followed by a very interesting Question and Answer period on a variety of subjects including medical equipment, the loss of property from a suitcase, the role of Air Marshals, and even traveling pets!

At our September meeting Scott Mahone from the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) gave a presentation on lessons learned following hurricane Irene. Mr. Mahone explained and answered questions on some of the most vital information we all should know. A few are:
1. Break-ins during the storm (theft).
2. Turn off main breakers.
3. Where to go – let family and friends know where you are; try to keep contact alive.
4. Those who opt for bus transportation to shelters are allowed one piece of luggage and anything you can carry of need. There are 26 authorized shelters in Hampton Roads, and Lake Taylor Elementary School can withstand a Category 1 and 2.
5. Types of Shelters: Staff Shelter; Shelters for Pets; Residents with Disabilities; Homeless Population for men and women.
6. Within 72 hours, the Damage Assessment Team goes into action.
7. The Governor, the President, and the City Manager can declare the State of Emergency.
8. The Recovery Phase is in place, with Power Outage and Damage Assessment with assistance from FEMA.