Alexandria Police Department Promotions
The Alexandria Police Department has named the new Deputy Chief to replace Hassan Aden, who recently retired to take the Chief of Police position in Greenville, North Carolina. Alexandria Police Chief Earl L. Cook promoted Captain David Huchler to Deputy Chief of Police. Deputy Chief Huchler will oversee the Patrol Operations Bureau. In addition, APD announced seven new promotions and current assignments for the Department’s Deputy Chiefs.
City Releases Draft Housing Master Plan for Public Comment
The City has released its Draft Housing Master Plan for public review and comment. The Housing Master Plan is intended to guide future preservation and enhancement of affordable housing opportunities, community diversity, and economic sustainability in Alexandria. In developing the Housing Master Plan, the City held 15 public meetings, a bus tour of the City’s affordable housing stock, and an allocation exercise that gave residents and other stakeholders the opportunity to consider future housing needs and locations. Two town hall meetings regarding the draft Housing Master Plan, tentatively scheduled for January 24 and January 29, will be held in the east and west ends of the City. There will be additional opportunities for public comment at the Planning Commission and City Council hearings held in the spring prior to final Council action. The City’s Office of Housing also will be scheduling a limited number of briefings to present the findings and recommendations of the draft Plan to interested Boards, Commissions or other organizations.
Witter Recreational Fields Construction Update
Construction activities of the Witter Recreational Field, located at 2700 Witter Drive, are substantially completed. Minor modifications and small installations continue, and the park will be available for limited public use beginning January 2013. Project resources for land acquisition and construction were a result of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Settlement Agreement Record of Decision between the City of Alexandria and the Federal Highway Administration. The project was approved by the Alexandria Planning Commission and City Council in October 2007 and implemented by the Departments of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) and Transportation & Environmental Services. A formal opening and dedication ceremony is planned for early spring 2013. The park features two multipurpose synthetic rectangular fields and one softball diamond with state-of-the-art sports lighting for all fields, park buildings, parking, and preservation of the historic Bloxham family cemetery. For additional information, contact the RPCA Park Planning Office at 703.746.4343.
City Celebrates Adoptions
The City of Alexandria joined hundreds of jurisdictions throughout the country on November 17 to celebrate the Tenth Annual Adoption Day in Alexandria with a ceremony in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The ceremony recognized the new families created when caring adults adopted children who had previously been in foster care. This year, the City celebrated 13 new families and 21 adoptees. The happy outcomes for these children and adults are the result of the work of the Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services, the Alexandria Circuit Court, the Alexandria Best Practices Court, the Alexandria CASA Program, and the Office of the Sheriff. Among the personal stories of adoption was that of guest speaker Deputy City Manager Tom Gates, who introduced his two adopted sons whom he brought to the United States from Russia.
Youth Documentary on Resilience Wins Media Contest
Voices of Resilience, a documentary about Alexandria youth and parents who have found strength in the face of adversity, was the winning entry in the Youth Category of the National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month Media Contest. The film is a collaborative effort among clinicians from the Center for Children and Families who invited their clients to share stories of trauma, adversity, and perseverance for a video project. The film was shown at a Mental Health Awareness event hosted by the Department of Community and Human Services for National Children's Mental Health Day and was paired with a lecture by Dr. Allison Sampson on the impacts of trauma. The media contest was created by the Statewide Cultural & Linguistic Competence Steering Committee and the Office of Cultural and Linguistic Competence of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). Organizations were invited to host, participate in, and/or sponsor an activity for youth and/or adults promoting awareness of mental illness prevention, treatment or research in diverse communities and were invited to submit entries to win recognition for their efforts.