Public safety is an essential part of local government, and its importance cannot be overstated. Men and women work around the clock to keep us safe, prepare for emergencies, and respond to incidents such as fires or medical calls. The safety of Northern Virginia's (NOVA) students, faculty, staff, and visitors is a top priority for the university. To ensure a secure and safe environment where learning can thrive, each campus has police and public safety personnel, emergency preparedness plans, and a system for notifying students about campus closures due to inclement weather or other safety issues.
The Alexandria Division recently prosecuted a group of defendants who had made a false purchase of approximately 30 firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFL) in Northern Virginia. This was done in collaboration with the Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia, the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force, and the Virginia State Police Drug and Gang Task Force. John Weinstein, of the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department, explains seven reasons why a community outreach program is critical to campus safety. These include raising public awareness of safety issues, providing resources to help prevent crime, and creating partnerships between law enforcement and the community. In addition, the House of Representatives recently passed a law backed by Spanberger to increase funding for Virginia police departments by 26% across the country. The University Police at NOVA in Springfield understand that they cannot prevent all crimes.
This ultimately makes individual members of the university community responsible for their own safety. To this end, NOVA has implemented several initiatives to help students stay safe on campus. These include offering self-defense classes, providing safety escorts on campus at night, and providing emergency phones throughout campus. Public safety is an integral part of life in Northern Virginia's community. It is essential that we all work together to ensure that our campuses are safe and secure places for learning.
By collaborating with law enforcement, local government, and the community at large, we can create an environment where everyone can feel safe.