BOYDS, MD—The IrAmerican Civic Society (ICS) in cooperation with Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host its annual Sizdeh Bedar festival at Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds Sunday, April 7 from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm. Parking passes for entrance to the festival are $25 and can be purchased by contacting the IrAmerican Civic Association at (703) 442-8100 .
Traffic and crowd controls for the event will be managed by Montgomery Parks’ park managers for Black Hill Regional Park in collaboration with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. West Old Baltimore Road will remain open for vehicular traffic during the festival but will not accommodate parking or pedestrian traffic. Currently closed on the east side for construction, West Old Baltimore Road is expected to reopen by April 7. In the event the road is not ready on that date, alternative operational plans will be implemented
Park Police have established a hotline number, 301-528-3469, which residents, park neighbors and patrons may call on the day of the event with any questions or concerns. For questions about this event prior to Sunday, please call 301-495-2595.
Sizdeh Bedar is the Persian festival of spring. Iranian Americans and others will celebrate this age-old spring event in parks and various outdoor settings across the nation Sunday, the thirteenth day of the Persian Year—Norouz. The celebration at Black Hill will include live Persian music, cultural activities, and freshly grilled food and sweets.
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SILVER SPRING, MD—Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) announced two new appointments today: John Nissel, formerly Chief of the Facilities Management Division, was selected for the position of Deputy Director for Operations, and Captain Antonio DeVaul was named Chief of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division. DeVaul has been Acting Chief since May of this year.
“John Nissel and Chief Antonio DeVaul have proven their dedication to our parks and the communities they serve. Both men bring outstanding leadership skills and an unparalleled work ethic to the department,” said Mary Bradford, Director of Montgomery County Department of Parks. “The competition for these positions was very tough, with many outstanding applicants. I look forward to working closely with them to continue the high standards we expect in Montgomery Parks.”
John Nissel; Deputy Director for Operations, M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks
As deputy director, John Nissel oversees the management of Department of Parks field operations, including organizing and directing the work programs of five operational divisions. He is responsible for all trades, mechanics, masons, carpenters, maintenance staff for all 417 parks, arborist and horticultural operations, public and community gardens, revenue-producing facilities such as ice rinks and indoor tennis centers, nature centers, and environmental education.
Nissel joined Montgomery Parks in March 2009 as Chief of the Facilities Management Division, overseeing the department’s building trades, fleet and residential and commercial properties—including maintenance and leasing. Before joining Montgomery Parks, he held several positions of increasing responsibility at the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, including vice president of property and facilities and central purchasing; director of business development and central purchasing; and associate executive director for the national capital branch of the organization. He also previously worked for the National Park Service and Fairfax County Park Authority.
Nissel holds Emergency Management Systems certification from FEMA, and is a member of various organizations including the National Parks and Recreation Association, Frostburg State University Recreation and Parks Advisory Board and the Knights of Columbus. He graduated from Shepherd University and lives in Frederick with his wife and two children.
Antonio DeVaul; Chief of Montgomery County Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police
Chief Antonio DeVaul, a 19-year veteran of the Park Police (in both Montgomery and Prince George’s County Divisions) oversees a staff of 113 including more than 20 command and supervisory personnel. The command staff is responsible for the supervision of police personnel and the implementation of the operational programs, policies and objectives of the agency.
During his tenure with Park Police, Chief DeVaul has served in or supervised in every section, including assignments as Assistant Chief, Field Operations; Assistant Chief, Support Operations; Community Services Commander; Patrol Commander; SERT Commander; Operations Duty Officer; Manager of Staff Services; Manager of Technical Services; Patrol Sergeant; Police Activities (PAL) Supervisor; Patrol Officer; and Field Training Officer.
Chief DeVaul has received numerous commendations and awards from the community, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and other government agencies and organizations, including the Silver Star for Valor, the Bronze Star for Life Saving, Police Officer of the Year, Governor’s Citation, and the United States Congress Proclamation. He is a graduate of several police executive courses including the Session XXI of the Maryland Leadership Challenge, the Penn State Police Executive Development Program, the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions’ Foundations of Leadership Executive Course, the FBI Greater Chesapeake Law Enforcement Executive School, and the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association Law Enforcement Executive Officer Program. He is also a graduate of the Impact Silver Spring Leadership Development Program.
Chief DeVaul is a member of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). He is also an active member of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Diversity Council, the Montgomery County Emergency Management Group, and the Montgomery County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee.
He is a life-long Montgomery County resident, attended Montgomery County Public Schools and graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park. He currently lives in Rockville with his wife and three youngest children. He also has two adult children.
After a distinguished 24-year career with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Chief Darien L. Manley has announced his retirement plans effective May 1, 2012. “It’s been a good ride,” Chief Manley said. “I am proud to say that I have served with the best of the best. I’m looking forward to a new challenge but will miss my colleagues.” Chief Manley has served in both Montgomery County and Prince George’s County as an Officer, Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and for the last four years as the Chief of the Montgomery County Division.
Chief Manley is best known for his innovative technology solutions to everyday policing. Under his watch, the Division has been on the cutting edge of technology and communications. Chief Manley was a Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions’ Police Training and Firearms Instructor for more than two decades. He will be joining the State Highway Administration.
Chief Manley received numerous commendations and awards from the community, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and other public safety agencies and organizations, including national recognition as the APCO Public Safety Communications Center Director of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Region. He was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Prince George’s Parks & Recreation Meritorious Achievement Award. Chief Manley has completed the Maryland Leadership Challenge and the DEA National Drug Enforcement Academy.
“Commander Manley managed his Park Police division with strength and kindness, and with a deep commitment to the parks and community he served,” said Mary Bradford, M-NCPPC Montgomery County Parks Director. “He directed his force through some difficult times and leaves them stronger and well-prepared for the future. He was a key part of the management team for Montgomery Parks, and his shoes will be hard to fill as we search for a new Division Chief for the Park Police. I relied upon Commander Manley’s skills, and respect him both personally and professionally. We will truly miss him.”
DEPARTMENT OF PARKS APPROVES DEER MANAGEMENT FOR SLIGO CREEK STREAM VALLEY PARK; PROGRAM TO BEGIN IN JANUARY 2012
SILVER SPRING, MD— M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks, announces that a new deer management program in Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park Golf Course has been approved and will begin in January, 2012.
As part of the program, specially trained Park Police sharpshooters, under very stringent guidelines and in the most humane way possible, will lethally remove deer from the park. The Park Police-based sharpshooting activities will occur within the Sligo Creek Golf Course at night from 5:30 pm until sunrise – when the park is closed to the public – throughout January, February and March, 2012.
The Department of Parks was asked to implement a deer management program in this area by community groups, individuals, and the Montgomery County Council due to the increasingly adverse impacts of the burgeoning deer population on local neighborhoods including an increase in deer-vehicle collisions, Lyme disease from deer-borne ticks, and damage to the natural ecosystem of Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park. Native plants are being browsed heavily, dying with no chance to reproduce, and birds and other animals that rely on a balanced ecosystem are disappearing.
Parks wildlife ecology staff investigated deer densities in Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park between Route 29 and Arcola Avenue annually beginning in 2007. Current estimates show that 140-181 individual deer use these parklands; this density is over four times higher than recommended for the area. It was determined that the Sligo Creek Golf Course was the best location to begin reducing deer populations.
The new program was proposed in October, 2011, and the Department accepted public comments regarding the proposal through November 10, 2011, receiving 151 responses from area residents. Seventy-four percent of respondents were supportive of the program.
Several comments opposing the program suggested utilizing alternative measures, such as birth control, to manage the population. “The use of birth control was considered for this site,” said Natural Resources Manager Rob Gibbs, “however it was determined that it was not a feasible method for free roaming wild deer in Sligo Creek Park.” One important reason this method was not selected is that the only FDA-approved drug for birth control in wild deer requires each deer to be captured, tagged and hand injected with the drug. This process would need to be repeated with each treated deer every two to three years and for any fawns born or non-treated deer that move into the area. Some experimental efforts using deer contraception have been conducted in the county; however, they have all been done within fenced areas and even then, have not significantly reduced deer numbers even after more than a decade of use. The Department continues to monitor advances in deer contraception in hopes of using it in the future if the drugs and technology improve.
Concerns regarding safety were also raised during the comment period. In order to ensure the public is aware of park closures and sharpshooting operations, the Department will post yellow and black “Park Closed” signs around and throughout Sligo Golf Course. Notices of closures will also be posted on the Montgomery Parks website. Park Police will patrol the park during these operations to ensure public safety and safe weapons discharge.
“Park Police has been utilizing sharpshooting as a method of deer population reduction in Montgomery Parks since 1999, safely and effectively when traditional hunting is not practical or legally possible,” said Department of Parks Wildlife Ecologist Bill Hamilton. All deer harvested from the program will be utilized to feed the hungry throughout the Capital area, including in Montgomery County.
The Department of Parks sharpshooting operations have been very successful. Over the past 11 years, more than 4,000 deer have been harvested and about 70 tons of meat donated to local food banks. Measurable reductions of impacts from deer have been realized, such as a decline in deer-vehicle collisions surrounding parks where management occurs. There has not been a single safety accident since the program began.
Lowering deer numbers in the area will reduce deer-vehicle collisions and impacts to home landscaping, and help the heavily damaged park ecosystem recover and support a greater diversity of native plants and animals including a more balanced and healthy population of deer.
To learn more the department’s deer management program, visit www.ParksDeerManagement.org.
Marketing and Public Affairs Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks
SILVER SPRING, MD—The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Montgomery County Department of Parks is now accepting public comments on a proposal to conduct deer management at Sligo Golf Course on Sligo Creek Parkway in Silver Spring.
This proposal comes in response to community requests for deer population management in Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park. Parks wildlife ecology staff has also investigated the area to find deer densities far exceed desirable levels. The Friends of Sligo Creek (FOSC), a watershed advocacy group which conserves natural resources within the park and surrounding communities, endorses the department’s Sligo Golf Course deer management proposal. The Montgomery County Revenue Authority, which operates Sligo Golf Course, also supports this initiative.
“There is growing community momentum, in areas across the county, to initiate and request significant steps to address deer populations,” said Department of Parks Wildlife Ecologist Bill Hamilton. “This current proposal should signal that Montgomery Parks hears these concerns and is willing and able to act responsively to address community requests about deer.”
As proposed, specially trained Maryland-National Capital Park Police sharpshooters, under stringent guidelines and in the most humane way possible, will lethally remove deer from the park. If approved, the proposed activity would occur beginning this winter and annually as required during the months of January through March, from 5:30 pm until sunrise—at night when the park is closed to public use. All deer harvested from the program are donated to feed the hungry throughout the Capital area, including in Montgomery County.
“Park Police sharpshooting is specifically designed to be safe in densely developed areas,” added Hamilton. “Since 1999, Montgomery Parks has employed Park Police sharpshooting as a way to safely and effectively manage deer populations when traditional methods of hunting are not practical or legally possible.”
To date, the Department of Parks deer management operations have been successful. More than 4,000 deer have been
harvested. Measurable reductions of impacts from deer have been realized, such as a decline in deer-vehicle collisions surrounding parks where management occurs. And, there has not been a single accident since the program began.
The Department of Parks is seeking public input on this proposal to add Sligo Golf Course to its deer management operations, primarily from residents surrounding the golf course, prior to making a final decision. Residents may submit comments by
email to MCP-DeerManagement@MontgomeryParks.org or traditional mail to Department of Parks, Wildlife Ecology Unit, 12535
Milestone Manor Lane, Germantown, Maryland 20876. Comments will be accepted now through Thursday, November 10, 2011. All comments must include a full name and address to be considered.
To learn more about this proposal and the department’s deer management program, visit www.ParksDeerManagement.org.
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Media Relations Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks
SILVER SPRING, MD—Today, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Montgomery County Department of Parks announces its fall 2011, winter 2012 deer management operations season and reminds drivers to take caution as deer activity increases in fall.
“The sound of gunfire may be heard during our deer management operations,” said Department of Parks Wildlife Ecologist Bill Hamilton. “Residents should know these sounds, while alarming, don’t represent a significant concern for safety.”
The department’s seasonal deer management operations will begin Friday, October 28, 2011 at Hoyles Mill Conservation Park and Woodstock Equestrian Special Park and will be completed on March 31, 2012. These activities will result in several intermittent park closures. Park users are encouraged to note park closures, affecting specific park locations during this period which are noted on the department’s website at www.MontgomeryParks.org. Yellow and black “Park Closed” signs will be posted throughout and surrounding affected parks, at all park entrances and in communities surrounding these affected parks.
“The department’s deer management program has been designed with safety paramount,” added Hamilton. “During fifteen years of operations, having harvested over 10,000 deer, not one injurious accident has occurred.”
To complete the managed deer hunts, part of the annual deer management operations, eight county parks will be closed from sunrise until sunset on select dates from October 2011 through January 2012. From January 1, 2012 through March 31, 2012, additional county parks will be closed from 5:30 pm until sunrise—at night when the parks are closed to public use—for Maryland-National Capital Park Police sharpshooting of deer, another component of the seasonal operations. A complete list of the scheduled park closures is below.
“The department’s efforts have been successful in reducing deer-related impacts in areas where deer management is ongoing,” said Hamilton. “Still, deer impacts are becoming increasingly prevalent in urban areas, such as Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Cabin John, Rockville and others.”
In response to resident requests, the department will begin investigating Sligo Golf Course in Silver Spring for Maryland-National Capital Park Police sharpshooting of deer this winter. Information on new proposals will be made available to the public later
this fall and public comments will be accepted prior to any decision to proceed with this addition.
Many parks in urban areas are narrow, linear stream valley parks surrounded by dense development. These parks typically include much infrastructure, such as hard surface trails, athletic fields and courts, and public gathering spots. They are designed to provide for the densely populated communities they serve. Similarly, in urban areas where public use is less frequent, access to parkland is often very limited. Both circumstances require the most detailed attention to safe and legal weapons discharge with regard to introducing a deer management operation.
“Our objective, now, is to move forward in an effort to develop safe and effective programs to reduce deer-related impacts in the more urbanized county communities where residents have vocalized growing concerns about deer populations,” noted Hamilton. “Addressing deer population growth on parkland in these highly developed communities, while not insurmountable, is complex and will require thorough planning by the department and a high level of community support and commitment.”
This time of year, the Department of Parks also reminds residents and drivers the months of October through December are the breeding season for deer and activity will be at its annual peak. During this period, deer activity becomes more frequent and unpredictable.
Drivers should keep the following tips in mind to avoid a collision:
Be more aware of deer on or near roadways and take
Be aware deer are most active from dusk through dawn.
Look for eye-shine along road edges.
Deer may travel in groups, so if you see one deer expect there to be others.
Pay attention to deer crossing signs; these signify areas where multiple accidents have occurred.
A collision with a deer can happen on any roadway in the county, but be particularly cautious in areas where you observe deer often and where woodlands run adjacent to the roadway.
“The best precaution drivers can take is to drive the speed limit and to keep an eye out for deer along the roadside,” noted Hamilton. “Most importantly, if you encounter a deer on the roadway, brake cautiously and in control.”
For more on the Department of Parks’ deer management program, including a copy of the county’s deer management plan, Montgomery County Deer Management Work Group annual reports and information on deer management operations, visit www.ParksDeerManagement.org.
Montgomery Parks Fall and Winter 2011/2012 Deer Management Closures
Parks closed for managed deer hunts—closed sunrise through sunset on the dates indicated.
Blockhouse Point Conservation Park (Darnestown), Closed: Tuesdays, November 8 and 22,
and December 13, 2011
Bucklodge Forest Conservation Park (Boyds), Closed: Fridays, December 2, 2011 and January 13, 2012
Great Seneca Stream Valley Park, Unit 2 (Gaithersburg), Closed: Wednesdays, November 2 and 16 and December 14, 2011
Hoyles Mill Conservation Park and attached segments of Little Seneca Stream Valley Park (Boyds), Closed: Friday, October 28, Friday, November 4, Saturday, November 12, Friday, November 18, Saturday, December 3, Friday, December 9, Saturday, December 17, 2011 and Friday, January 6, Saturday, January 14, and Saturday, January 21, 2012
Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg), Closed: Wednesday, December 7 through Friday, December 9, 2011 and Wednesday, January 4 through Friday, January 6,2012
North Germantown Greenway Park (Clarksburg), Closed: Wednesdays, November 2 and 16 and December 14, 2011
Rachel Carson Conservation Park (Olney), Closed: Mondays, November 7 and 21, and December 12, 2011
Woodstock Equestrian Special Park (Beallsville), Closed: Fridays, October 28, November 4, December 2, 2011 and January 13, 2012
Parks closed for Park Police-based sharpshooting—closed 5:30 pm through sunrise January 1 through March 31, 2012.
Agricultural History Farm Park and attached segments of Rock Creek Stream Valley Park (Derwood)
Layhill Local Park (Wheaton)
Needwood Golf Course (Rockville)
North Branch Stream Valley Park, Units 2&3 (Norbeck)
North Branch Stream Valley Park, Unit 4 (Olney)
Northwest Branch Recreational Park (Aspen Hill)
Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park, Unit 7 (Norwood)
Northwest Golf Course (Wheaton)
Rock Creek Regional Park (Rockville)
Rock Creek Stream Valley Park, Unit 7 (Aspen Hill)
Wheaton Regional Park (Wheaton)
Woodlawn Special Park (Sandy Spring)
Media Relations Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks
On Monday, August 22, 2011, at 8:30 p.m., an officer of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division, was on patrol at Cabin John Regional Park (10601 Westlake Drive, Bethesda, Maryland). The officer saw a subject in a red jeep Cherokee that was parked in an isolated part of the park after the park was closed. As he approached the vehicle, he found fireworks in the vehicle. Montgomery County Fire Rescue responded and their investigation revealed that the Jeep had been fitted with a turret and multiple tubes from which fireworks were to be deployed. The Joint Terrorism Task Force was notified and responded as well.
The subject was identified as Glenn Neff, 27, of Stewart, Florida. Neff made statements that he didn’t want to hurt anyone. The device was made to draw attention to himself and issues he had with the banking industry. He had planned to ignite them on the National Mall. Also located in his vehicle was drug paraphernalia and alcohol. Montgomery County Fire and Explosive Investigations Section rendered the devices safe on the scene. The subject has been taken into custody.
Charges have been filed against Glenn Neff. They include three felony charges: possession of a destructive device, transport of a destructive device and manufacture of a destructive device. Each charge carries a penalty of up to 25 years. Additionally, he was charged with five counts of CDS paraphernalia and misdemeanor possession of fireworks. Neff is also being charged with the civil charge of Use of a park after dark. Bond has been set at $2,000,000 dollars.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD–Come meet the Maryland-National Capital Park Police
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Various locations throughout Montgomery County
National Night Out, celebrated by police departments across the nation, is a community-sponsored event designed to heighten crime and drug prevention and strengthen relationships between communities and local police departments. The Maryland-National Capital Park Police will be participating in National Night Out activities in several locations throughout Montgomery County. Come out and join the fun!
The events are free and include lots of activities for the whole family. There will be a Punt, Pass & Kick competition for children ages 8 to 15 at the new Mid-County Recreation Center located at 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring, beginning at 6:00 p.m. You can register for the event online at http://www.nflppk.com/competitions/register/index/9333 or sign up in person at the event.
Come see our horse-mounted Officers at the Piney Branch Elementary School, 7510 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland, between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m. Other locations for National Night Out activities include General Getty Park in Wheaton, Indian Spring Park and South Four Corners Park in Silver Spring, and Damascus Recreation Center. Come on out and meet your neighbors and your law enforcement partners.
For more information, contact:
Officer D.J. Brew
Maryland-National Capital Park Police
301-929-2754 & 240-412-4499
SILVER SPRING, MD—Darien L. Manley, acting Park Police Division Chief in the Montgomery County Department of Parks since March 2008, was today promoted to head the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division.
“I am delighted that Commander Manley has agreed to continue to serve the Department of Parks and our community in this important and challenging role,” said Director of Parks Mary Bradford. “He has proven his leadership ability and represents the best of this department and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.”
Manley began his career with the Maryland-National Capital Park Police on August 17, 1987. He attended the Montgomery County Police Academy in that same year. During his career, he has worked, supervised or played a role in every section in the Montgomery County Park Police Division: serving as detective, patrol officer and supervisor.
He also directed the Support Operations Branch of the Prince George's County Park Police Division for two and a half years. He has been a Maryland Police and Correction Training Commission police trainer and Firearms Instructor for almost two decades and is active in the Montgomery County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee, Montgomery County Emergency Management Group and Montgomery County Executive's Positive Youth Development Initiative Steering Committee. He also served as treasurer and bargaining team member for the Maryland-National Capital Park Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #30.
Manley has received numerous commendations and awards from the community, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and other public safety agencies and organizations, including national recognition as the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Public Safety Communications Center Director of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic region.
Currently, Manley is active in the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Recreation and Parks Association and the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association.
Manley is a strong proponent of community policing and supports the use of technology to improve the safety of Montgomery County’s parks.
For more on the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division, see www.ParkPolice.net.
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Media Relations Manager
Montgomery County Department of Parks
Sgt. Lauryn McNeill
Media Relations Officer
Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD—As the pools open this season Park Rangers and the Volunteer Community Park Patrol will be greeting pool patrons with security advice. “Leave it at home or use a lock” are the words many will hear as they come to pools at Glenmont, Longbranch, Martin Luther King, and Bethesda as well as the Germantown Splash Park.
Acting Chief Darien L. Manley stated that, “Many people know how safe our parks are and feel perfectly safe leaving items of value in unlocked lockers, on the pool deck or in plain view in their cars. This program is designed to lessen the opportunity for theft by getting people to lock things appropriately.”
From noon until 2:00 p.m. Saturday through Monday, Park Rangers and Volunteers will be posted at the entrances to the pools giving advice and information on the Leave it @Home program.
Park Police advise the following tips for theft prevention:
- If you don’t need it, LEAVE IT AT HOME!
- Keep valuables out of view
- Close your car windows
- Lock your car doors
- Use visible locking devices and alarm indicators on cars
- Place valuables in trunk prior to reaching the park
- Lockers only secure your items if you use a lock.
- Bring only your towel onto the pool deck.
- Cell phones should be kept on your person at all times. If you are swimming, don’t bring it onto the deck.
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Sgt. Lauryn McNeill
Media Relations Officer