In the News

HEAT PROGRAM HONORS VIRGINIA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND OFFICERS

The HEAT Awards program is an annual competition open to all Virginia law enforcement entities and employees who work in auto theft enforcement and prevention.  This year’s awards were announced on September 14, 2020.

Agency Awards

The Norfolk Police Department and Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office were winners in the agency category serving more than 100,000 citizens. Henrico County Division of Police was recognized as a finalist in the same category.

The Salem Police Department and New Kent County Sheriff’s Office took the top prize in the agency category serving a population from 20,001 to 100,000, while the Roanoke Police Department was recognized in the same category as an agency finalist.

Individual Awards

Detective James Harris with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Officer Mark James, Jr., with the Henrico County Division of Police and Sergeant David Cooper with the Salem Police Department were winners in the individual category. Detective Ryan Crowder with the Norfolk Police Department and Sergeant Mark Adkins with the Salem Police Department were named individual awards finalists.

Seven certificates of merit were presented to individuals from Henrico County Division of Police including: Detective Roy Breeden, Detective Christopher Fornel, Officer Christopher Silk, Officer Douglas Smart, Jr., Officer Garrett J. Bardenheier, Officer Jesse Blaha and Officer Matthew Murray.

This year, two new award categories were presented—Private Sector Awards and Major Case Awards.

Special Agent Ken Smith, with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, was the recipient of the private sector award.

The first major case award was presented to six individuals from four agencies. Winners were:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Crystal Caldwell

National Insurance Crime Bureau
Special Agent Paul Compton Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant Michael Collins Deputy Dillon Tittle Virginia State Police
First Sergeant Christopher Warriner Special Agent Dennis Kennedy,

For the final major case award, 20 individuals from 10 agencies were honored. Winners were:

Chesapeake Police Department
Detective Tracy Alexander
Detective Juliee A. Hocutt
Detective Alex Lyle

James City County Police Department
Detective Tim Renwick

Norfolk Police Department
Sergeant Kenneth Stillwell
Sergeant John Thomas
Detective Thomas Bowen
Detective Casey Bostjancic

Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office
Detective Todd Iverson

Virginia Beach Police Department
Detective Bradley Colas
Detective Catherine Wilson
Detective David Nolff

Suffolk Police Department
Detective Kristi Gaines
Crime Analyst Alexandria Whiteside

York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office
Detective Phillip Duong

Williamsburg Police Department
Detective Alex Willets
Detective Jeremy Elston

New Kent County Sheriff’s Office
Lieutenant Donald Mehalko
Ryan Shobe

Portsmouth Police Department
Detective Miguel Montero

“We are grateful to law enforcement agencies and officers from throughout Virginia who join with the Virginia State Police in fighting vehicle theft,” said First Sgt. Keeli Hill, HEAT Program Coordinator. “These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize their outstanding efforts.” 

“We are grateful to law enforcement agencies and officers from throughout Virginia who join with the Virginia State Police in fighting vehicle theft,” said First Sgt. Keeli Hill, HEAT Program Coordinator. “These annual awards are an opportunity to recognize their outstanding efforts.”