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The Virginia Public Safety Foundation Announces 2015 Memorial Rededication

~Nine names to be added to the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial November 6th~


RICHMOND – The Virginia Public Safety Foundation will Rededicate the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial. Since the Dedication December 6th, 2015, nine Virginians have been certified by the State of Virginia as having given their lives in the Line of Duty. Their names have been inscribed on the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial:

Deputy Bryan Berger, Spotsylvania Sheriff's Department

James Dempsey, Ashland Fire Department

Deputy Percy House, Greenville Sheriff's Department

Detective Garland Joyner, Portsmouth Police Department

Anthony Parker, Upper Caroline Volunteer Fire Department

Lieutenant Charles Reintz, Richmond Fire and EMS

Joshua Smith, LaCrosse Volunteer Fire Department

Trooper Nathan-Michael Smith, Virginia State Police

Michael Viggiano, Manassas Park Fire Department


The Foundation will plan and execute a private ceremony, officiated by His Excellency Governor Terence R. McAuliffe, to honor the great sacrifice of those who gave the very fullest measure in their commitment to the safety of the Commonwealth. 



Governor McAuliffe Awards 2015 Medal of Valor

~Twelve Virginians recognized at annual ceremony held September 10th~


RICHMOND – The Commonwealth Public Safety Medal of Valor and Meritorious Service Medal was conferred on seven Virginia State Police Troopers, three Dinwiddie County Sheriffs, and  one Correctional Officer in a ceremony at the State Capitol today in recognition of their heroic actions to save lives.


The ceremony was held at 3 p.m. in the Old House Chamber of the State Capitol in Richmond.


The Medal of Valor was given to Sergeant Marilyne Wilson, Troopers Paul Domingoes, Trooper Samuel Moss, and Trooper Bruce Carey of the Virginia State Police.


The Meritorious Service Medal was given to Sergeant Chistopher Aikens, Trooper J.D. Stamper, Trooper Charles Lafranchi, and Trooper Brandon West of the Virginia State Police.


The Meritorious Service Medal was given to Corporal Travis Stewart, Deputy Sheriff Brock Tomlin, and Deputy Sheriff Jasen McClellan of the Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office.


The Meritorious Service Medal will also be given to Correctional Officer Willie Thompson of the Department of Corrections.


Created by Virginia law and administered by the Virginia Public Safety Foundation, the awards honor men and women in public safety that have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their fellow citizens. 


“VPSF is proud to recognize the courage of these men and women,” said Chief John Venuti, VPSF President.  “The recipients of this year’s Medals of Valor and Meritorious Service Awards all displayed extraordinary bravery in placing their own lives in grave danger to serve and save others.  On behalf of a grateful Commonwealth, I applaud the valor and dedication of these award recipients.”



Virginia Public Safety Foundation Announces Major Contribution from Altria

~Award to be Given at Annual “Bike for the Blue” Charity Ride May 13th~



RICHMOND – The Virginia Public Safety Foundation (VPSF) announced today a contribution of $10,000 from Altria benefiting the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, Virginia’s monument to 870 first responders killed in the line of duty and the 165,000 public safety officers serving Virginians every day. The Memorial is located in downtown Richmond at 1111 East Broad Street, adjacent to the Patrick Henry Building in Darden Garden. The contribution will be awarded in conjunction with the Annual Bike for the Blue charity ride.



“Bike for the Blue is a bicycle ride that covers over 115 miles from Richmond, VA to Washington, D.C. in one day. The ride is in its 20th year and includes participants from a variety of law enforcement officers and friends from agencies throughout Virginia,” said retired Chesterfield County Police Corporal David Suda, one of the organizers of Bike for the Blue. “The ride is to honor all of the law enforcement officers who gave their lives to protect our communities.”


“Altria has again demonstrated its strong commitment to Virginia’s public safety community,” said Chief John A. Venuti of the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department and VPSF President. “This contribution will help ensure continued preservation of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial for the benefit of future generations.” 

“Altria is dedicated to contributing to organizations that enrich the communities where our employees live and work,” said Michael Thorne-Begland, Director of Altria’s Brand & Trade Channel Integrity department. “We align ourselves with this mission by supporting programs like the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial and Virginia Public Safety Foundation that honor those men and women who have died while serving to protect their fellow Virginians. We are proud to see these valuable programs make a positive impact in the Commonwealth.”


Event Details:

Who: Altria Group, Virginia Public Safety Foundation, law enforcement from surrounding counties

What:  Annual Bike for the Blue in support of law enforcement
When: May 13th, 2015, 6:00 AM
Where: Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, Darden Garden, Capital Square, Richmond



About Virginia Public Safety Foundation:


Virginia Public Safety Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving as official administrator of the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia’s public safety community. VPSF is charged with maintaining the Memorial as well as administering Line of Duty Death (LODD) crisis prevention programs. For more information on the Foundation or the Memorial, contact VPSF at (804) 648-6299 x1004, or visit



About Altria:


Altria Group is the parent company of Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, John Middleton, Nu Mark, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Philip Morris Capital Corporation and has a continuing economic and voting interest in SABMiller. The company is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.


Altria’s Brand & Trade Channel Integrity department works collaboratively with law enforcement to combat illegal tobacco product trafficking and sales, including support to law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state and local levels. Altria supports law enforcement by providing information and intelligence gathered through market monitoring and investigative programs, investigating those involved in importing and selling illicit tobacco products (including programs designed to support law enforcement action), and providing law enforcement with training, funding and information to support investigations.



10th Annual Golf Tournament raises $18,000 in one day

~60 golfers, 10 sponsors support Virginia Public Safety Foundation~


LEESBURG - April 22nd, 2015 saw 15 foursomes tackle the course at Raspberry Falls Golf and Hunt Club just north of Leesburg, Va. A great day for a great cause, weather only briefly interrupted a spirited Captain's Scramble-style charity golf tournament.


VCU Police Chief John Venuti to lead Virginia Public Safety Foundation

~Shelton to serve as Vice President~


RICHMOND – John Venuti, Chief of VCU Police, was elected on February 5 to serve as president of the board of directors of Virginia Public Safety Foundation (VPSF), the non-profit organization which recently completed the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial, Virginia’s monument to men and women who have died in the line of duty. Venuti is the first active Chief of Police to serve as VPSF’s president.


“I am honored to lead Virginia Public Safety Foundation, which has done so much to help public safety officers, their families and survivors,” Venuti said. “2015 will be a great year for our organization: having just dedicated the Memorial, we can now turn our efforts full-time to supporting our brave public safety officers in their time of great need.”


VPSF was founded in 1993 to provide crisis financial support for public safety officers and their survivors. Since 2009, VPSF has served as official administrator of the campaign to build a memorial to honor public safety workers at Richmond’s Capitol Square.


Billy Shelton, former Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (Retired), was elected VPSF’s vice president.


“Virginia Public Safety Foundation is a great organization of which I’m proud to be affiliated,” Shelton said.


Venuti replaces former Delegate Paula Miller, Communications Manager for the Department of Transportation’s Norfolk Headquarters. Miller served as VPSF’s president for 2014.

Virginia Public Safety Foundation announces Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial Dedication December 6, 2014


~Issues call for survivors of 870 public safety officers honored there~


RICHMOND –Virginia Public Safety Foundation (VPSF) announced today that the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial will be dedicated on Saturday, December 6, 2014, 1 p.m., at the memorial site at Capitol Square in Richmond. It will mark the culmination of a decade-long campaign to build Virginia’s monument to public safety officers who have died in the line of duty. In advance of the milestone event, VPSF is searching for survivors—family members—of the 870 men and women who have died in the line of duty and will be honored with their engraved name at the memorial.


“We have undertaken extensive research, in partnership with local and state agencies, to contact the families of our fallen first responders,” said VPSF President Paula Miller, “but we know that in every Virginia community there are survivors who may not have even heard about the memorial effort or realize that their loved one will be honored.”


Of the 870 public safety officers who have died in the line of duty, VPSF has identified survivors for approximately 500, meaning nearly 400 families may not know that their loved one’s name will be engraved on the memorial.


Anyone can download the complete roster of names on-line at, to see if their loved one—or someone they know—will be honored at the Commonwealth Public Safety Memorial.


Survivors can contact VPSF in several ways:




Phone: 804-648-6299 x1004



Also at is information on memorial dedication events, including how to RSVP to attend.





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