Braddock District Community Corner

Congratulations to Graduates of the 2010 Braddock District Neighborhood College!

Supervisor Cook began the Braddock District Community Engagement Initiative because he wanted to foster stronger connections between people and their communities, strengthen our neighborhoods, and help improve the quality of life in the Braddock District.

Part of that effort was creating learning opportunities for those looking to step forward and make a difference in their communities. Through two seperate Neighborhood Colleges, a one-night-a-week class on community involvement that lasts seven weeks, about 40 individuals are now ready to take that step. They join the 60 graduates of January’s Leadership Institute to form a dedicated band of 100 trained community volunteers.

The real work happens now that training is completed and these 40 graduates return to their community organizations and help craft their own community enhancement initiatives.

Supervisor Cook would like to thank these graduates for the commitment they have demonstrated to their community and wish them luck in their future endeavors to improve the Braddock District


Community Engagement Tip of the Month: Volunteer With the Fairfax County Police Department

Every year since 1983, Fairfax County area residents have contributed significant hours of their own time volunteering with the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD). Members of the department’s Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs) and alumni from the Citizens Police Academy come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a number of skills and abilities to the agency while providing a great cost benefit to the county.

In 2008, the VIPS and APOs saved the county close to $2 million dollars. Police volunteers are a vital part of the department and assist in various capacities ranging from administrative support, photographers, child safety seat inspections to helping patrol the streets.
They also serve an important role in staffing the FCPD Canteen, which provides officers with snacks and hydrating drinks at major, hours- or days-long police scenes.

To learn more about our police volunteer programs, just visit the Fairfax County Police website (search by keyword: VIPS, APO, Citizens Police Academy); or go directly to:
        • VIPS:
        • APO:
        • Citizens Police Academy:


 Supervisor Cook in the Community

On April 9th and 10th, Supervisor Cook was present for two Little League Opening Day Ceremonies. On Friday, Supervisor Cook and Springfield Supervisor Pat Herrity participated in a parade and festivities for the West Springfield Little League, and on Saturday, the Supervisor was honored to throw out the first pitch at the Annandale/North Springfield Little League Opening Day.

On April 12th, Supervisor Cook was present for the graduation ceremony for the first of the Braddock District’s Neighborhood College at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. On April 28th, Supervisor Cook attended the graduation ceremony for the second Neighborhood College which was held here in Braddock Hall.

On April 13th, Supervisor Cook visited the child care center at INOVA Fairfax Hospital and read to some of the Pre-K children there.

On April 19th, Supervisor Cook went to the Cox Communications Headquarters in Herndon to do a taping of its Local Edition TV segment. This segemnt will air periodically in the future on your local Cox channels and features the Community Engagement Initiative. You can view it at

On April 21st, the Supervisor was present at the Kings Park Library when the Fairfax County Public Library honored all of the fabulous volunteers who help make our libraries the great place they are.

On April 23rd, Supervisor Cook attended the Community Champions Award Ceremony put on by Volunteer Fairfax. Many wonderful people were honored, including Jeff Root from the Braddock District, who has been involved in a number of projects in the Kings Park West area.

On April 24th, Supervisor Cook attended two important events. First, he was present at Lake Accotink for the celebration of its 50th Anniversary. Afterwards, he attended the Annandale Campus of NVCC for a lively celebration of Earth day. The Supervisor welcomed the participants and honored guests into the Braddock District for this wonderful event.

On Monday, April 26, Supervisor Cook attended the Southport HOA meeting here in Braddock Hall where issues that concern the residents were addressed by the Supervisor. The following evening he attended the annual members meeting for the Kings Park West Civic Association at Robinson Secondary School.

On April 29th, Supervisor Cook began the night at NVCC for the “Light of Hope” Volunteer Appreciation Evening sponsored by Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates. After that, Supervisor Cook went over to Wakefield Forest Elementary School for a Wakefield Chapel Road Transportation Safety Community Meeting. More on this meeting is included in a separate article in the Beacon.


Braddock Neighborhood News: Innovation and Technology in Fairfax County Public Libraries

On this month’s edition of Braddock Neighborhood News, Supervisor Cook interviews Sam Clay, the Fairfax County Public Library Director, and Charles Fegan, a member and former Chairman of the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees, to discuss innovation and the use of technology in our public libraries.

Over the past several years, our public library system has had to do more with less. Utilizing the promise of new technology, however, our libraries have become centers of innovation that use our tax dollars more efficiently and effectively to meet the ever greater demand for information. Although the County has faced financial difficulty, our libraries continue to successfully meet the challenges facing us, serving as examples to libraries from across the region and beyond.

To learn more about the exciting innovations in our public libraries, including how our libraries are incorporating new technology to expand service, and about how our libraries are partnering with other county agencies to improve their services to taxpayers, please tune in to Braddock Neighborhood News on Fridays and Sundays at 5 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on Channel 16. You can also watch a streaming video of the show by visiting


Looking Back At Fairfax: POW’s in Fairfax After World War II

On May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered and the fighting in Europe ended. Many Fairfax residents who had seen German soldiers only in newsreels throughout the war, soon afterward saw them in person. During World War II, approximately 435,000 captured enemy soldiers were held in approximately 660 prisoner of war camps spread throughout forty-six of the forty-eight states.

Of that total, approximately 5,000 were Japanese, 51,000 Italians and the remainder German. In June 1945 German soldiers began to arrive at a POW camp along Route 29 in Fairfax County, near today’s Fairfax Government Center. Because of the labor shortage at the time - our soldiers, marines and sailors were still overseas - the POWs represented an important component of the labor force.
Farmers rented them out by the day, paying the prevailing labor rate of 43 cents per hour to the U. S. Government. For their labor the POWs received eighty cents per day (officers received more) in canteen credits-to buy beer, cigarettes, snacks and toiletries. The excess went to the U. S. Government and was used to fund the POW camps.

In 1944 alone, the U. S. Government made $22 million nationwide from renting these POWs out. The two hundred POWs in Fairfax were sent back to Europe in November 1945. In their six months here, the POWs logged approximately 111,000 total labor hours.

Across the country fewer than 3,000 POWs tried to escape. Two POWs tried to escape from a Colorado POW camp - with the assistance of an American Army private. The real bizarre thing here is that the army private had just graduated - with honors - from Harvard! The private and his two German POWs made a long road trip to Mexico, which during the war was very pro-Germany. They made it to Mexico, barely, but things unraveled from there.

Paul N. Herbert is the President of the Historical Society of Fairfax County and the author of God Knows All Your Names.

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