Public Affairs

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday.

12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Tony Castrilli,
Director of Public Affairs

Awards

Fairfax County is often recognized for its outstanding programs, services and public servants. The county also honors individuals and organizations. Additional information about county awards and accomplishments can be obtained from the agency or division highlighted or by contacting the Office of Public Affairs by email or by phone at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

September

Channel 16 won 8 NATOA Awards
The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) honored the winners of the 32nd Annual Government Programming Awards (GPA) on September 15, 2017 in Seattle, WA. The awards program honors excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies. This year NATOA received more than 900 entries, up 7% from the previous year, submitted by local governments across the country. Fairfax County Government’s Channel 16 received 8 awards this year. Check It Out: Children's Edition won 2nd place in the Library category and OAR: Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources for Offenders won 3rd place in the Special Audience category. Channel 16 also received an Honorable Mention for overall Programming Excellence, and 5 more Honorable Mentions for On the Beat, Celebrate Fairfax, MyChoice Cigna Consumer Driven Health Plan, Elly Doyle Park Service Award Winner: Michael Mescher, and Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority's 50th Anniversary. To watch our award-winning program visit Channel 16’s video-on-demand.

County Awarded for Innovative Use of Open Data
Fairfax County has been honored again for innovation with the 2017 Governor's Technology Award for innovative use of big data and analytics in recognition of the county's Democrating Open Data program, which aims to make open data more accessible to the public. Receiving the award on behalf of Fairfax County were Chief Technology Officer and Department of Information Technology Director Wanda Gibson and Anne Cahill, manager of economic, demographic and statistical research.

Parks and Churchill Road Elementary Share Environmental Award
A partnership between Churchill Road Elementary School (CRES) and the Fairfax County Park Authority is among the highlights of a program that is being acknowledged with a Fairfax County 2017 Environmental Excellence Award. The annual awards recognize people who dedicate time and energy to benefit the environment and support county environmental initiatives.

The award is being presented to honor Churchill Road’s teachers and students along with the Park Authority and program sponsors from the McLean Citizens Association for Churchill Road’s Eco-week, a program conducted by the school’s sixth graders.

August

Fairfax County’s “Reach Out” Campaign Earns More Acclaim
Fairfax County’s youth suicide prevention campaign continues to earn national recognition. It was recently given a Berreth Award for Excellence in Public Health Communication by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC).

The “Reach Out. Find Hope” campaign, a collaboration between the Fairfax County Health Department and its partners at Neighborhood and Community Services and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, received a bronze award in the government/non-profit health marketing category of the Berreth Awards. The awards are named for the late Donald Berreth, former director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NPHIC's founder.

Athletic Council and NCS to Share Park Authority Partnership Award
The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has named the Fairfax County Athletic Council and the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) winners of a 2017 Elly Doyle Park Service Award. The groups will share honors as recipients of the 2017 Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award, which recognizes the value and importance of teamwork and cooperation. These collaborations result in a variety of public benefits and are necessary to provide varied constituencies with state-of-the-art facilities in county parks, often at limited, reduced or no capital expense to the taxpayer.

July

County Receives Information Technology Award for Citizen Engagement, Data Sharing and Security
Fairfax County was again honored as a technical innovator, placing fifth nationally among counties of its size in the annual Digital Counties Survey. Fairfax County has been ranked in the top five for seven consecutive years, earning first place two times during this span.

The award was presented at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference on July 22 and accepted by Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross. David Bartee, Information Technology Program Director, was also in attendance.

Residences at Government Center Nationally Recognized for Public-Private Partnership Innovation
The Residences at Government Center, a 270-unit workforce housing community located on the Fairfax County Government Center campus, is receiving national recognition. The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) has selected the community for the 2017 Outstanding Project Innovation Award. This award highlights public and private sector organizations that have collaborated and implemented a unique innovative project in public-private partnerships.

Park Authority Wins Three National Government Communication Awards
The Fairfax County Park Authority received three awards at the annual meeting of the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) held in St. Louis June 13-15, 2017. Last summer’s Presidential Edition of the Park Authority’s popular Discovery Trail Map was honored in two categories. The election year map that showcased presidential history in county parks received a second place award in the category of Promotional Campaigns (less than $100,000). It also received an Award of Excellence in the Special Purpose Product category.

The Park Authority’s photography e-newsletter, Snapshots, was also honored and took second place honors in the Electronic Publication category. Snapshots reaches out to the hundreds of amateur and professional photographers who use the park system to further their photographic aspirations. This publication comes out quarterly and features how-to guidance, location information and photos from throughout the park system.

Solid Waste Management Program Wins National Safety Award
Fairfax County's Solid Waste Management Program has won the 2017 SWANA Safety Award for Biggest Improvement in the category of Collection and Transfer. This national award from the Solid Waste Association of North America recognizes the county's commitment to ensuring its solid waste employees make it home safely every night

 

June

Fairfax County Wastewater Treatment Plant Achieves 100 Percent Permit Compliance Again
Fairfax County's Wastewater Management Program's multiyear record of perfect compliance with its discharge permit is approaching two decades. For the 19th consecutive year the Noman M. Cole, Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton has earned the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

Fairfax County Receives 5 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards
Fairfax County received five National Association of Counties 2017 Achievement Awards, recognizing effective and innovative programs that contribute to and enhance county government in the United States. NACo will recognize the award-winning counties at its 82nd Annual Conference and Exposition:

  • Citizen Scientist Floatable Monitoring Program — Department of Public Works and Environmental Sciences: The Citizen Scientist Floatable Monitoring Program is designed as a hands-on, year-long collaboration between the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and Fairfax County Public Schools. Scientists from DPWES and students from several schools across Fairfax County work together to monitor levels of floatable (stream litter) that is reaching our local waterways. Students are encouraged to use collected data to create an action plan for reducing the amount of floatables reaching their stream. The program fosters a connection between the students and their environment while providing DPWES with information about floatable loading in specific streams.
  • Democratizing Open Data — Neighborhood and Community Services: The Democratizing Open Data program makes some of the open data provided by Fairfax County universally accessible through the use of interactive visualizations that allow viewers to explore data through intuitive but powerful interfaces.The program aims to convey complex information in a clear and visually effective manner.Fairfax County’s interactive data visualizations hosted on the county’s website help to bridge the gap between data, accessibility and understanding.
  • Diversion First — Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board; Fire and Rescue; Office of the Sheriff; Police Department; Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court; Office of Public Affairs: Diversion First is a program which offers alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low level offenses. Diversion First changes the way behavioral health and criminal justice systems interact, resulting in better outcomes for individuals and the community. The program is designed to prevent repeat encounters with the criminal justice system, improve public safety and promote a healthier community.
  • Courtroom Interpreting Control System — Court Technology Office: The Fairfax County Court Technology Office (CrTO) led a collaborative effort including judges, court staff, deputy sheriffs, interpreters and technical staff to implement a technological solution to improve the interpreting processes in the courtrooms and during arraignment and advisement hearings with the Adult Detention Center (ADC).The new interpreting system developed a customized touch panel control device that supports both simultaneous and consecutive interpreting in the courtrooms. The updated interpretation process has improved overall courtroom audio, streamlined courtroom interpreting tools and improved processes with the ADC during remote arraignments that allow non-English speaking individuals to speak directly through an interpreter.
  • Mobile Connected Courtrooms — Courts and Information Technology: Fairfax County Courts and Department of Information Technology researched, designed and implemented a new digital courtroom platform which allows users to wirelessly connect their personal devices to the existing courtroom evidence presentation system, known as Courtroom Technology Management System (CTMS). CTMS 2 was designed to migrate to digital industry standards and accommodate digital technology by integrating wireless device capabilities into the courtroom evidence presentation process. This required a significant upgrade to maintain compatibility with evolving PC and laptop configurations, support wireless handheld devices (Android and Apple) and provide better video quality by supporting higher digital resolutions.
May

Department of Family Services Receives Business Process Improvement Award
The Fairfax County Department of Family Services recently received the Virginia Department of Social Services 2017 I3 Local Recognition Award in the category of Business Process Improvement for its extraordinary work in centralized appeals.

Sheriff's Office Receives Law Enforcement Accreditation
The Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) granted accreditation to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office in May for the third time. The assessment requires compliance with 190 standards for efficient and effective agency operation. The standards cover all aspects of the agency including policies and procedures, management, administration, operations and support services. During the four-year accreditation period, the agency must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with the standards

Fairfax County Police Awarded State Accreditation for Sixth Time
We’re pleased to announce we just received our sixth accreditation award from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). We were the first agency in the state to be accredited through VLESPC in 1996 and have maintained this accreditation status each evaluation cycle. The assessment requires us to adhere to 190 standards.

Renovated Pohick Regional Library Achieves LEED Gold
On May 9, 2017, the Pohick Regional Library (6450 Sydenstricker Road, Burke, Va.) achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects are scored based on points earned in sustainable design categories. Certified buildings are resource efficient and less expensive to heat, cool, and maintain, and Fairfax County now has 11 LEED Gold certified public buildings in its inventory.

The $7.1 million project included the renovation of the 24,500 square-foot library to meet current design standards, serve an increased customer base, and reorganize the library's functions without expanding the building. The renovated library now includes more quiet study spaces and meeting rooms, and natural light illuminates the open atmosphere. The library has a new roof and windows, and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components were all upgraded. Site work included the construction of a new exterior canopy, ADA ramp and sidewalks to the new entrance, the implementation of a safer one-way traffic pattern, and an asphalt trail connecting the library to parkland was repaired.

Park Authority Receives Four National Awards
The Fairfax County Park Authority will receive four honors when the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) holds its annual awards ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on June 8, 2017.

The agency’s Invasive Management Program, which strives to control non-native invasive plant species in county parkland, will receive a 2017 NACPRO Award in the Environmental/Conservation category. In the Planning Initiative category, the Park Authority will be honored for its Great Parks, Great Communities Long Range Park Plan and Needs Assessment.

Two individuals will also be honored by NACPRO. Sandy Stallman, who retired this year as a Planner III in the Planning & Development Division, has been selected as a recipient of a 2017 NACPRO Award in the Professional-Lifetime category. Norma Hoffman, a long-time volunteer and park advocate at Huntley Meadows Park, will be honored in the Outstanding Volunteer category.

NACPRO is a non-profit professional organization that advances official policies that promote county and regional park and recreation issues while providing members with opportunities to network, exchange ideas and best practices, and enhance professional development.

April

Spring Hill RECenter Celebrates Earth Day with LEED Recognition
Spring Hill RECenter's award-winning renovation will be recognized for its environmental-friendly design on Earth Day as a LEED Silver Certification plaque is unveiled. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification is granted by the U.S. Green Building Council to buildings that are resource efficient – those that use less water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money. At Spring Hill, the expansion and renovation project added a two-story fitness center, new multi-purpose fitness rooms, and a gymnasium with an elevated running track to the RECenter. This was accomplished while reducing the addition’s energy usage by 27 percent over conventional facilities.

Spring Hill now features energy efficient packaged HVAC systems, low-emissivity glazing, LED lighting and energy efficient insulation. Recycled content was used for more than 20 percent of the materials in the addition, and more than 20 percent of the materials in the addition were sourced and manufactured within 500 miles to reduce the use of fossil fuels in transportation. Native and adaptive landscaping was used outside that requires no irrigation once established. A white roof membrane reflects and emits solar energy, reducing cooling requirements and saving energy. Restrooms use water-efficient fixtures. Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and flooring systems were used to improve indoor air quality. A construction waste management program recycled, diverted or salvaged more than 75 percent of the waste generated in construction.

Spring Hill’s expansion and renovation has previously won honors from the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, Virginia Recreation and Park Society, and Northern Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

2016 Leader in Sustainability Award
For the second year in a row, Fairfax County has earned a Leader in Sustainability Award as a top performer in Call2Recycle's battery and cellphone recycling program. Using 274 collection boxes placed at 10 sites, the county collected nearly 11,500 pounds of batteries. This represents a 706 pound increase from 2015. Call2Recycle is a not-for-profit organization funded by the battery industry to provide battery and cellphone recycling programs across North America. In 2016 Call2Recycle collected nearly eight million pounds of batteries, and nearly 129 million pounds since its inception 21 years ago.

County Recognized as Leader in Improving Neighborhood Communication with Nextdoor
The Fairfax County Police Department was recognized as a leader for its efforts in strengthening communication and collaboration amongst neighbors and police to build safer communities on Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods. Since partnering with the neighborhood social network a year ago, Fairfax County has become the fastest growing county using Nextdoor in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

The Fairfax County Police Department partnered with Nextdoor to provide another countywide and neighbor-to-neighbor communications channel. The Fairfax County Police Department is constantly looking for avenues to effectively communicate and engage with neighbors.
Over the past year, adoption of Nextdoor by neighbors across Fairfax County has more than doubled. Now more than 100,000 residents, in more than 760 neighborhoods, are connected to each other and the police department.