Suffolk’s 2015 National Night Out Event Brings Home Top Two Finish
Suffolk’s National Night Out festivities have become one of the highlights of the year for residents and business owners alike. National Night Out brings citizens, neighborhoods, civic groups, businesses, City employees, and City public safety personnel together for fellowship and to say no to crime. The National Association of Town Watch (NATW) awarded Suffolk’s 2015 National Night Out Celebration with a second place finish among communities with a population of 50,000 to 100,000 residents (Category 3). This award marks the 10th straight year the City of Suffolk has placed in the top 5 in the Nation for National Night Out.
Suffolk is also one of only two Hampton Roads Cities/Counties to place Nationally (Smithfield, Virginia - #22 in Category 5).
On the first Tuesday night of every August, neighborhoods all across Suffolk's 430 square miles join forces with thousands of communities for the Annual National Night Out (NNO) crime, drug, and gang awareness event. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored locally by the Suffolk Police Department, this annual event involves over 37 million people in 10,000 communities in 50 states, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back
National Night Out 2016 is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, 2016. For more information on Suffolk’s National Night Out events, visit www.suffolknno.com or www.facebook.com/SuffolkVaNNO
City of Suffolk Receives Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
The City of Suffolk has been awarded a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the seventh straight year for its’ 2015/2016 fiscal year annual budget. The award reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.
In order to receive this award, the City of Suffolk had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines assess how well the budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device. Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories to receive the award.
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 18,000 appointed and elected local, state and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. The GFOA established the Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program (Budget Awards Program) in 1984 to encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare budget documents of the very highest quality that reflect both the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and the GFOA’s best practices on budgeting and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal.
Documents submitted to the Budget Awards Program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and by outside reviewers with experience in public-sector budgeting.
Suffolk Among Top 20 Cities in America for Veterans
The City of Suffolk was named the 15th Best City for Veterans in the Nation as a result of its strong economic indicators and robust veteran community according to NerdWallet. A total of 1,286 cities across America were evaluated and examined based on median income, unemployment and poverty rates, percentage of residents who are veterans, and the prevalence of industries that employ more veterans than civilians. Suffolk was one of two cities in Hampton Roads to receive a top 15 ranking, including Chesapeake at number 7.
Using data from the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, they advised that Veterans make up a large portion of Suffolk residents, at 17% of the total population. This comes as little surprise, given that veterans here experience a low poverty rate of 4.5% and a median income of $51,488 according to data researched. Further, data also shows that industries that employ more veterans than civilians – like manufacturing and warehousing – make up over 27% of the City’s workforce. NerdWallet also went on to note that Suffolk’s healthy economic environment is complemented by an excellent quality of life, citing that residents here enjoy attractions like Constant’s Wharf Park & Marina and the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts.
The rankings can be viewed via this web address: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/top-cities-for-veterans-2015.
Back in April, NerdWallet also ranked Suffolk in the Top 20 in their “Best Cities for Young Families” study.
NerdWallet is a personal finance site for consumers. Their data-driven tools and content enable consumers to make well-informed decisions across a broad range of financial topics, like buying a house, saving for retirement and starting a small business.
Suffolk Ranked in Top 20 Best Cities for Young Families in Virginia for 2015
The City of Suffolk has added another feather in its’ cap as a city on the rise. Suffolk was ranked 19th on the Best Cities for Young Families in Virginia for 2015 by NerdWallet. A total of 56 cities, towns, and census-designated places with over 10,000 residents were reviewed to create the rankings using U.S. Census data. Suffolk was one of three cities in Hampton Roads to receive a Top 20 ranking with Chesapeake at number 14 and Virginia Beach at number 20.
Among factors considered were home affordability, prosperity and growth, quality of education, and family friendliness. Suffolk had the 2nd highest ranking in the top 20 when it comes to family income growth from the period of 1999-2013 with a growth rate of 65.95 percent. The rankings can be viewed via this web address: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/best-cities-young-families-virginia-2015/
The rankings noted that “Virginia is an anchor in the mid-Atlantic region, squarely between the Southeast — one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. — and the Northeast, the country’s economic center. In turn, Virginia has adopted elements of both regions, allowing young families living in the commonwealth their choice of communities: affordable and fast growing or established and stocked with amenities.”
NerdWallet is a consumer advocacy website dedicated to bringing clarity to all of life's financial decisions. They offer tools and content to help people navigate a broad range of topics including mortgages, insurance, college savings, credit cards and healthcare costs. Their data-driven analyses help readers answer the question of where they should live by assessing cost-of-living and quality-of-life factors.
SUFFOLK PUBLIC LIBRARY HONORED WITH TWO AWARDS
Suffolk Public Library has announced it has received the Innovative Outreach Award and the Outstanding Website Award. The Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA), at their annual conference held in Syria, Virginia, presented the awards to library director Clint S. Rudy.
“It is such an honor to have our dedicated and innovative staff recognized by the other libraries in the Commonwealth,” said Rudy.
The Innovative Outreach Award was given specifically for the work Suffolk Public Library is doing with their Pop-Up Library. The Pop-Up Library allows Suffolk Public Library to expand access to services by setting up temporary locations throughout the community, increase awareness of what the library has to offer, and reach out to citizens who may not typically use the traditional library locations.
The VPLDA brings together library directors from across the state of Virginia to recognize the contributions of libraries throughout the year. Awards are based on the population size of the community a library serves.
For more information, visit Suffolk Public Library at www.suffolkpubliclibrary.com or call 757-514-7323.
SUFFOLK PUBLIC SAFETY PERSONNEL HONORED AT VALOR AWARDS
Suffolk Fire & Rescue and Suffolk Police personnel were recognized for their service to the community at the third annual Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Valor Awards on Friday, April 24, 2015 in Portsmouth, Virginia. The awards ceremony highlighted the work of more than 40 police officers, firefighters, and first responders for their extraordinary acts of courage and resourcefulness in the line of duty.
Suffolk Fire & Rescue Lieutenant Steven A. Henkle received a Bronze Medal of Valor for his response during an April 15, 2014 residential structure fire in the 200 block of Holladay Street. Lieutenant Henkle was advised that a victim was still inside the home and proceeded to enter the residence to find the person. Henkle found the woman and single-handedly picked her up and handed her out of a window to another firefighter. The woman received onsite medical care before being taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. During the time when Henkle was searching for and rescuing the victim, there were heavy fire conditions and a loss of water pressure. Lieutenant Henkle faced extreme conditions and risked his life to save the trapped victim.
Suffolk Police Department Detective William Shockley received an award for Investigative Merit for his efforts in the investigation into an initial report of an injured man on September 22, 2014. The victim was located and transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Detective Shockley worked nearly 24 consecutive hours on this case to bring it to a successful closure with the arrest of three suspects. He utilized his knowledge, training and experiences as a violent crimes investigator to not only receive full confessions but also the disclosure and location of key evidence relevant to this investigation. In addition to the arrest, Detective Shockley conducted numerous follow up tasks and completed the roughly 500 pages of documents necessary for the prosecution’s preparation.
Detective Alex Johnson and Sergeant Jeff Lurie were honored with an award for Investigative Merit for their work to solve several burglary incidents in 2014. On February 8, 2014, an incident at the Metropolitan Church Credit Union involving the theft of a safe was reported. Detective Johnson and then Detective Lurie teamed up to work the investigation. Detective Johnson had developed information regarding possible suspects and their whereabouts. Several interviews were conducted with multiple subjects, however, their efforts did not yield an arrest. The detectives continued to investigate the case. On March 27, 2014, a burglary alarm brought Suffolk Police to the Northern Star Federal Credit Union ATM in the 5800 block of Harbour View Boulevard where officers observed damage to the entry door. Evidence was found at the scene which included a document which yielded a lead for detectives. Detective Lurie and Detective Johnson were assigned to investigate this case. A search warrant was prepared and executed during which burglary tools that were similar to a previous incident were located. As a result of their investigation, the primary suspects with breaking and entering both credit unions and a second suspect from the Metropolitan Federal Credit Union were charged.
Suffolk Police Officer Ashley Allen received a Lifesaving Award for her response to an incident on February 8, 2014 where a neighbor began banging on her residence’s door. Reportedly, the neighbor’s husband was trying to commit suicide. Officer Allen entered the other residence and found the victim lying on the floor but not breathing. Allen moved the victim’s head to open his airway and rolled him over onto his back at which time he began breathing normally. Officer Allen’s calm and collected response to the critical incident prevented a different outcome from occurring.
Officer Shane Sukowaski and Officer Daniel Nesbitt received Lifesaving Awards for their quick actions at an incident on July 14, 2014. Both officers responded to a cardiac arrest call where, upon arrival, the victim was found to have no pulse and not breathing. Officer Nesbitt began to administer chest compressions while Officer Sukowaski attached AED pads to the victim. Officer Nesbitt continued compressions until the AED advised him to stop and a shock was administered by Officer Sukowaski. Officer Nesbitt continued chest compressions while Officer Sukowaski placed a CPR Mask on the victim and began to administer rescue breaths. The victim began to breathe on his own and was handled by medics before being transported to the hospital. The victim made a full recovery thanks to the actions of the two officers while on the scene.
Officer Samantha Blake was presented with a Lifesaving Award for her response to an incident on April 12, 2014 involving the report of a cardiac arrest. Upon arrival at the scene, Officer Blake checked for pulse on the victim and found none. She began CPR and repeated the process three times after which the victim began taking breaths on his own. Medics arrived shortly thereafter and, following treatment, transported the victim to the hospital. If it was not for the quick actions of Officer Blake, the victim may not have survived.
CITY OF SUFFOLK RECEIVES SILVER AWARD OF DISTINCTION FOR 2014 PAFR
Following a submission for the 21st Annual Communicator Awards, the City of Suffolk has been honored with a 2015 Silver Award of Distinction from The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for the 2014 Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). The PAFR was produced by the City of Suffolk Finance Department in conjunction with graphical and layout work by the City of Suffolk Media & Community Relations Department.
This is the first year that the City has prepared the Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR). The report provides an overview of the City’s financial results and is designed to increase awareness throughout the community of the City’s financial operations in a user-friendly manner. The information is derived from the audited financial statements in the City’s 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which is our formal annual report. The 2014 PAFR is available for viewing on the City’s website at www.suffolkva.us/2014PAFR. Additionally, hard copies are available at the Finance Department located at 442 W. Washington Street, all Suffolk Public Libraries, the East Suffolk Recreation Center (138 S. 6th Street), the Whaleyville Community Center (132 Robertson Street), and the Media & Community Relations Office located at 442 W. Washington Street.
The Communicator Award provides winners and their clients the recognition they deserve, and give communications and creative professionals proof and validation that their work is highly regarded by their peers within the industry. The Award of Distinction is presented for projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.
The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications. Founded two decades ago, The Communicator Awards receives over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. The Communicator Awards honors work that transcends innovation and craft - work that made a lasting impact, providing an equal chance of winning to all entrants regardless of company or agency size and project budget.
2014 SUFFOLK CITIZEN CENTRIC REPORT HONORED
The City of Suffolk’s 2014 Citizen Centric Report has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Citizen-Centric Reporting by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). Suffolk has received this award for the third year in a row.
The Citizen Centric Report was produced by the Suffolk Finance Department along with design and graphics assistance from Suffolk’s Media & Community Relations Department. This 4-page publication contains a rich array of information which demonstrates accountability to residents. A performance report on Fiscal Year 2014 accomplishments and key measures, revenue and expenditure details, along with a look at “What’s Next” are among the document’s highlights.
AGA offers a Certificate of Excellence in Citizen-Centric Reporting for entities that prepare and distribute high-quality Citizen-Centric Reports (CCRs). To be eligible for the certificate, governments must incorporate into their report the program’s high standards of content, visual appeal, readability, distribution and timeliness in reporting as outlined in the Judging Guidelines. The focus of the report is on citizen engagement, accountability, and transparency.
Copies of this report are available in a number of City offices, recreation centers and libraries and is also available on the City’s website at www.suffolkva.us/citizencentricreport.
Citizens are asked to contact the Finance Department at financeEmail@suffolkva.us or by calling 757-514-7500 to note additional information they would like to see contained in future reports.
CITY OF SUFFOLK RECEIVES RECOGNITION FOR EXCELLENCE IN FINANCIAL REPORTING
The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the City of Suffolk Finance Department by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. This is the thirty-first consecutive year that the City has received this award.
The CAFR for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014 is available online at http://www.suffolkva.us/files/3214/1887/6539/City_of_Suffolk_CAFR_Fiscal_Year_2014.pdf