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Press Release: VPD Receives Public Safety Excellence Award

 


PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release: 11/28/2016 4:30 p.m. 

Valdez, AK – The Valdez Police Department ALICE program received the Alaska Municipal League’s annual Public Safety Award of Excellence during a November 17th ceremony.

Selected from amongst many deserving public safety programs, VPD’s ALICE active shooter program received statewide recognition during the annual Alaska Municipal League conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

The AML citation reads (excerpts):

The Valdez Police Department, whose mission is to provide excellent service and protection through leadership and partnership with the community, has established itself as a leader throughout the State of Alaska in developing and implementing a community-wide initiative with local schools, businesses, corporations, city government and non-profit organizations to address a societal problem: active shooter/active killer events.

After extensive research, VPD decided to adopt an active shooter / active killer response strategy called ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). This strategy was developed by Greg Krane, president and CEO of the ALICE Training Institute and is designed as a tool to increase citizen survivability during active killer incidents.

In 2014, VPD invited ALICE Training Institute personnel to Valdez and hosted a train-the-trainer course, something never before offered in Alaska. This course was attended by law enforcement and school district administrators from across the state. Following the course, several of the largest school districts in Alaska officially adopted ALICE as their response strategy.

“I have not seen so many schools statewide make the change from a passive, static response plan to a proactive, options based plan as quickly as in Alaska,” said ALICE CEO Greg Crane. “It is truly a testament to the impact and success of the training [VPD] conducted locally, that it caused other jurisdictions to want to mimic that police relationship with the community and showcase a commitment to safety.” 
 
Utilizing ALICE techniques in conjunction with Hardwire’s ballistic whiteboards, VPD developed a series of trainings that empowers citizens by providing options designed to increase their survivability during an active shooter / active killer event. The Valdez City School District wholeheartedly endorsed ALICE training, which is now a requirement for all staff, teachers, and administrators.

VPD has not limited training to the Valdez School District alone; they have engaged in community-wide outreach, instructing a variety of businesses, organizations, and agencies in Valdez. As a multi-faceted program, VPD also implemented the NIXLE alert system, which automatically notifies the community via text messages and emails in the event of an imminent or active threat.


“For towns and cities across the country, gun violence from active shooters has been the cause of anxiety and concern for many public leaders and government officials. But unlike most community leaders in America, the Valdez Police Department did more than debate gun control and worry on the issue. They took action to solve the problem,” said Emily W. Tunis, COO & President of Hardwire LLC. “There is no question that the team in Valdez provided the most comprehensive, wide-ranging, and organized active shooter training we have ever seen. [They are] a pioneer in Alaska and the nation for this work.”

In October 2015, VPD presented an ALICE training during the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police conference held in Anchorage, sharing resources and materials to promote citizen safety with stakeholders in attendees’ respective communities. In September 2016, VPD began discussions with University of Alaska to offer ALICE training courses as continuing education eligible for college credit. Steps are being taken to implement the program by spring semester 2017.

Mayor Ruth E. Knight and Police Chief Bart Hinkle accepted the award on behalf of the City. Former Valdez mayor and current AML board member Bert Cottle presented the award.

AML is a voluntary, non-profit, nonpartisan, statewide organization of 164 cities, boroughs, and unified municipalities representing over 97 percent of Alaska’s residents. AML’s mission is to represent the unified voice of Alaska’s local governments to successfully influence state and federal decision making, build consensus and partnerships to address Alaska’s challenges, and provide training and services to strengthen Alaska’s local governments. For more information on AML, visit http://www.akml.org.

Posted November 28, 2016
Allie Ferko, Public Information Officer
City of Valdez, Alaska

Fire protection for bridges? ~ RV Catches Fire on Bridge

An RV caught fire while crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge causing a destructive blaze on the Eastbound lanes. Thankfully all the occupants managed to escape unharmed.

This is a good example of why fire protection for bridges is a smart investment.  
Hardwire Bridge Armor Solutions are designed to protect critical bridge components from the destructive heat caused by a fire like the one seen here.

See more about this fire at 6abc.com

Transformative Education: Interns at Work From Washington & Lee University

From W & L Transformative Education Feature Story 



 

 

 

 


Walker Brand '18

Hometown: Roanoke, VA
Major:
Engineering
Minors:
Computer Science and Mathematics
Company Name: Hardwire Armor Systems
Location: 
Oak Hall, VA
Industry:
Defense
Position: 
Intern
 
 
What attracted you to this internship? How did you learn about it?

I knew that I wanted to gain some experience in defense technology going into this summer. When Dr. Kuehner told me about a student that graduated a few years ago that was now the president of Hardwire, doing some really cool things in the defense realm, I looked into what she did and I thought it was awesome. Dr. Kuehner got me in contact with her and she ended up offering me the internship.

What gave you an edge in landing this internship?

I would say the only way I was able to land this internship was because of Dr. Kuehner. If I had not reached out to him to see if he had any connections anywhere, I would have never found Hardwire. I also think the incredible alumni connections that W&L has to offer allowed me to have a chance at this awesome internship. When I talked to Emily Tunis, the president and COO of Hardwire, she told me that her first job was given to her by an alum and that she would be delighted to be able to give another W&L student theirs some day.

Describe your daily duties.

My days were pretty up in the air, and I never really knew what exactly I'd be working on. However, my days usually consisted of collaboration with my boss on how to solve some of the day's problems; maybe a little bit of work with Solidworks, designing parts; and typically some work in the fabrication shop, assembling what I'd designed.

What are some tasks/projects you worked on?

The main project that I worked on was with the Marine Corps. We had been given the task of trying to relaminate some windows that come from armored vehicles. These windows are several layers thick with glass and while in the field, the layers of the windows have separated (delaminated) and need repair. Our job was to evaluate the windows, fix what was wrong, and make sure they were ready to go back in the field.

Have any courses and/or professors helped you prepare for this internship?Which ones?

I had to pull from what I learned in all my engineering classes, especially my CADD class with Dr. D'Alessandro. Every day, we used principles and terms that I learned in my engineering classes. While I learned a lot about engineering at Hardwire, if I hadn't come in with a solid background in engineering, I wouldn't have been able to collaborate as much as I did.

What did you hope to learn by the end of your experience?

I really hoped to learn more about the design process that goes into making armor. Hardwire does some incredible stuff like making armor for military vehicles and police cars, making bulletproof handheld whiteboards for schools, and making the lightest body armor in the world.

What was your favorite part or perk of the internship?

Being in a place with so much technology and brain power is an awesome experience. With all the cool gadgets and armor all around the place, it is like walking in a candy store. Also, I was fortunate enough to be able to work the gun tunnel one day, and that was sweet. I got to pack the ammunition, load of different arrangements of armor to test, and actually shoot the armor.

What did you learn from living in the city where the internship was located?

I lived in Oak Hall, Virginia this summer, which is not much of a city. However, I learned a lot outside of work. Some of the biggest things I learned while living in Oak Hall, where I didn't know many people and where there really aren't many people, is how to enjoy a simple life and make do with what I have. In such a rural place, there aren't a lot of big city amenities, and the internet is really spotty. It was actually a great blessing to be able to tune out of the chaos of a wifi-engrossed world for a little bit.

What key takeaways/skills do you bring back to W&L?

I learned a lot about engineering, but more importantly, I learned how to collaborate with people better and to analyze problems more thoroughly. My boss was a very smart man and he did a good job of considering every aspect of a problem before trying to figure out a solution. I was able to spend a lot of time collaborating with him on many different projects this summer, giving me lots of good experience.

What advice would you give to students interested in a position like this?

For a student interested in doing anything over the summer, whether it is engineering-related or not, I would recommend they seek out their advisor or check out Colonnade Connections. We are so fortunate to have such knowledgeable and helpful advisors here at W&L mixed with such a wealth of resources. If there is something you want to do, research it, ask about it, and go for it.

Has this experience influenced your career aspirations? How so?

My experience definitely influenced my career aspirations. Going into this summer, I knew I wanted to do something defense-related, and now I know that I really enjoy working in the defense industry. I would even venture as far to say that I will probably do something similar next summer.

Describe your experience in a single word.

Wicked.