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City, County, University Community Safety Advisory Group Begins Work

The newly formed Community Safety Advisory Group, comprised of officials from Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, has begun identifying and discussing possible new initiatives at its first meeting on Tuesday.

The group, formed to improve safety for area residents, also considered ways to enhance safety in the region and finalized its membership. 

The group is co-chaired by Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones, Albemarle County Chief Executive Tom Foley, U.Va. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick D. Hogan and includes representatives from within each organization.

Representing the City of Charlottesville:

  • Maurice Jones, city manager (co-chair)
  • Charles Werner, chief, Charlottesville Fire Department
  • Tim Longo, chief, Charlottesville Police Department
  • Jim Tolbert, director, Neighborhood Development Services
  • Miriam Dickler, director of communications

Representing Albemarle County:

  • Tom Foley, county executive (co-chair)
  • Lee Catlin, assistant county executive
  • Steve Sellers, chief, Albemarle County Police Department
  • Wayne Cilimberg, director of planning
  • Dan Eggleston, chief, Fire Rescue Division

Representing the University of Virginia:

  • Patrick D. Hogan, executive vice president and COO
  • Marge Sidebottom, director of emergency preparedness
  • Michael Gibson, chief, University Police Department
  • Allen Groves, dean of students
  • Anthony de Bruyn, University spokesperson

“The University looks forward to partnering with the city and county as we begin to discuss what additional measures can be taken to improve the safety of the citizens in the region,” Hogan said.  “We have an important task ahead of us, and I know we are all eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

The advisory group will break into smaller working groups that will explore immediate and long-term steps to augment safety at the University as well as throughout the city and county. These working groups will focus on the enforcement, prevention and awareness, as well as engagement and education.

“Albemarle County is committed to playing an active role in partnership with the city and the University as we redouble our efforts to insure the safety of those in our shared community,” Foley said. “We are all anxious to bring renewed focus to the areas of prevention and awareness, community engagement and enforcement to identify meaningful opportunities for improvement.”

The group agreed to begin work on several initiatives, including a public safety and environmental assessment to identify opportunities to expand the use of security cameras and install additional lighting. Also, a pedestrian study will identify high foot traffic areas, and an analysis of crime data will identify potential “hot spots.”

“Everyone in the Charlottesville area has a role to play in keeping our community safe,” said Jones.  “This new group will do its part by identifying potential areas of improvement and by determining how best to address those needs.  We are dedicated to working with the County and U.Va. to enhance the security and welfare of all of our residents.”

The group will also consider best practices in community policing, safety awareness and alcohol education programs at other municipalities with a large public research university and academic medical center.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 30.

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