- The third-party investigation into the events of 5/31 began yesterday with the introduction of the team from the Chicago firm of Hillard Heintze. The team includes:
- 4 former secret service agents
◦Will review security policies, practices, and procedures.
◦They’ll also do a physical security assessment of the Municipal Center.
- 2 former law enforcement officers — a former police chief and deputy police chief
◦Will review all issues relating to police response and obstacles faced.
- 2 attorneys, the firm’s general counsel and a Supreme Court of Virginia certified mediator who specializes in human resource issues.
- 2 certified fraud examiners who are skilled in forensic auditing
◦Will perform a thorough data footprint of the shooter to include social media and any data needing to be reviewed.
- 1 mental health expert who is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist
◦Will conduct a retrospective indirect threat assessment and risk evaluation of the shooter.
The first of two planned public sensing sessions held by the firm is slated for the evening of 7/29 at a location to be determined.
- The History Museums department is now under the larger umbrella of the city’s Cultural Arts department. Museum Curator Anne Miller presented an overview of what will become of the 5/31 memorial items and mementos. The families of the 12 victims will each receive a flash drive of the most prominent items left for their loved one so they can choose what they’d like to have for themselves in private. There is research being conducted of what other cities have done and some city officials may be traveling to several of these cities to actually see their sites and discuss lessons learned.
- Valerie Myers of the Communication Office presented highlights of the survey distributed for feedback regarding a permanent memorial and the future of Building 2. Only 1800 responses have been received to date (city employees and the public); the survey closes this Friday (7/26). The current responses show an overwhelming nod to constructing both a permanent and an ongoing temporary memorial site to be in place until a permanent memorial is completed. Regarding the future of Building 2, 48% of the respondents strongly agreed that Bldg. 2 should be torn down. City Manager Hansen said he does not support tearing down a $20M building and our citizens probably won’t either. He advised to stay tuned.
- The Office of Emergency Management was alerted to a federal fund (through the Department of Justice) for the establishment of a permanent resource center for cities who experience a mass shooting. This will result in the creation of the “VB Strong Center” somewhere in the city (not at the municipal center) that will serve as a long-term assistance center to provide a physical and virtual presence offering services and support to aid in the physical and emotional healing for victims of the 5/31 tragedy. Sentara will serve as third-party care provider and will establish, oversee and staff this Center. Services will include Navigators (persons who will direct victims to appropriate services and referrals, including workers compensation, Virginia Victims Fund, etc.; Case Management (intake and assessment); 24/7 Crisis Hotline; Mental Health counseling; facilitated gatherings and support groups; alternative therapies; support for trauma suffered by first responders; website and online presence; and other services as determined by intake and assessment. Victims include: survivors and their immediate families of those lost; Bldg. 2 employees and employees from nearby buildings; first responders, EOC staff; family reception center and assistance center staff; hospital staff. Referral services and group therapies will be offered to everyone else.
- The STiR Office shared presentations by three teams who participated in the city’s first Internal Hackathon wherein random employees from 11 departments were teamed up for two days and challenged with developing an innovation process change to make working in the Emergency Operation Center more efficient.
- City Manager Dave Hansen then made several announcements:
- Alice Kelly is the new director of Finance.
- Taylor Adams is officially the new director of Economic Development.
- Hansen then announced the upcoming departure of CVB Director Brad Van Dommelen. He thanked Brad for his hard work for the city over the past 3.5 years and wished him well. The audience honored Brad a standing ovation.
- May 31 Independent Investigation
- Memorial Building 2 Survey Presentation
- VBStrong DLM Presentation
- Memorial Process