This Week in Arlingon

This Week in Arlingon

<sh>Police to Use Regional Electronic Database

<bt>The Arlington Police Department has joined a regional law enforcement electronic database in order to better gather information to apprehend criminals and potential terrorists.

The County Board signed an agreement during its March 22 meeting allowing the Arlington police to participate in the National Capital Region Law Enforcement Information Exchange, along with more than two dozen other local, state and federal departments.

The online database will enable the police to search records of neighboring agencies and quickly share information with other departments.

"We are not collecting anything we already don’t already collect," said Daniel Murray, deputy police chief. "The problem [right now] is if I want to get it from other agencies I have to physically show up."

The database will reduce the time officers have to spend retrieving information, and will help them respond to criminal or terrorist threats quicker, police officials said.

The governance board of the database will be under local control and the federal government will not have authority of its content, Murray said.

<1b>— Seth Rosen

<sh>Traffic Calming Projects Move Forward

<bt>The County Board has approved five new traffic-calming projects, totaling $301,000, which are made up of speed cushions, speed humps and textured raised crosswalks.

The approved projects affect four neighborhoods, and approximately 13,682 vehicles each day. The measures are part of a larger countywide program that includes more than 50 traffic-calming projects to safeguard neighborhood streets throughout Arlington.

"Traffic calming reduces speeds on neighborhood streets, which is an important part of our focus on pedestrian safety," County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. "These successes are only possible thanks to the dedicated residents who are working to improve their neighborhoods."

The traffic-calming projects are located at:

* North Harrison Street between 37th Road North and Williamsburg Boulevard;

* Little Falls Road between North George Mason Drive and Old Dominion Drive;

* North Rochester Street between Williamsburg Boulevard and the County Line;

* 31st Street South between South Abingdon Street and South Randolph Street;

* North Barton Street between 9th Street North and North Pershing Drive.

Money to fund the projects will come from the Street, Highway and Community Conservation Bond under the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program.

<sh>Robbery at Pentagon City Mall

<bt>The Arlington County Police are investigating an armed robbery

that occurred March 22 at the Nordstrom department store in Pentagon City mall.

Two men, one armed with a handgun, took several pieces of

jewelry, police officials said. No one was hurt during the robbery, and no arrests have been made.

At approximately 10:04 a.m., patrol officers responded to the Nordstrom department store in the 1400 block of S. Hayes St. for a report of an armed robbery.

Officers established a perimeter and a K-9 officer attempted a track, but the suspects were able to escape.

Witnesses reported that two men entered the store soon after it opened, went to the jewelry section, and asked to see a piece of jewelry.

After the clerk brought the item out of the case, one of the men showed her a handgun. The men then grabbed several pieces of jewelry from the case and left the store.

The first suspect is described as a black male, 25-35 years old, approximately 6 feet tall and of stocky build. The second

suspect — the one who showed the handgun — is described as a black male, 25 to 35 years old, approximately 5-feet-7 inches tall and of average build.

Residents with information about these suspects is asked to call the

Arlington County Police tip line at 703-228-4242.

<sh>Arlington GOP sets schedule for County Board nomination

<bt>Arlington Republicans have announced their plans for selecting a nominee for County Board in 2006, marking the start of the GOP's campaign to reclaim leadership positions in the county.

The County GOP Committee set a deadline of Friday, April 14, at 5 p.m., for all prospective candidates seeking the Republican nomination to come forward.

Mike McMenamin, a civic activist from the Maywood community in North Arlington, has already announced he will seek the nomination.

If there are multiple Republican candidates for County Board, the GOP nominee will be selected at a mass meeting on Wednesday, May 24. That event is currently scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the NRECA building in Ballston,

Any Republican voter in Arlington will be eligible to attend the meeting and vote. If only one candidate files for County Board by the deadline, the GOP Committee reserves the option to decide the nomination at its April 26 meeting.

"This is a year of great opportunity," County Republican Chairman

Jeff Miller said in a statement. "Thousands of Democrats and Republicans across Arlington are unhappy with soaring taxes, unresponsive County government and one-party rule. We need a Republican on the County Board, to provide an independent voice for neighborhoods and taxpayers."

<sh>Child Abuse Prevention Luncheon

<bt>Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia will co-host the 4th Annual Allies in Prevention Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, April 5.

The event will honor six individuals in Northern Virginia who go above and beyond in their efforts to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect. Special guest speakers will include Lisa Collis, former First Lady of Virginia, and Dr. Susan Orr, associate commissioner for the Federal Children's Bureau.

The luncheon will also serve as a kick-off event for April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It will launch Northern Virginia’s annual Blue Ribbon Campaign, a public education effort that spreads the word about child abuse and neglect in the community using blue ribbons as a symbol of prevention. This year’s theme, "Do 1 Thing," focuses on the power of each person to take simple actions that can help prevent abuse and neglect.

The Allies in Prevention Coalition first came together in November 2003, when SCAN saw the need for local leaders in child abuse education, prevention and treatment to work together to better educate the Northern Virginian community about child abuse and neglect issues.