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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Capt. Andy Hill serving as temporary commander of Mason Police District

Pat Borowski, chair of the Bailey's Rotary Club, presents a certification of
Capt. A.P. “Andy” Hill will continue to serve indefinitely as temporary commander of the Mason Police District. Capt. Christian Quinn, who had been assigned as commander last spring, is instead serving on the police chief’s internal “change team” to make recommendations for updating the department’s policies and procedures. 

At a meeting of the Mason police station’s Citizens Advisory Committee, Hill said the change team is working on an “extreme makeover” of the police department and is reviewing such issues as the use of deadly force, choke holds, and the pursuit of suspects. Quinn is still expected to come to the Mason station but it’s not known when that will happen.

The change team effort is separate from the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, which is expected to complete its work next month. The commission, created last March by Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova following a series of complaints about police-involved shootings, includes representatives from advocacy groups, the police, academia, law, the media, and the public.  

According to Hill, the chief is also looking at restructuring the police department’s rank system and will present a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on establishing a pilot program on body cameras. He said equipping all 1,500 sworn officers with body cameras is not an option due to the cost, which would be in the millions of dollars. “I don’t think cameras will win back the public trust,” Hill said. “Good police work will.”

Kat O’Leary, the Mason station’s new crime prevention officer, thanked the CAC for donating a laptop to the station, which gives officers immediate access to surveillance videos. O’Leary succeeds Brendan Murphy, who is now working as a public information officer at police headquarters, where his responsibilities include putting out the daily police blotter and responding to questions from the media.

O’Leary, by the way, is an accomplished athlete. She won two gold medals, in the 200-meter and 400-meter run, and a silver medal in the 100-meter run at the 2015 World Police and Fire Games in July hosted by Fairfax County.

Pat Borowoski, president of the Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club, presented a certificate of appreciation to the Mason police station in recognition of officers’ help in making the Stuart Pyramid Back-to-School Resource Fair a success. The police monitored traffic, lifted parking restrictions, and generally ensured the event went smoothly.

Rotary club members Glad Hatchl, Kate Walter, and David Feld also presented awards to Hill, O’Leary, and Lt. Tony Matos for their work on the Stuart Resource Fair. Awards was also given to the Mason Police Explorers Club and the CAC, and CAC chair Gabe Goldberg thanked the Bailey’s Rotary Club for their support for the police.

The public is invited to CAC meetings, which are held on the first Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., in the Mason Government Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale.

From the left: David Feld, Pat Borowski, Alejandra Caballero, Glad Hatchl, Capt. Andy Hill, Lt. Tony Matos, Kat O’Leary, Kate Walter, and Gabe Goldberg.

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