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More News & Resources for Virginia Law Enforcement Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic


Below is Update #3 rounding up news and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This email is quite lengthy, but we encourage you to at least scan all the way through to see what is included. There is information from VSP, DFS, OCME, ABC, CASC, VML and more.

In case you did not receive either of the first 2 emails, they can be found here:

Axon Responds to COVID-19 Emergency By Offering Up Digital Evidence Gathering Platform at NO COST to Public Safety Agencies Worldwide

Police officers and other emergency responders can now use Axon Citizen to collect, manage and share community digital evidence while maintaining social distance


Axon announced today that, in the interest of public health, it is providing global access to the full feature set of Axon Citizen, at no cost this year, to every agency that is not currently using the digital evidence platform.

Axon CEO and founder Rick Smith will be hosting a
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm Eastern

to share more details.
Click here to sign up, or copy and paste this link in your browser:

With this tool, officers can gather digital evidence from the community by sending a personalized link via text message or email from Axon's digital evidence management platform, Axon Evidence, or the Axon Capture mobile app. This eliminates the need for in-person interaction and helps to minimize officer exposure to COVID-19. Agencies can learn more at

Whether officers are being asked to stay home or respond to calls in their community, Axon is proud to offer a solution that allows officers to continue to do their jobs while still maintaining social distance. Providing widespread access to Axon Citizen will enable more agencies to realize the benefits of securely collecting, managing and sharing digital evidence on one platform. Service for Axon customers who already have access to Axon Citizen will not be affected — they will continue to receive monthly software upgrades and access to the wider Axon Evidence platform that is constantly improving and adding new features.

Today, officers may interact with members of the public to collect digital evidence like photos, videos or other data. But during the current period of social distancing, these interactions for non-urgent evidence collection can put officers and citizens at risk. Axon Citizen radically simplifies evidence collection and allows officers to collect and manage community evidence from a mobile or desktop device. The intuitive interface allows critical evidence to be securely submitted into Axon Evidence in three clicks, where the software's features can be used to easily create a chain of custody and assess, catalog and search footage.

Before this emergency access program, Axon Citizen was available only to Pro license customers and Officer Safety Plan 7+ customers, or as a separate purchase.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This program is an emergency measure intended to help public safety agencies deploy the Axon mobile evidence sharing platform to assist with social distancing measures that are critically important both to slowing the spread of the pandemic and to minimizing officer exposure potential on duty. This program does not imply discounts, retroactive or prospective, to existing service contracts. 

Sex Offender Registration during COVID-19 Emergency – Additional New Procedures (CORRECTED FORMS)

TO: All Police Chiefs & Sheriffs
FROM: Captain Keenon C. Hook, Virginia State Police
The U.S Department of Justice SMART Office has allowed states greater flexibility in the registration of sex offenders during the COVID-19 state of emergency.  As a result, the CJIS Division has implemented several changes to streamline the registration process for offenders who are re-registering or changing their information.  These procedures do not apply to offenders registering for the first time
Attached are individual forms for offenders to:

  1. certify that their information has not changed during a required re-registration;
  2. change residence information;
  3. change employment;
  4. change vehicles; and
  5. change educational institution.
These forms have also been mailed to offenders and are available on the
Sex Offender Registry page of the Department’s website at

NOTE: The copies of the sex offender change of information and re-registration forms that were originally distributed to law enforcement agency heads on March 25, 2020 were from an earlier draft.  Offenders who have already used this version do not need to submit a new one; however, for future re-registrations and changes of information, please use the corrected forms, which have a revision date of 3-26-20.  The updated forms are also available on the Sex Offender Registry website.

The forms may be filled out online and emailed or printed and faxed to the contact information below. 
Fax:  Attention SOR - (804) 674-8529
Mail:  Virginia State Police
             Attention: SOR
             P.O. Box 27472
             Richmond, Virginia 23261
No fingerprints are required. The Sex Offender Registry will apply the updated information to the offender’s registration information and dispatch SOIU personnel to verify the change within 30 days.
If you have questions concerning this process, please contact Sex Offender Help Desk at (804) 674-2825.

DFS Evidence Receiving Update in Response to COVID-19

The Department of Forensic Science continues to maintain its normal business hours at each laboratory with the exception that Evidence Receiving is closed daily from 12:00 - 1:00 PM for cleaning. DFS would like to take additional measures to protect its customers and staff during the evidence submission/transfer process.

  • DFS encourages agencies to submit evidence via mail when possible.
    Evidence mailing instructions can be found in the Department's Evidence Handling and Laboratory Capabilities Guide, on p. 6 of the section entitled "General Submission of Evidence." (LINK TO GUIDE)
    Please note that the following items of evidence may NOT be mailed: firearms and ammunition, explosives, flammable liquids, petroleum distillates and caustics.
  • Please contact your local laboratory to set up an appointment for evidence submissions (if your agency does not currently have a scheduled time), in order to limit the number of individuals in the Evidence Receiving Section whenever possible. Submitters with appointments will be served before walk-ins. We greatly appreciate the law enforcement agencies that have already taken this step to limit the number of individuals entering the laboratory to submit evidence.
  • DFS requests that agencies submit RFLEs via facsimile or email to the appropriate Evidence Receiving Section the day prior to the evidence being delivered to reduce the amount of face-to-face time for evidence submissions at the laboratory, when feasible.  

Please note the contact information for the Evidence Receiving Sections at each laboratory:

Thank you for your understanding. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at (804) 786-2281 or
Katya N. Herndon, Chief Deputy Director
Department of Forensic Science

Additional Guidance from CASC on Governor's EO-53

CASC has pulled together additional resources and guidance on EO-53. The ATTACHED HANDOUT can serve as a Quick Reference Guide for Law Enforcement. (The original Guidance Memo we sent the other day is linked HERE.)

Also available is a video seminar for prosecutors and law enforcement that CASC created examining this order and the meaning thereof. The video is online at  The password for the video is CASC2020.
If you have questions, please contact Jacquelyn Katuin, Policy Advisor, Office of the Secretary of Public Safety & Homeland Security — 804-225-4505 or

OCME Testing for COVID-19 Due to Occupational Exposures

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has received requests to complete occupational exposure COVID-19 testing on decedents. The OCME does not test decedents for COVID-19 unless testing is necessary to determine the cause of death. Furthermore, the OCME would need to have jurisdiction of the case to be able to investigate the death. The attached memo provides additional information for Health Directors, First Responders and Funeral Services.
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the OCME at 804-786-3174. 

An Update on Virginia ABC's Response to COVID-19 (3/26/2020)

A message to customers and industry partners,

(Editor's Note: This has been edited for length. The full letter is available HERE.)

Virginia ABC continues its vigilance to ensure the health and safety of our employees, customers and industry partners as together we strive to address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Virginia and across the nation. Governor Northam has deemed Virginia ABC one of the commonwealth’s essential services, and around the state dedicated ABC employees continue to show up to work to keep our business in operation. 

While the retail stores will remain open for as long as we can safely do so, Virginia ABC will reduce all store hours statewide starting Friday, March 27. ABC’s 390 stores across the commonwealth will be open from noon to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

We continue to update our website with current information on modified regulations we’ve enacted as a result of COVID-19. 

Effective March 20, businesses with strictly on-premise privileges (restaurants, eat-in establishments) were, through regulatory guidance enabled by Executive Order 51, allowed to exercise off-premise privileges. These privileges include the sale of wine or beer in sealed containers for curbside pickup in a designated area (parking lot, etc.), and delivery of those products to customers’ homes without needing a delivery permit. In order for licensed businesses to use this feature, both curbside pickup and delivery must be facilitated by a customer’s electronic order either online, over the phone or through an app.

Additionally, licensees with off-premise privileges, including breweries, farm wineries and wineries as well as distilleries operating a distillery store under an agreement with Virginia ABC, may sell products for curbside pickup in a designated area or deliveries to customers’ homes without obtaining an additional delivery permit.

Licensees may also use third-party delivery services to deliver wine or beer on their behalf, but must have a written contract with the vendor specifying terms. In response to the Governor’s Executive Orders 51 and 53, ABC has recently issued a number of guidance documents that relaxes some of the requirements around the delivery of alcoholic beverages.  Delivery is a concept that must be accomplished by the licensee, its principals or employees, or a third party that has entered into a written agreement as an agent of the licensee (examples include Doordash, Instacart, Grubhub).  Delivery may only be made to Virginia residents and has volume limits (no more than four cases of beer or wine per delivery) and other safeguards to insure that underage or other ineligible persons do not receive alcoholic products.

ABC has not modified permits for the shipping of alcohol as a result of the recent Executive Orders. All previous limitations around shipping remain in place. Shipping is distinguished from delivering in that it involves use of an approved common carrier (FedEx and UPS are currently approved) to ship alcoholic beverages to consumers. Safeguards are in place to insure that only eligible people receive alcoholic beverages and proper sales and excise taxes are collected.

ABC has also waived the requirement for a signature on deliveries between wholesale and retail licensees, and between retail licensees (under delivery permit) and their customers. ID verification, reporting requirements and other parameters must still be followed.

These regulation changes and any other adjustments added will remain in effect so long as the executive order remains applicable or by extension granted by ABC.

We continue to issue licenses. Individuals and businesses applying for banquet licenses are strongly encouraged to complete the application online to expedite timely processing. We ask that our licensees and customers aid in following Governor Northam’s recommendation to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and limit visits to ABC stores. Customers can practice social distancing and reduce time spent in stores by placing their order online at

We will continue to share regular virus-related business updates at Our Media Room page also has links to our current news releases.

Travis Hill, CEO

National Police Foundation Launches COVID-19 Law Enforcement Situational Awareness Dashboard

Law enforcement agencies encouraged to participate in Dashboard by submitting data via online questionnaire

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on law enforcement and other first responders, the National Police Foundation (NPF), in collaboration with the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation and Esri, has developed a real-time COVID-19 situational awareness tool for law enforcement agencies. The tool, featuring a real-time dashboard, provides critical insights for executives, commanders, administrators and other decision-makers to better assess and monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our nation’s first responders, including officer exposures, diagnoses, workforce impacts, and PPE needs and projections.
The interactive tool allows agencies to provide confidential, real-time updates that are instantly incorporated into the national dashboard and map. The dashboard identifies:

  • the number of officers exposed
  • number of officers officially tested with a positive diagnosis
  • number of officers placed in off-duty status due to exposure
  • number of officers that are self-isolating due to symptoms or off-duty exposure.

The dashboard also estimates the availability of necessary PPE, the most critical PPE that agencies are lacking, and current and projected shortages of PPE. The data is then aggregated and mapped at the state-level in order to show impacts across the country. Individual agencies will not be identified. Law enforcement agencies can then compare impacts in their state with those of other states.
Law enforcement executives and their incident command teams (or those responsible for overseeing the COVID-19 response within their agencies), are encouraged to participate by submitting data via an online questionnaire:

Submit COVID-19 Response Data

It takes approximately 5 minutes to provide the update and an ORI9 identifier is required for each submission along with other validation features. The NPF is asking respondents to provide updates at least weekly, on the same day and time each week (as possible), in order to track progress throughout the event and impacts on law enforcement over time.
To view the dashboard, CLICK HERE.
If you have any questions or feedback on this tool, please let me know. We welcome input on ways to help improve its use in the field. To view the COVID-19 national law enforcement situational awareness dashboard, as well as a compilation of relevant resources and information for first responders regarding COVID-19, please visit

Ben Gorban, Senior Project Associate
The National Police Foundation
2550 South Clark Street, Suite 1130, Arlington, VA 22202
Office: 202-833-1460 • Direct: 202-721-9779

VML Coronavirus Resources Page

Every day, sometimes every hour, new information emerges about the coronavirus. It is a challenge for our communities to know what further developments to anticipate and how to formulate an effective plan. VML will continue to update our Coronavirus Resources page with resources for local officials to consider using as part of a plan of response.

Topics covered by VML Coronavirus Resources page:
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