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County Board Chair Christian Dorsey Addresses the State of Arlington County, Local Heroes Honored

By: Arlington Chamber of Commerce

June 27, 2023

On June 27, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce held the State of the County & Public Safety Awards, which highlighted the opportunities and challenges facing Arlington, while recognizing those who make Arlington a great place to live, work and do business. Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey gave an address highlighting Arlington’s economic status. The Chamber then honored public safety personnel and first responders from Arlington County’s Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management, and Sheriff’s Office who have exemplified heroic actions and exceptional performance of their duties.

The annual event was back in person for the first time since 2019 and was held at Army Navy Country Club. It was made possible by sponsors including Grand Sponsor VHC Health.

In his State of the County address, County Board Chair Christian Dorsey acknowledged the struggles faced during the pandemic, and noted how the Arlington community has emerged stronger. Dorsey shared that overall, “the State of the County remains excellent.”

He spoke about the partnership the County has developed with Amazon. “Just this month we commemorated the grand opening of HQ2 in National Landing. This was the product of hundreds of millions in private sector investments, but also a considerable amount of public sector investment and involvement. This partnership demonstrates that economic growth doesn’t need to have destructive effects on affordability of a community.”

He also spoke on the strategic partnerships the County has developed to address affordable housing, by collaborating with Amazon “to ensure that there would not be displacement of people as HQ2 opens in National Landing.”

Following his address, he answered questions about how the county is addressing affordable housing, the high office vacancy rate, and the County’s customer service response. On customer service, Dorsey noted that he ultimately “wants to make sure that when people go to the County, even when they don’t get the answer that they wanted, that they still feel heard.” He ended with noting his pride in working with fellow County Board members and County staff in promoting growth and increasing equity in Arlington in his eight years of service.

Following the address, the Public Safety awards, emceed by ABC7/WJLA’s Victoria Sanchez, were presented to Arlington County’s public safety personnel and first responders. Sixteen honorees were recognized for their courageous, and often life-saving, actions in the line of duty and beyond. Leadership of all respective departments submitted nominations for the honorees, based on their performance over the past year.

Among the honorees was Public Safety Telecommunicator at Arlington County Emergency Communications Center, Dina Alkhawaja, who received the Life-Saving award for her heroic acts on March 2, 2023. She witnessed a male collapse and go into cardiac attest while out at a sports bar during her personal time. Dina immediately went into action helping the subject by calling 9-1-1 while simultaneously performing CPR. She was able to re-establish a pulse until the fire department arrived and took care of the male subject. Her quick reaction in recognizing agonal breathing with no pulse prompting CPR, along with her calm demeanor during extreme pressure resulted in saving a life.

The 2023 Public Safety Award honorees are as follows:

Arlington County Department of Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management

Meritorious Service Award
ECC Shift led by Operations Supervisors Catherine Dawkins & Kristine Mangione

Life-Saving Award
Public Safety Telecommunicator
Dina Alkhawaja

Arlington County Police Department

Meritorious Service Award
Lieutenant Michael Laird

Life-Saving Award
Corporal Thomas DeNoville
Corporal Ryan Williams

Valor Award
Sergeant Jeffrey Lubin
Corporal Shawn Playford
Corporal Davey Tucker Jr.
Officer Patrick Bane
Officer Connor DiVincenzo
Officer Conor Fitzgerald
Officer Quinton Johnson

Arlington County Office of the Sheriff

Meritorious Service Award
Inmate Service Counselor II Camille Watkin

Life-Saving Award
Corporal Ly Phan

Arlington County Fire Department

Meritorious Service Award
Firefighter Kevin Travers


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