Arlington, Va. – This morning, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce held the State of the County & Public Safety Awards, which celebrated Arlington’s economic achievements, the community’s future, and all who make the area an excellent place to live and work. The breakfast event began with an address by the Arlington County Board Chair, Christian Dorsey, who highlighted Arlington’s economic status. The Chamber then honored public safety personnel and first responders from Arlington County’s Office of Public Safety Communications & Emergency Management, Police Department, Fire Department, and Sheriff’s Office who have exemplified heroic actions and exceptional performance of their duties.
Christian Dorsey began his State of the County address by thanking the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Arlington business community for their partnership “on specific issues from the transient occupancy tax, to dedicated funding for the Metro, to helping us put our best foot forward in the competition for Amazon’s HQ2.” Dorsey went on to say, “We have been important partners for issues in the community, and we share the same fundamental goal of an Arlington County that is prosperous, inclusive, and committed to being better tomorrow than it was yesterday.”
“I believe the state of our county is excellent and quite strong!” said Dorsey to a crowd of more than 150 attendees. He explained that “Arlington County has a dynamic economic base with conservative budgeting and close monitoring of expenditures… The County has significantly reduced the number of homeless persons…and consistently earns high marks from Arlington residents on quality of life and safety.”
In his remarks, Dorsey discussed key initiatives such as transportation, affordable housing, and equity. Dorsey went on to applaud “Arlington County for closing the largest economic deal in the county’s history – bringing Amazon’s HQ2 to Arlington.” Dorsey said, “Amazon’s presence in Arlington will be transformative… The company’s presence and the revenues that will result will ease some of the intense budget pressures that we have experienced over the last few years. This will create new opportunities to address our challenges that we have not had the resources to fully tackle.”
Following the State of the County address, awards were presented to honor Arlington County’s public safety personnel and first responders. Nine honorees were recognized for their courageous, and often lifesaving, actions in the line of duty. Leadership of all respective departments submitted nominations for the honorees, based on their performance over the past year.
These honorees went above and beyond their call of duty to ensure the safety of their community, and in some cases, put themselves at risk for the greater good of the citizen(s) they saved. Stories of their heroic actions include two firefighters rescuing a person trapped inside a vehicle that was fully submerged in water, a detective dismantling a large, local cocaine trafficking organization with limited investigative leads, and a police officer saving two unresponsive passengers in an overturned, burning vehicle on the roadway.
The 2019 Public Safety Award honorees are as follows:
Arlington County Office of the Sheriff
Meritorious Service Award
Major Bruce Black
Arlington County Fire Department
Firefighter Joseph Temarantz
Firefighter Brent Beasock
Arlington County Office of Public Safety Communications & Emergency Management
Emergency Communications Technician III Anthony Chew
Arlington County Police Department
Meritorious Service Award
Detective Youssef Ouzidane
Detective Timothy Koch
Dispatcher & Emergency Communications Assistant Supervisor Ahrar Siddiqui
Officer Tania Velez