News Briefs

Reitze Named City of F.C. Chief of Police

Acting Chief of Police Harry Reitze was named Tuesday the Chief of Police of the City of Falls Church effective yesterday, according to a release from the office of City Manager Wyatt Shields. Following the retirement of Chief Robert Murray last fall, Reitze began serving as the Acting Chief on Dec. 1, 2006. “Harry has provided solid leadership over the past several months as Acting Chief, and moved important public safety initiatives forward, including a renewed emphasis on highly visible community-oriented policing,” Shields stated. Following work for the FBI, Reitze joined the City in July 1975 as a patrol officer. He was named Captain in 1998 and in July 2002 named Assistant Chief and Commander of the Uniform Patrol Division. In February 2004 he was reassigned as Assistant Chief and Commander of the Operations Division. He has received more than 2,200 hours of law enforcement training and graduated from the FBI’s National Academy and the Virginia Chief of Police’s Professional Executive Leadership School.

4 F.C. Residents Named ‘National Merit Scholars’

Four high school seniors residing in the City of Falls Church were named National Merit Scholarship winners last week, and will be recipients of $2,500 scholarships from the Illinois-based National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The four were among 2,500 winners nationally chosen from a field of 15,000 finalists who were drawn from over 1.4 million who were initially tested in October 2005 as juniors. Lauren M. Ellis attending Bishop O’Connell High, Brian T. Glover attending George Mason High, Elena M. Martinez attending George Mason High and Mercedes M. Taylor attending the Thomas Jefferson Science and Technology High were winners, all residents of Falls Church. Ellis lists “education/ministry” as a probable career field, Glover lists “business,” Martinez lists “international relations,” and Taylor lists “music/international relations.”

F.C. Education Group’s Banquet Raised $66,738

The official returns are in from the fourth annual Falls Church Education Foundation banquet held April 27 and a total of $66,738 was raised, including $35,000 in corporate sponsorships and $16,000 from an auction, in addition to individual and group ticket sales. The attendance was 250 for the non-profit’s gala event, including leading officials such as State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, State Del. Jim Scott, Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner and City Manager Wyatt Shields. George Mason University men’s basketball coach Jim Larranaga was the keynote speaker.

F.C. Area Incumbents Win Endorsement of Gay & Lesbian Group

The Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club has endorsed 24 incumbent Virginia legislators for re-election this fall, president Charles Conrad reported this week. They include Falls Church area lawmakers such as State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, Del. Jim Scott and Del. Bob Hull. “All 24 we’ve endorsed voted against the anti-gay marriage amendment at every opportunity during the legislative process and worked against it during the ballot campaign last fall,” Conrad said. There will be more endorsements in the 140 races to be decided this fall, he said, “But we wanted to make these very special endorsements early on. We had faith in these legislators in supporting them earlier, and they kept faith with us.”

2 Teens Arrested for Vandalism Spree in Early April

Fairfax County Police reported yesterday that two teenagers, a 14-year-old from Annandale and a 16-year-old from Fairfax, were arrested this week in connection with over 20 incidents of vandalized homes and cars during two nights in early April. One was charged with grand larceny, felony destruction of property and seven counts of misdemeanor destruction of property. The other was charged with nine counts of credit card theft, two counts of felony destruction of property, two counts of throwing a missile into an occupied dwelling, two counts of grand larceny and seven counts of misdemeanor of property. At least eight homes in the Country Club View area of Fairfax were spray painted with the acronym “S.O.M,” believed to mean “Souls of Mischief.” Profanity and obscene pictures were also painted on homes and cars. In three cases, items were thrown into the windows of occupied homes.