Sheriff Isaccs honored

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 5, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Suffolk’s Sheriff Raleigh H. Isaacs Sr. was recently honored with a &uot;Lifetime Achievement Award&uot; by the Virginia Department of State Police and the &uot;Help Eliminate Auto Theft (H.E.A.T.) Program.&uot; The award recognizes the sheriff’s outstanding contributions in combating auto theft during 2002.

The &uot;Sixth Annual Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) Awards&uot; were presented in Fairfax at the Virginia Crime Prevention Association conference. Lt. Col. Larry W. Burchett, director of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and W. Gail Morykon, director of criminal investigation for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. She is also a member of the H.E.A.T. advisory board.

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Isaacs was selected because he and his office demonstrated &uot;superior effort&uot; in the areas of auto-theft intelligence, prevention, enforcement, and recoveries. Officers were eligible for first through third place awards in seven geographic divisions as well as two special divisions for the Virginia State Police and Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

&uot;These officers are a credit to their departments and they deserve the gratitude of their communities,&uot; said Senior Special Agent Randy D. Beeson, Virginia State Police HEAT Program administrator. &uot;We founded the LEO Awards Program to bring recognition to these dedicated officers and to inspire others to follow their example.&uot;

Beeson added that people who steal motor vehicles are among the most dangerous criminals on the street. He said that only through awareness and tireless enforcement can the incidence of auto theft be reduced.

At the LEO Awards ceremony, it was noted that &uot;Isaacs is one of a few who knows the HEAT program inside and out, and that his involvement and that of his deputies played a pivotal role in the program’s advancement.

Since the H.E.A.T. program began in 1996, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office has scored high marks for its &uot;Operation H.E.A.T.&uot; program.

&uot;During my law enforcement career, I have had the opportunity to investigate and be aware of many auto thefts,&uot; said Isaacs, who was elected in 1993. &uot;In several of these cases, police officers and citizens have been killed or seriously injured as a result of high speed attempts to arrest the offenders. I am convinced that through our prevention efforts, we may well have prevented tragedies of this nature from occurring.&uot;

Isaacs is also considered one of the persons instrumental in the development and direction of the H.E.A.T. program. As a member of the Grants Committee since 1998, he assisted with securing essential funding for the program’s training and prevention efforts. In 2000 and 2001, he served on the H.E.A.T. program’s Advisory Board.

and also in 2001, he was a member of the LEO Awards Committee.

Prior to his election, Isaacs served as a police officer for the Suffolk Police Department where he attained the rank of captain. Before serving citizens of Suffolk, he was a patrol officer and narcotics detective with the Norfolk Police Department.

The H.E.A.T. program is one of the premier state-sponsored auto-theft prevention programs in the nation. In addition to supporting education, training and enforcement programs, H.E.A.T. sponsors a toll-free hotline, 1-800-947-HEAT. Citizens may use that number to report suspicious activities with regard to vehicle and auto part thefts. Callers remain anonymous and they are eligible for rewards up to $10,000 for tips that lead to the arrest of auto thieves.