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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Action Item #1 of 2: Is the VSP Holding a Sex Offender Informational Training Class in Your District in the Next Few Months? If So, Have You Heard About It?



Dear Readers, 

I need to hear from you because I have been unable to get any answers from the Virginia State Police for the last few weeks on this matter. 

A reader sent me a handout (it’s above) about an upcoming class for RSO’s in his district to attend. 

I have NEVER heard of such a class being held before this one. 

  1. I searched the Virginia State Police website looking for a schedule list of classes across the State, I found nothing.
  2. I called the VSP and spoke to two people asking where other classes would be held and what topics would be covered and I did not get any answers.
  3. I then emailed a few VSP folks asking for a list of all the classes across the Commonwealth, if they planned on posting that information online and if I showed up would I be admitted or turned away as I am contacted daily by people who are attempting to learn their legal obligations and if anyone needs to be well versed in the RSO laws it’s me. I was not given an answer, I’ve been put off for 2 more weeks and I don’t have confidence I will get an answer at that point either! 
So I am now turning to you hoping to hear back, marydavyedevoy@comcast.net please title the subject line of your email VSP Class Information.

If RSO attendance is the desired goal for these classes to educate every one of their legal obligations then why would the classes not be posted online? 

The cynical side of me wonders if one or two classes are held in 2015 then the VSP can claim they are in fact notifying Virginia’s Registered Sex Offenders of their legal obligations and if the RSO’s don’t attend the class then any violation is on them because they didn’t make the effort to be educated.  

Well, my point is this…. if no one knows about the one class being held because the VSP didn’t share or post the date and time then what good is the class? 
 
1. In August did you visit your district VSP Barracks?  Yes or No
·       If Yes what city is that location in?
·       If Yes did a VSP Trooper, Compliance Officer or employee advise you of a Sex Offender Informational Training class being held in your district?  Yes or No
·       If Yes please send me the day, time, location and contact(s) for your districts meeting if you have a copy of the handout take a photo of it and include it in the email. 
 
2. In August did you speak with your VSP Trooper or Compliance Officer either on the phone or in-person?  Yes or No
·       If Yes did they advise you of an upcoming Sex Offender Informational Training class being held in your district?  Yes or No
·       If Yes please send me the day, time, location and contact(s) for your districts meeting if you have a copy of the handout take a photo of it and include it in the email.
·       What city/county are you in?
 
3. In September do you plan on visiting your districts VSP Barracks?  Yes or No
·       If Yes what city is that location in?
·       If Yes, please let me know if a VSP Trooper, Compliance Officer or employee advises you of a Sex Offender Informational Training class being held in your district?
·       If they do, was it verbal or did they have a handout?
·       If they do, please send me the day, time, location and contact(s) for your districts meeting if you have a copy of the handout take a photo of it and include it in the email.
·       If they don’t let me know………….. OR if you don’t mind ask them if there is an upcoming class in that district and let me know what their reply is.
 
4. In September if you speak with your VSP Trooper or Compliance Officer either on the phone or in-person let me know if:
·       They advise you of an upcoming Sex Offender Informational Training class being held in your district?  Yes or No.
·       If they do, was it verbal or did they have a handout?
·       If they do, please send me the day, time, location and contact(s) for your districts meeting if you have a copy of the handout take a photo of it and include it in the email.
·       If they don’t let me know………….. OR if you don’t mind ask them if there is an upcoming class in that district and let me know what their reply is.
·       What city/county are you in? 

If the VSP is holding these classes to assist our RSO’s then I am thrilled and I hope folks take advantage of them to learn what their legal obligations are because ignorance of the law is NOT a defense in court. I also hope I wouldn't be denied admittance to a class anywhere in the state as a volunteer advocate without a law degree I need to know what our RSO's are being told they can and can not do.

But, if the true intent of these unknown classes is to claim they were held once and no one showed up so we won’t bother again OR an even more cynical view would be that the classes are  being used as a media event to promote the VSP protecting the communities from Sexual Predators then I want to know what district’s RSO were advised of the meetings ahead of time, which districts weren’t and who held a meeting and who didn’t. 

I appreciate any information you can supply on this issue. 

Help me help you. 

Mary Devoy