Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Reminder (and an Action Item if You Run Into an Issue) of VSP Barracks and Hotline Hours During the 2015 Holiday Season: Registering, Re-Registering, Updating Your Data, Updating Your Photograph or Making an Inquiry as an RSO in Virginia Between Christmas and News Years Day

Back on July 9, 2015 I posted about the Virginia State Police (VSP) website, VSP Barracks hours of operation, VSP S.O. Helpline hours of operation and VSP observed holidays. 

The VSP website does not post VSP Barracks hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP Barracks doors or main desk do not post hours of operation or observed holidays. The VSP website also does not post the phone number 804-674-2825 OR the hours of operation for the VSP Sex Offender Help Desk (Hotline). Despite my multiple requests directly to the VSP to add this crucial information to their website and locations. 

Leaving Virginia’s RSO’s to “guess” correctly or incorrectly under the threat of a felony. 

Last year I heard from an RSO who attempted to update a change in vehicle registration the previous year right before the Christmas and New Years holidays. He was advised by the Virginia State Police (VSP) who is the monitor and manager of the Virginia Sex Offender Registry and our RSO’s that from December 23 to the 31st no VSP location would be able to take his change in information and he should come back in January. 

Well in Virginia because there is NO electronic system our RSO’s MUST register ANY change of information in-person (if they move or become homeless, if they change their name, if they lose or start a  job part-time or full-time, if they enroll or un-enroll in school part-time or full-time, if they add or delete a phone number or if they buy or sell a vehicle) within 3 days (not 3 business days) or within 30 minutes (if they add or delete an email address, an instant messenger identifier or a chat identifier) per Virginia law.

So this past July I contacted the VSP.  

Per the Virginia State Police email response I received: 

The Area Offices (Barracks) generally have standard business operating hours for administrative purposes; however, a Trooper or supervisor could be on the premises at any given time.   

The VSP SOR Help Desk (Hotline) is available 8:15 am through 4:45 am, Monday-Friday excluding state observed holidays 

State observed (VSP) Holidays include:
Christmas Day      (December 25th)                 in 2015, it is a Friday
New Years Day     (January 1st)                       in 2015, it is a Friday 

* If an observed holiday falls on a Saturday then the VSP Barracks and SO Help Desk/Hotline are closed on Friday beforehand. 

* If an observed holiday falls on a Sunday then the VSP Barracks and SO Help Desk/Hotline are closed on preceding Monday.
I then confirmed this:

  • Christmas Eve and New Years Eve are NOT observed holidays.
  • The weekdays between Christmas Day and New Years Day are NOT observed holidays nor do they have reduced hours.

An RSO should be able to walk into a VSP Barracks anywhere in the State OR call the VSP SO Help Line/Hotline (804-674-2825) before Christmas Day, after Christmas Day and before New Years Day during standard hours of operation. 

For 2015 that includes:
  • Monday              Dec 21st
  • Tuesday              Dec 22nd
  • Wednesday       Dec 23rd
  • Thursday           Dec 24th
  • Monday              Dec 28th
  • Tuesday              Dec 29th
  • Wednesday       Dec 30th
  • Thursday           Dec 31st
So there are two 3-Day weekends in December 2015 where an RSO can NOT register, re-register, update data, update a photograph or even make an inquiry.  

If anyone runs into an issue at a VSP Barracks OR with the VSP Help Desk that does not mesh with the above 2015 dates please let me know.  IF you do contact me be prepared to tell me exactly when, where, what and with whom it occurred otherwise I will not look into the problem you encountered. 

Also I would like to hear about any issues where you could not get a hold of your VSP Compliance Officer/Trooper on the above 2015 dates because I know MANY VSP Districts  instruct their RSO’s to ALWAYS contact their VSP Compliance Officer/Trooper through a phone call or email instead of walking into a VSP Barracks. I have to image many VSP C.O.’s and Troopers are on vacation during this time period and I would like to know if their RSO’s were advised of their unavailability ahead of time or on their voice mail message OR not at all. 

If the availability of those who are charged with the taking of registration information and the answering of  questions for our RSO’s conflicts with the deadlines set in current VA law, then something needs to change. It would either be the VSP processes, hours and paper system or the Virginia legal statutes and that’s why hearing from you would play a part in any reforms that are needed.  

Mary Devoy