Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $533,333)
The Operation Allies Welcome Safe Haven Ft. Pickett is located at 1678 Military Road, Blackstone, VA 23824 and is also referred to as building number 1678VA. This facility is not owned/leased by the General Services Administration (GSA) and is a mixed multi-tenant facility. The facility operates under concurrent jurisdiction with the Commonwealth of Virginia. The town of Blackstone is in the heart of southside Virginia. Blackstone is located 35 miles southwest of Petersburg and 50 miles south of Richmond. Lynchburg is 80 miles to the west and Washington D.C. is 150 miles to the north.
Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) is the ongoing effort to bring Americans home, and to bring vulnerable Afghans to the United States and support their resettlement. The efforts will focus on a broad range of services throughout vulnerable Afghans' resettlement process, from initial immigration processing and COVID testing, to resettlement support for individuals who are neither US citizens nor lawful permanent residents. The resettlement support will include initial processing at Fort Picket for at least 5,800 Afghans and as many as 10,000 prior to be resettled with and into communities. The Department of State has identified Afghan refugees as Guests. There are three groups these Guests fall in:
• Americans and green cardholders
• Special Immigrant Visa applicants which include translators and their families
• Other vulnerable refugees from Afghanistan who have been identified, such as journalists and vulnerable women and girls.
This funding will supplement and support law enforcement efforts to combat crime and maintain public safety. The Virginia State Police (VSP), and local law enforcement agencies will be called upon to assist Fort Pickett with incidents that arise from the temporary housing of Afghan refugees as a part of OAW. Any combination of the following may be requested for reimbursement: deployed law enforcement officers’ salary and benefits, deployed officers’ overtime costs and/or backfill costs associated with deployed officers. DCJS will not reimburse in an amount that exceeds the participating agency’s standard overtime costs of two full-time equivalent law enforcement officer positions deployed on-site twenty-four hours per day/seven days per week during the time that this funding remains available.
MOAs are in place with Fort Pickett, Virginia State Police, Nottoway County Sheriff’s Office, and the Blackstone Police Department. Additional law enforcement will reduce the likelihood or impact of crime such as arson, assault, active shooter, breach of access control, CBR release, civil disturbances, disruption of the facility, explosive device, hostile surveillance, insider threat, kidnapping, robbery, theft, unauthorized entry, vandalism, and workplace violence. There have already been several misdemeanors and felonies that have occurred as a result of the influx of people to the base.
The goal of this program is to mitigate the unexpected costs incurred by State and/or local law enforcement agencies in providing criminal justice support to Fort Pickett which is temporarily housing Afghan refugees as a part of OAW.
The objective is to ensure that funds will be used to reimburse the VSP and/or local law enforcement agencies for costs incurred in the provision of on-site support to Fort Picket which is currently housing Afghan refugees as a part of OAW for a period of 12-months.