Members of the Virginia Beach Police and Fire Departments who investigated and foiled a plot by students to attack Landstown High School on April 20, 2009 – the 10th anniversary of the Columbine massacre -- will be honored in Washington today by the Anti-Defamation League at the second annual presentation of the ADL SHIELD Awards.
Three teenage boys were arrested and charged with unlawful manufacture and possession of multiple explosive devices intended for use in an act of terrorism, as well as unlawful possession and use of a sawed-off shotgun. While executing a search warrant, investigators found 51 explosive and flammable devices, three sawed-off shotguns with cases of ammunition, nine journals and hours of videotape. All three teens were found guilty. The leader is serving a 12-year prison sentence. The case was jointly investigated by the Virginia Beach Fire Department, Virginia Beach Police Department and Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
The Anti-Defamation League, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected civil rights and human relations organizations, created the SHIELD Awards in 2010 to annually honor law enforcement for protecting the American people from hate crimes and domestic and international terrorism. The award’s name reflects law enforcement’s role as protectors and is also an acronym for the core values of the profession: Service, Honor, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership and Dedication. About 300 law enforcement professionals and community leaders will attend the ceremony.
“Through these awards, we hope to increase public awareness of the dedication and values of the men and women of law enforcement,” said Elise Jarvis, ADL’s associate director for law enforcement outreach. “They transform the principles of our democracy into a reality. They can never be thanked enough for their service and sacrifice.”