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Image of the Virginia state seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219



Contact: Emily Bolton
Office: (804)786-0147 
Cell: (804)839-9024 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

** Note--To set up an interview with the Hampton Roads Community Outreach Coordinator Rae Pearson Benn or Chesapeake Sheriff James O'Sullivan please contact Emily Bolton at (804) 786-0147 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. **

 

NEW COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDINATOR TO SERVE HAMPTON ROADS

~ Statewide network of outreach coordinators will better connect Virginians with the Office of Attorney General ~

 

RICHMOND (March 11, 2015)-- Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced a new structure for his expanded Community Outreach program that will, for the first time ever, put a community outreach coordinator from the Office of Attorney General in every region of the state, including cities and counties in Hampton Roads, the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck, and Eastern Shore. These coordinators will help connect citizens, civic groups, faith-based organizations, small businesses, and law enforcement with the services offered by Attorney General Herring, including crime prevention programs for seniors, teen education, consumer protection services, and resources for survivors of domestic violence. The Hampton Roads Community Outreach Coordinator is Rae Pearson Benn, a native of the region, who will work out of the Chesapeake Sheriff's office.

"The Attorney General's Office provides great resources for citizens, businesses and law enforcement, but too often these initiatives are underutilized or stuck in Richmond when they should be out in the field," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "Big cities and small towns across the Commonwealth will now have a Community Outreach Coordinator focused on delivering our services and supporting communities with their crime prevention and public safety efforts. I'm very pleased to have Rae, a Hampton Roads native, working to connect the people of Hampton Roads and Eastern Virginia with these resources."

"As a native of the region, I am so pleased to help make Hampton Roads a better, safer place for Virginians," said Community Outreach Coordinator Rae Pearson Benn. "I look forward to connecting people to services and programs offered by the Office of Attorney General Mark Herring, engaging with local communities and serving Virginians in my home region."

"The recent hire of Rae Pearson Benn as a Community Outreach Coordinator proves that the Office of Attorney General Mark Herring continues to attract the best and the brightest," says Chesapeake Sheriff James O'Sullivan. "I've had the pleasure to work with Mrs. Benn while she was with the City of Chesapeake in the areas of Public Communications and Economic Development. She brings a matchless energy and commitment to the region that will drive her to keep the Hampton Roads community well-informed and empowered."

Community outreach coordinators will serve as a key source of two-way communication within the Office of Attorney General. They will help spread important public safety and consumer protection information throughout the Commonwealth while also providing OAG senior leadership with information on local and regional concerns or emerging public safety threats. Coordinators are available to work with or present to school groups, faith-based organizations, homeowners associations, civic groups, organizations for seniors, law enforcement, human services providers, and others on crime prevention, educational programs and services including:

  • Law enforcement resources: The OAG has many law enforcement resources available to local agencies, including trainings, prosecution and enforcement partnerships to combat multi-jurisdictional or complex issues, a computer crime unit that connects local law enforcement with computer forensics resources and much more.
  • Triad: A true community partnership between senior citizens and law enforcement facilitated by the OAG, Triad helps reduce crimes against the elderly by providing education and assistance. From helping senior citizens connect with community resources, to educating and providing information about known scams, Triad has served as a model promoting the safety of older Americans through community partnership for nearly 20 years. Community outreach coordinators can help localities start their own program, or support existing ones.
  • Virginia Rules: Virginia's law-related education program to help middle and high school students make good decisions, avoid breaking laws, and become responsible, active citizens within their schools and communities. Virginia Rules'interactive modules are easily accessible and engaging for young people. With numerous modules from dating violence, to gang awareness, to keeping a driver's license, Virginia Rules is a great resource for schools, community groups, and faith-based programs. Community outreach coordinators can present the modules themselves, or help train teachers, law enforcement, or community leaders to become Virginia Rules instructors.
  • Resources for Survivors of Domestic Violence: Community outreach coordinators can assist with training law enforcement on lethality assessment protocols, an important tool in preventing further victimization. The OAG also operates an Address Confidentiality Program, a confidential mail-forwarding service for domestic violence victims who have relocated to a location unknown to their abuser.
  • Identity Theft Passport ProgramCommunity outreach coordinators can help victims of identity theft acquire an Attorney General's Identity Theft Passport, which provides them with identification that can be used to show they are the victim of an identity crime.  The passport ensures that individuals cannot use stolen information to obtain a driver's license or state identification. 
  • Community Based Safety Programming: Community outreach coordinators can talk with groups about the latest consumer or public safety concerns emerging in your area and how to access resources to prevent victimization.  A Coordinator can also review local needs so that appropriate assistance from the Attorney General's Office can be targeted to agency partners and the public.

To connect with the Office of Attorney General in Hampton Roads individuals or groups can reach their community outreach coordinator at:

Rae Pearson Benn, Hampton Roads: Prior to joining Attorney General Herring's office, Rae held positions at the United Way, WAVY TV, CBN, Seventh Point Advertising & Public Relations firm, among other media entities, and Chesapeake Economic Development. 

Phone: 757-382-6113

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In addition to Hampton Roads, Attorney General Herring has added additional community outreach coordinators in every region of the state, including:

Michele Leith, Northern Virginia: Phone: 703-246-3675; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Amy Duncan, Southwest Virginia: Phone: 276-628-1799: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Johnetta Guishard, Central Virginia: Phone: 804.786.6835; Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Debbie H. Bell, Roanoke: Phone: 540-562-3571; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  

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