National Association of Counties (NACo) Awards

Chesterfield County recently received 17 achievement awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). These awards recognize the ways that local governments are providing better, more innovative services to their residents, and strengthening communities across the country.

Started in 1970, NACo's annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. The awards are given in categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services that counties provide. NACo will recognize the award-winning counties at its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition, July 13 to 16 in Davidson County, Tennessee.

"I'm delighted that Chesterfield's many innovative services were recognized this year," said County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey. "Virtually all our innovation submittals received an award. It is flattering to see other localities emulate many of our prior award topics, but most importantly, the dedication our employees have in serving our citizens better."

2018 Award Winners

  1. Communications & Media
  2. Fire & EMS
  3. Juvenile Detention Home
  4. Libraries
  5. Mental Health Support Services
  6. Parks & Recreation
  7. Police Department
  8. Sheriff's Office
  9. Transportation
  10. Utilities

Communications & Media

Government Citizens Academy

Chesterfield County greatly values civic engagement and opportunities for residents to learn about their local government. A new program called the Government Citizens Academy (GCA) was developed to enable citizens, through interactive sessions and tours of community facilities, to get a comprehensive look at how and why programs and services are provided. This is a new tool to enhance and grow the county's communications efforts and increase engagement by providing hands-on learning and opportunities for citizens to provide feedback.

Held twice a year, in the spring and fall, the GCA is designed to accommodate 25 to 30 people, providing a more intimate learning environment to exchange information and ideas. In the spring, sessions are at night and during the day in the fall. Scheduling the academies at different times makes the program appealing to all demographics, including retirees, long-time residents, business owners, high school students, prospective homeowners, or residents wanting to learn more about their government.

Designed to introduce participants to their county, which is 437 square miles, a session is held in each magisterial district. Bringing the classes to the community, versus having them at the government complex, took many participants to areas they had never been before.

Suicide Awareness Campaign
(In Partnership with Mental Health Support Services)

During October and November of 2017, Chesterfield County and the Chesterfield Suicide Awareness and Prevention Coalition worked to raise awareness about the risk of suicide in adolescents and young adults through a multi-faceted, coordinated community-wide campaign. The goal of the campaign, Ask the Question. Act to Prevent Suicide., was to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions and encourage people of all ages to reach out for help - for themselves and for loved ones. Often people, and particularly young people, are uncomfortable reaching out for help. And, those concerned about them, their friends and family, also are unsure of what to do. The county and the coalition hoped that through educational efforts they could help those who are struggling, or even contemplating suicide, to connect with people who can recognize warning signs and get them help. The key message is that suicide is preventable, but people need to act.

Suicide prevention is a focus area for Chesterfield County government and schools, and many non-profits and other community organizations. This campaign filled in a gap for a coordinated approach in increasing community awareness, and cooperation within the county in addressing a shared concern.