The COPS Office Announces 2017 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award Winners

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
COPS Office Public Affairs
(202) 514-9079

The Newport News Police Department, Newport News Sheriff's Office, and An Achievable Dream, Inc. win national award for innovative collaboration

NEWPORT NEWS, VA - The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced the Newport News Police Department, Newport News Sheriff's Office, and An Achievable Dream, Inc. as the winners of the 2017 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award for their partnership to help disadvantaged children succeed in education.

An Achievable Dream, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded by the late Walter S. Segaloff in 1992 as a summer and after-school tennis and tutoring program. Through a unique public and private partnership with Newport News Public Schools, Virginia Beach City Public Schools and Henrico County Public Schools, the organization expanded in 1994 and now operates three elementary schools, one middle and high school, and will be opening a middle school later this year. The organization also operates Saturday school, summer sessions, and enrichment opportunities beyond the school curriculum.

An Achievable Dream, Inc. is dedicated to raising academic proficiency and the social competency of disadvantaged students in Newport News. Members of the Newport News Police Department, Newport News Sheriff's Office, and soldiers from Fort Eustis play important roles in these students' educational lives as daily greeters, uniform inspectors, role models, and mentors. One hundred percent of An Achievable Dream students graduate from high school on time, and on average, 95% of them attend two-year or four-year colleges or trade school and 5% enter the military post-graduation.

“Collaborations such as this one between An Achievable Dream, the Newport News Police Department, and the Newport News Sheriff's Office are proof that strong relationships between law enforcement and community institutions are so valuable to our future generations,” said COPS Office Director Phil Keith. “Students at An Achievable Dream benefit not only from learning and mastering their rigorous coursework, but also from being able to establish positive relationships with law enforcement. An Achievable Dream serves as an excellent model for communities nationwide seeking to bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth.”

“When Kathy Edwards, President and CEO of An Achievable Dream, nominated our partnership with the Newport News Police Department and Newport News Sheriff's Office for the L. Anthony Sutin Award, I couldn't help but reflect on the number of lives this partnership has impacted,” said Dr. Lee Vreeland, An Achievable Dream, Inc. Vice President of Academics / COO. “Our students have had the great fortune of developing positive relationships with law enforcement officers who have served as mentors and confidants on a daily basis.”

“It is an honor to have been nominated for and to receive the 2017 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award. It is an even greater honor to share this award with our partners in law enforcement, the Newport News Sheriff's Office and our community partners, An Achievable Dream,” said Newport News Acting Chief of Police Michael Grinstead. “The school's mission clearly aligns with ours in helping children to become morally accountable and productive citizens. As law enforcement officers, we consider it our responsibility to provide leadership to the children of this community and by doing so, we hope to inspire futures and help shape characters.”

“On behalf of the men and women of the Newport News Sheriff's Office, we are profoundly humbled to receive this award,” said Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan. “This longstanding collaboration continues to inspire both the deputies and the amazing children who attend An Achievable Dream. The bond created between the dreamers and the deputies is transformational and continues beyond their graduation.”

The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and deputy director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 to 1996. This annual award is bestowed upon a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community. The ideal nominee creates community collaborations that are innovative, creative and transformative; displays civic leadership through problem solving and collaborative partnerships; and promotes public safety through dedication to the community policing philosophy.

To nominate a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members for the 2018 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award, please visit L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award. Nominations are due no later than August 2, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 130,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit