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PRESS CONTACT Jim Halpert PR Manager (e) (t) 540-251-4565

Virginia Tech Police Department obtains driving simulator for improved safety training Learn all about VTPD and various programs offered at a free community event BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech Police Department recently obtained a driving simulator that will assist in training first responders to better operate emergency vehicles. The purpose of the new simulator is to help emergency responders sharpen their skills when driving to calls. It also offers another way to conduct real-world training without damaging real vehicles. “The new driving simulator will not only help VTPD, but it will ultimately help those in need when responding to emergency situations,” said Michael Scott, police chief of the Virginia Tech Police Department. “The safety of citizens is always our top priority.” The simulator offers a variety of features, including the ability to choose specific weather conditions. It also has the ability to imitate traffic on roads and the environment of certain areas. It can be driven as a patrol car, civilian vehicle, fire engine or an ambulance. To make the simulation seem realistic, the device includes windshield wipers, a seatbelt, a license plate reader, headlights and even switches to turn on emergency sirens and lights. The simulator also features two cockpits that can be used at the same time. Three video screens each offer a 180-degree view of the projected driving environment. The funding for this simulator came from a federal grant given by the U.S. Department of Defense. “We feel that the importance of state-of-the-art training for universities should be accessible,” said Toby Flenderson, Head of the U.S. Department of Defense. “I’m glad that the department was able to gift the simulator to Virginia Tech, as it will help keep students safe.” Other agencies such as the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad (VTRS), the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the Blacksburg Police Department, the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Blacksburg Volunteer Department will get to use it as well. -more-

Page 2 of 2 The simulator can be easily transported using a trailer and is primarily used at a vacant parking lot close to the Blacksburg Regional Airport. In order to promote campus safety, VTPD and VTRS teamed up to put on an event for Virginia Tech students and the surrounding community. The free event will be held Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a free event will be held at Lane Stadium. Activities at the event will include drunk goggle carts, a donut eating contest, “Dunk-A-Cop� and two obstacle courses. People can also learn about the nationally accredited VTPD and the programs it offers. About Virginia Tech Police Department The Virginia Tech Police Department is a nationally accredited department and wins awards annually. More than 60 police officers and security guards help keep Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff and the surrounding Blacksburg community safe. VTPD is committed to excellence and has accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA) and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). -###-

MEDIA ADVISORY October 29, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Flour Power Subs news conference regarding E. coli cases (Portland, Oregon): A news conference arranged by Flour Power Subs will formally address the recent E. coli cases linked to its restaurants. The conference will be at the company’s headquarters in Portland, Oregon on Oct. 31. CEO Margaret Smith will be in attendance. WHAT:

A news conference held by Flour Power Subs to respond to the E. coli cases caused by food at certain chain locations.


Flour Power Subs will formally address any questions and concerns about the E. coli cases. Information will be given regarding its next steps in order to ensure full customer health and safety.


Oct. 31, 2018; noon-1 p.m.


Flour Power Subs Headquarters (Large Conference Room, Floor 3) 1004 Bates Lane, Portland, Oregon


Margaret Smith, Flour Power Subs CEO


The news conference will be open to journalists on a first come first served basis. Photos and videos may be taken with prior approval. Parking is available in the South Parking Garage on Bates Lane.


Amanda Roth Flour Power Subs Media Relations Coordinator 548-555-3246 ###

Virginia Tech Police Department Information Virginia Tech Police Department History The Virginia Tech Police Department (VTPD) was established in 1945. At that time, only three, part-time university employees made up the department, then known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute Police Department. Before portable radios were invented, a red, shining light on top of Burruss Hall would signal officers for dispatched calls. Officers would then call the security office in order to inquire where they were needed on campus. In 1967, the department was transformed from a police department to a security department. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was given various reports, data and statistics on behalf of Mr. Ike Nichols, Director of Security and a retired FBI member. During the 1970s, Virginia Tech began to grow, erecting around 20 buildings on its campus. In 1975, officers were able to regularly carry weapons. The department reverted back to being a police department full time during the 1980s. The running total number of officers was 28. During the 1990s, the department grew exponentially and many additions were added, such as new uniforms, vehicles, a crime prevention unit, an Emergency Response Team and a bicycle patrol unit. Thirty-five sworn officers now made up the department. A true calamity occurred on April 16, 2007 when a gunman shot and killed 32 Virginia Tech students and faculty members. As a result of this tragedy, 11 new officer positions were added, along with three support personnel and one communications supervisor position. VTPD moved locations in 2012 from the Sterrett Facilities Complex to the Public Safety Building. Virginia Tech’s Office of Emergency Management also resides there. The department now has 50 officers that work full-time and help keep over 50,000 Virginia Tech members safe every day. -more-

Virginia Tech Police Department Awards In 1995, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) deemed VTPD as Nationally Accredited. This designation meant that the department was recognized as a full-service and highly professional agency. A full-service department meant that the same services as local police departments were offered. Re-accreditation was granted to VTPD in March 2001. VTPD is also accredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). The department was first accredited by IACLEA in 2010.

Virginia Tech Police Department K-9 Program The K-9 program is an integral part of the Virginia Tech Police Department. It first began in 2002. The department currently has three active service teams, with each comprised of a K-9 and an officer. The K-9 program’s establishment was a first in the state of Virginia for a university police department. The dogs travel alongside officers to respond to routine duties but also perform more important and specific tasks. Some of the main duties that the K-9’s perform are sniffing out drugs, locating bombs and tracking missing people and suspects. The K-9 teams are present at crowded events and also make sure that venues like Lane Stadium are safe before visitors pile in. Common breeds within the K-9 team are German Shepherds and yellow Labrador Retrievers.

Virginia Tech Police Department Press Contact To learn more about the Virginia Tech Police Department, visit Press Contact: Amanda Roth Virginia Tech Police Department Communication Director (e) (t) 805-555-4393 -###-

Media Contact: Amanda Roth Campus Emergency Communications Director Phone: 804-555-0087 Email:

Virginia Tech Police Department 330 Sterrett Drive (0523) Blacksburg, VA 24061

FACT SHEET Driving Simulator •

The driving simulator is for advanced training for emergency responders driving to calls they receive. I will help them respond more quickly and more safely to incidents on campus and in the community.

It will also reduce the damage of actual vehicles while training.

Features of the driving simulator include: - Imitating the surrounding environment, traffic and weather conditions - Replication of driving in a patrol car, civilian vehicle, fire engine or ambulance - Two cockpits that can be used at the same time with three video screens each and a 180-degree view of the surrounding road environment - Headlights, windshield wipers, a seatbelt, a license plate reader and switches to turn on emergency sirens and lights

The simulator is primarily for the Virginia Tech Police Department.

The Virginia Tech Rescue Squad, Blacksburg Police Department, Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department, Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will also have access to the simulator.

The simulator was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense with a federal grant.

Traditionally, training occurred at a vacant parking lot near the Blacksburg Regional Airport.

The simulator is easy to transport using a trailer.

More information about the simulator can be found at

Virginia Tech Police Department • • •

• •

The Virginia Tech Police Department oversees the safety of Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff and visitors every day. The department has been in service since 1945. The VTPD is nationally accredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). The department has renewed its accreditation every three years since 1995. More information about the Virginia Tech Police Department can be found at


AGE DISTRIBUTION 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Under 12








Over 24


24.4% 30%


18.8% 11.9%


6.8% 10%





9 10


American Indian

Mixed Race

Male 10%




Female 90%


Amanda Roth Feature Story Luck Found in Arizona For Abby Voytilla, her good fortune has only amplified since befriending the members of an up-and-coming band. “When I say that I get to work for Arizona, it almost feels like complete luck, as if it just fell into my lap,” said Abby Voytilla, Virginia Tech junior, as she sighed with disbelief. It all started with Soundfest. The Virginia Tech Union (VTU) music festival was created by Voytilla and her alternative sound committee. As the director, she helped construct the now annual Soundfest music festival in April of 2017. Soundfest used to be a tiny, single concert put on by VTU. However, with re-allocated funds, the new Soundfest music festival was created. Voytilla’s committee worked earnestly to compile a list of possible bands. Among the bands selected for the festival, ​Arizona​ was one of them. A poll was then sent out to the Virginia Tech student body, and the majority of students voted to have Arizona as the main act among other artists. Voytilla communicated with VTU’s booking agent and successfully booked Arizona for Soundfest 2017. Conveniently, the band was already on tour with the band COIN, so they performed as well. Arizona arrived to Virginia Tech in a run-down U-Haul rental van with a dinky trailer hitched to the back. All of their equipment was stored in the small trailer. “They were so psyched to be there,” Voytilla exclaimed. “They didn’t care what the crowd looked like or what the venue was; they were just excited to play.”

Soundfest was one of Arizona’s first college shows. The band was stoked for the experience after hearing from their manager, Jake Posner, that they were voted to perform by the student body. “They were excited to have a fan base, especially at a school up in the mountains that they have no affiliation to,” Voytilla explained. Since Voytilla was the alternative sound director for VTU and was the primary contact for Soundfest, she spoke directly with Arizona frequently. “I made sure that their dressing room was how they wanted and was one of their runners,” Voytilla said. “Basically, a runner is exactly what it sounds like. I run and go get things for band members if they need them.” During Soundfest, Voytilla and the members of Arizona hit it off as friends. “They’re such down-to-earth guys and genuinely wanted to get to know me,” Voytilla said with honor. The next stop for Arizona was Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware in June. Voytilla already had plans to go with friends, but something unexpected happened. Arizona’s tour manager, Dan Avery, mentioned that they should all meet up at Firefly. After exchanging numbers with Avery, they ended up seeing shows together during the festival. “We became actual friends, not just acquaintances anymore,” Voytilla said with excitement. “Music festivals will do that to you.” Not knowing the next time that she would see the band, Voytilla was sent Arizona’s upcoming tour schedule. One of their shows was in Richmond, Virginia in July. Voytilla decided to go.

“It was the first time I wasn’t working with them or looking like a music festival monster who was just dirty and gross; I could be a real human,” Voytilla laughed. “I finally got to be the girl who got all dolled up and dance in the crowd. At that point, I knew every word to every song. I think that Nate and I are the closest of friends because we caught each other mid-song during “Oceans Away” and were singing it to each other. That was the moment I knew that these guys were going to be in my life forever.” Guitarist, Nate Esquite, seemed to have the same impression of Abby that she had for him. “When we first met Abby, we immediately saw this fire in her eyes that said she wanted to dive head first into the crazy world of live music and destroy it,” said Nate Esquite. “We love working with people that have that kind of passion and wanted to help her achieve her goals in any way we could, as well as pour some gas on that fire to see what kind of damage she could do.” It is hard to believe that Arizona was such an ​unknown band​ as little as six months ago. They have grown so much and developed a major fan base. In 2016, Arizona was working on their debut album, ​GALLERY.​ The band consists of guitarist Nate Esquite, pianist Dave Labuguen and vocalist Zach Hannah. Arizona does not have a set drummer, but most often, it is Jannier Amaya. In 2017, Arizona is now widely recognized and has tremendously grown in popularity. After Voytilla attended Arizona’s show in Richmond, they asked her to come with them on the road to their show in Baltimore the next day. She decided to go for it, got in her car and drove up to Baltimore.

“They kind of just threw me into a position,” Voytilla said with surprise. “I thought I was just going for fun, but they said I would work merchandise, and I couldn’t say no! It was my first time feeling like I was truly working for a band.” The music festival, Lollapalooza, was in Chicago the following weekend, and like before, Arizona asked Voytilla to tag along. If she could get a plane ride and find somewhere to stay, she was going. Being born in Chicago only made the excitement of Lollapalooza greater. The next thing you know, Voytilla has a four-day artist pass to the festival working for Arizona. With her flight booked two-days before the start of Lollapalooza, she would soon experience the best weekend of her life. “I did all of the tasks that everyone else didn’t want to do, like load-in and load-out every show day, and I was so happy to do them,” Voytilla beamed. “I got all of the equipment off the van and into the venue, unpacked and set-up, and then did everything in reverse. I got to meet everybody at Atlantic Records that I needed to know, like Arizona’s publicist from L.A. and their tour manager from Brooklyn. I was exhausted and my feet were bleeding from my Vans, but I was happier than I ever had been.” Voytilla has since kept in touch with all of the band members and managers, especially Esquite and Avery. On October 30, she would receive a text that opened more doors than imaginable. Avery offered her a position as an assistant tour manager, runner and merchandise retailer for Arizona’s summer tour in 2018. “We would love to have Abby back with us on crew again,” said Dan Avery. “She’s a great asset to our team, works super hard and loves to learn.”

The tour spans from June 1 to July 12 in the United States and Canada. Voytilla would be paid on days when selling merchandise, and all expenses covered; something crucial to consider when on a college student budget. “It’s definitely an option for summer 2018,” Voytilla said with warmth in her eyes. “I would love to have the opportunity to tour with them consecutively. Every day I learn something different.” Although this may seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, Voytilla was not so sure. “I’ve loved being on tour and it’s fun as a 20-year-old, but it’s not necessarily what I want to do for my whole life,” Voytilla said with doubt hidden in her voice. “It’s a great first step, and I feel like everyone in the industry should have some knowledge of show days and production.” Ultimately, Voytilla would like to hold a position similar to Posner; in a corporate office and managing the business side of a band. “As much as I wish I was creative, I have such a business mind,” Voytilla stated. Voytilla would not have landed this opportunity if it had not been for VTU. It gave her an outlet for her music passion and allowed her to stick her foot in the door to the rigid music industry. “My sophomore year, I was awarded the position director of alternative sound for VTU and worked my butt off to create Soundfest music festival,” Voytilla said with pride. “Without that year that I dedicated to VTU, I would’ve never met Arizona through Soundfest and wouldn’t be where I am now.”

While speaking to Voytilla in her room, incense burning and band posters taped all over the walls, she conveyed the most positive outlook for the future. Her gratefulness was apparent, and for good reason. Not every day does the opportunity to work for an established band come along. “I’m lucky to have found a group of guys who are so willing to take someone under their wing,” Voytilla said with absolute gratitude. “It’s special to have found a group of people who have guided me in this direction.”

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Amanda Roth Portfolio  

My portfolio features samples of a news release, media advisory, backgrounder, fact sheet, infographic and a feature story.

Amanda Roth Portfolio  

My portfolio features samples of a news release, media advisory, backgrounder, fact sheet, infographic and a feature story.