VABC Named ‘Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency of the Year’

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) has been recognized as the Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency of the Year by the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA).

The NLLEA is a non-profit association of law enforcement personnel in the U.S. and Canada. The association announced ABC’s award today during its virtual annual business meeting. 

“The NLLEA’s award for Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency of the Year is given to an agency that has demonstrated effectiveness through the implementation of innovative programs, community and media recognition, and model training programs, practices and strategies,” says NLLEA President Greg Croft. “Virginia ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement has embodied all of these attributes over the past year, and the NLLEA is pleased to honor them.”

“While our Bureau of Law Enforcement emphasizes regulatory enforcement with an eye toward voluntary compliance, this year they went even further in supporting licensees affected by economic uncertainties brought on by the global pandemic by providing guidance and relief from regulatory challenges wherever possible,” says ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “They accomplished this objective while maintaining a focus on public safety. Our agents, under Chief Tom Kirby’s leadership, have my gratitude and support in fulfilling their important mission.”

Virginia ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement has issued 16 Topic responses since a State of Emergency went into effect on March 12. Regulatory adjustments have included:

  • Creating an accelerated process for receiving and processing requests for outside dining areas; allowing restaurants with mixed beverage licenses and distilleries with approved tasting rooms the ability to provide delivery services and take-out mixed drinks; deferring license renewal fees for up to 90 days; providing for businesses with an on-premise beer and wine license the ability to sell off-premise by way of curbside pickup or delivery; and easing delivery criteria for manufacturers, wholesalers, distilleries and others.

“It’s an honor to receive national recognition from our peers,” said says Law Enforcement Officer Tom Kirby. “Throughout this extraordinary year, both sworn and non-sworn staff have worked around-the-clock to carry out our mission, adjusting and adapting whenever needed. It was truly a team effort.”

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This is the third time Virginia ABC has received NLLEA’s Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency of the Year award. The Bureau previously won this award in 2017 and 2002.

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