Boots to the Ground

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Chesterfield County, Va., VA

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About the Program

Category: Community and Economic Development (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

Boots on the Ground is a collaboration between 49 County staff members representing 13 County departments and the local division of the Virginia Department of Health. Participants include staff from community enhancement, the Fire Marshal’s office, building inspection, planning, mental health, community policing, and social services, among others. Boots on the Ground meets quarterly and provides an opportunity for Chesterfield’s front line staff to regularly address shared problems related to zoning enforcement, housing for vulnerable populations, remediating blighted properties to promote safe neighborhoods, and unique issues that are best solved by a coordinated approach from the County. Boots on the Ground members are supported by the County Attorney’s office and the Deputy County Administrator for Community Development. Boots on the Ground is a forum that promotes intragovernmental cooperation and communication by creating a trusted, collegial space for front line staff to share observations and expertise and ask for input from departments who may have different perspectives on the same issue. As a result of Boots on the Ground, relationships between County departments are created and strengthened, communication pathways are established, and issues relating to health, safety, and welfare of County residents are addressed in a timely and holistic manner.