State Police Fairfax Division Commander Becomes Department’s First Female Major

State Police Captain Tracy S. Russillo, who has served as the Department’s Fairfax Division Commander for the past three years, is about to make history.

Captain Tracy S. Russillo

On July 10, she will advance to the rank of major, making her the highest-ranking female in the Department’s 79-year history. At the same time, she will assume the deputy director position within the Department’s Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS), replacing Major Robert L. Tavenner who retired last month.

“Tracy Russillo has proven to be an effective, skillful and respected leader within the Department,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Her extensive field and management experience exemplifies the qualities needed in the position she is about to lead. Tracy’s hard work and dedication will be of great benefit to the Department as it continues to advance its public safety role in this new decade.”

Stellar career 

A native of Fredericksburg, Russillo joined the state police May 16, 1989. After graduation from the state police academy, she was assigned to patrol in Spotsylvania County for six years and then an additional two years in Culpeper County.

During the last 22 years of her career, Captain Russillo has moved through the ranks of state police serving as an academy sergeant, area commander in Winchester and field lieutenant for the Culpeper Division. For the last three years, she has overseen the day-to-day operations in the Northern Virginia region as the Department’s Fairfax Division Commander.

Captain Russillo holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from George Mason University and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Criminal Justice Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She has also attended the “Institute for Leadership in Changing Times” at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business and the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University.

Captain Russillo is currently pursuing an M.A. in Homeland Security at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

The Bureau of Administrative and Support Services consists of civilian personnel as well as sworn members. It includes a director and deputy director and houses the divisions of Communications, Criminal Justice Information Services, Information Technology, Personnel, Property and Finance, Training, and the Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) program.

Employees who work within this bureau provide essential services through their technical and professional expertise in order to assist troopers and special agents in the field.

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