Frequently Asked Questions


Click on a category below to view the questions and responses for that topic

1.  ADMINISTRATION
2.  CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT
3.  CRIME PREVENTION
4.  CRIME SOLVERS
5.  DOWNTOWN MALL
6.  GENERAL
7.  JUVENILE
8.  NUISANCES
9.  PARKING TICKETS
10. PROPERTY
11. RECORDS
12. TRAFFIC
13. VOLUNTEERING

ADMINISTRATION

Q: How many officers do you have?

A: We are authorized for 74 sworn officers.

Q: What hours/shifts do the officers work?

A: The 1st and 2nd shifts work an 11½ hour rotating shift and 3rd shift works four 10 hour days. 1st and 2nd shift officers are off every other weekend, 3rd shift officers have full weekends off on a bi-monthly basis.

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CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT

Q: How do I know if I am eligible to obtain a concealed weapon permit?

A: Any person 21 years of age or older may apply. For a list of who is not qualified to receive a permit please refer to the State Police Website

Q: Where do I apply?

A: The application is available online at www.vsp.state.va.us Return completed form to Winchester Circuit Court with payment.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The cost of a concealed weapon permit is $50, which includes the cost to be fingerprinted.

Q: Who do I pay for the permit?

A: The fee and completed application should be returned to the Winchester Circuit Court’s Office.

Q: How long is it good for?

A:The permit is good for 5 years.

Q: What is the renewal process after 5 years?

A: When you renew your permit, you will need to fill out the application for a concealed weapon and return the form and $50 to the Winchester Circuit Court’s Office.

Q: Do I need to be fingerprinted?

A: If you do not have an active permit issued by the City of Winchester, you will need to be fingerprinted. If you are renewing and your permit has not expired, you will not need to be fingerprinted.

Q: How long does it take to be processed?

A: It may take up to 6 weeks for the application to be completely processed and the request be granted or denied.

Q: How am I contacted if the request is granted or denied?

A: You will receive notification from Winchester Circuit Court as to your request being granted or denied.

Q: Where do I pick up a granted permit?

A: A granted permit needs to be picked up at the Winchester Circuit Court’s office.

Q: If I am in law enforcement do I have to pay the Concealed Weapon fees?

A: If you are active law enforcement, you do not need a concealed weapon permit. Retired law enforcement should contact the Winchester Police Department before applying for a concealed weapon permit.

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CRIME PREVENTION

Q: Whom do I contact about crime prevention and neighborhood watch programs?

A: You can reach the Crime Prevention Resource Officer by sending an email to crimeprevent@winchesterva.gov.

Q: Does Winchester have a Neighborhood Watch Program?

A: Yes. It is an active program of citizens working in partnership with the police and the city. Meeting dates and topics are determined by each group and the police department facilitates the meeting by reserving the location and the event and the speaker. Check our page for details regarding future meeting dates. Neighborhoods without its own association can unite and form one.  We can assist your neighborhood in organizing one.

Q: How can I secure my home?

A: We have a detailed checklist for residents to follow. The checklist includes locks, lighting, and trimming shrubbery. We can also provide a security assessment of your residence to assist in making your home a little more secure. At the police department we can provide you with the checklist and other informative brochures if you send a request by email to crimeprevent@winchesterva.gov.

Q: Do you fingerprint children?

A: We fingerprint children at The Community Wellness Fair which is held at the Apple Blossom Mall, this event is held annually in February.

Q: Can a police officer come out and give a crime prevention talk?

A: Yes, they can be reached by email at crimeprevent@winchesterva.gov.

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CRIME SOLVERS

Q: How do I report information about a case?

A: You can call Crime Solvers at (540) 665-TIPS(8477).

Q: Can I remain anonymous?

A: Yes. When you call you will be assigned an Identification Number.

Q: Is there a reward for the information that I give?

A: Yes, if the information leads to an arrest you can earn a reward up to $1000.

Q: Will I have to testify in court?

A: No, since you reported the information anonymously the Police Department will not have any of your personal information therefore we would not have a way to contact you in regards to appearing in court.

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DOWNTOWN MALL

Q: What are the driving/parking restrictions for the downtown mall area?

A: The Loudoun Street Mall shall extend one-way south, between Piccadilly Street and Boscawen Street and Boscawen Street and Cork Street, and it shall be unlawful for any person to operate, drive, ride, push, or park any vehicle thereon. The operation and use of bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and roller skates, to include in-line skates, is prohibited. Further information for this code can be found on the City of Winchester’s city code page .

To find more in depth information including any exceptions you can click on this link and reference City Code Section 26-33.

Q: How do you obtain a permit for an event you would like to hold on the downtown mall?

A: You would have to fill out a Special Events packet which you can find at www.winchesterva.gov.

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GENERAL

Q: How does one check for “sexual offenders” in my neighborhood?

A: To learn about the location of registered sex offenders in the City of Winchester and elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, visit the Virginia State Police website.

Q: How do I obtain a taxi cab driver permit?

A: You must submit a completed and notarized application form, provide 3 Polaroid photos, and attach a copy of your current driving record from the DMV. You may fill out the personal info portion of the application online, but you will still have to go to the taxi stand that you would like to work for to obtain the rest of the required forms to complete the application packet.

You will have to submit fingerprints, complete a request for Search of the Central Registry and Release of Information Form – Virginia Department of Social Services, and complete a Criminal History Record Name Search Request Form.

The fees are as follows:

a. $15.00 Criminal History Record

b. $5.00 Search of Central Registry

c. $5.00 Permit

$25.00 total for fees.

Permit issued for 3 years; temporary permit can be issued/valid for 60 days.

Q: How do I request a patch?

A: The Winchester Police Department policy prohibits providing official uniform shoulder patches to anyone other than sworn law enforcement officers who make an appropriate request on their Department’s official stationery (original, no copies).  All patch requestors meeting this criteria should mail letters to: Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher, 231 E Piccadilly Street, Suite 310, Winchester, Virginia 22601.

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JUVENILE

Q: Is my child’s arrest record confidential?

A: Arrests of juvenile crime offenders are kept confidential from the public and media.

Q: Will an arrest affect my child’s record after the age of 18?

A: Juvenile records are sealed unless they are charged as an adult.

Q: Will this affect my child’s driving license?

A: All alcohol and drug related charges will affect your child’s future driving privileges.

Q: Is there a curfew in Winchester?

A: It shall be unlawful for any minor under the age of fifteen (15) years to be in or upon any street, park or other public place in the city, on Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day, or Friday or Saturday from the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day unless, there are several exceptions.  To view these you can click this link and reference City Code Section 16-5.

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NUISANCES

Q: Whom do I call about an abandoned vehicle on the street?

A: If the abandoned vehicle is on public property you can contact the police department at (540) 662-4131. If the abandoned vehicle is located on private property then you will need to contact The Zoning Department of the City of Winchester at (540) 667-1815.

Q: Whom do I call about barking dogs in my neighborhood?

A: You can contact the police department by using the non-emergency number of (540) 662-4131.

Q: Whom do I call about loud noise in my neighborhood?

A: You can contact the police department by using the non-emergency number of (540) 662-4131. To read more about the City of Winchester’s loud noise ordinances please click this link and refer to City Code Section 17 noise control.

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PARKING TICKETS

Q: Where do I go to pay a parking ticket?

A: Winchester Police Department, 231 E Piccadilly Street, 3rd floor Administration Department, Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays between the hours of 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Q: What method of payment can I use to pay for a parking ticket?

A: You can pay by using cash, check, or a credit/debit card bearing the Visa, Discover, or Mastercard logo. Phone payments may be made for credit and debit card payments.

Q: How much is my parking ticket?

A: Please Click Here to view the parking violation and fine link on the Winchester Parking Authority website.

Q: How do I report a broken/malfunctioning parking meter?

A: You can contact Kim Whitacre at (540) 545-4705. When you call you will need to provide the meter number and the location of the meter.  You can find this information located on the parking ticket and on the parking meter.

Q: What happens when a ticket doesn’t get paid after 6 months?

A: An initial letter is sent after a ticket has reached its maximum fine. If there is no response a final letter will be sent and the full amount has to be paid within 15 days. If the fine is still not paid a warrant is obtained and will be served by one of the sworn members of the Winchester Police department.

Q: How do I contest a ticket?

A: You will have to come to the Winchester Police Department, 231 E Piccadilly Street, 3rd floor Administration Department and fill out the form within 30 days of the ticket’s issuance date.

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PROPERTY

Q: How do I make an appointment to pick up property that I was contacted about?

A: The property clerk can be reached Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays between the hours of 7:00 am and 4:00 pm. The number is (540) 545-4726.

Q: Can you mail my property to me?

A: No, property is never mailed. In order to obtain your property you must come to the Winchester Police Department, 231 E Piccadilly Street, Winchester, VA 22601.

Q: What do I need to bring in order to claim my property?

A: You have to bring your photo id (driver’s license or ID card).

Q: How long is found property held?

A: Found property is held for 60 days.

Q: How does the department dispose of unclaimed property?

A: We use the public surplus website. You can view this website by clicking on the following website: www.publicsurplus.com

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RECORDS

Q: What are the hours of operations?

A: The Records Department is open Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Q: How long does it take to obtain a copy of a report?

A: A report will be available within 5 business days. If you would like to see if your report is available please contact the Records Department at (540) 545-4728.

Q: How do I get a copy of a Police report?

A: You can come to the Winchester Police Department, 231 E Piccadilly Street, Monday thru Friday, excluding holidays, between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. A Verification of Loss Report is available for a $2.00 fee.  The report may be paid for by using cash, you will have to bring exact change. You must be an involved party or have a written note from an involved party to     receive a copy of a report.

Q: I need to get fingerprints for my job what are fees and times to do this?

A: The fingerprint fees are as follows: $10 for the 1st fingerprint card and $5 for every additional card.

The hours for fingerprinting are as follows:

Tuesday & Thursday 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The fingerprinting service is not available on National Holidays, because the Records Department is closed on those days.

Q: Who can be fingerprinted at the Winchester Police Department?

A: Only residents of the City of Winchester will be fingerprinted by the Winchester Police Department.

Q: I have a warrant – how do I take care of it?

A: You may come to the police department and a sworn member of the Winchester Police Department will serve the warrant on you.

Q: Does your department perform criminal history record checks for citizens and/or non law enforcement purposes?

A: No, Our department does not perform records checks, you have to go to the Virginia State Police barracks, which is located at 3670 Valley Pike, Winchester, Virginia. You can also call them at (540) 869-2000 or look at their website.

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TRAFFIC

Q: Whom do I contact if a car is blocking my driveway?

A: You can contact the police department at (540) 662-4131.

Q: How can I obtain a handicapped parking space in front of my residence?

A: Request should be forwarded to the Patrol Division for review.

Q: How do I report over-sized vehicles parked overnight in a residential area?

A: You can contact the police department at (540) 662-4131.  If you would like more information you can reference city code section 14-47.  Please click on this link to view the city codes.

Q: Are you allowed to setup PODS in a residential area?

A: You may contact City Zoning for the permit process.

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VOLUNTEERING

Q: How do I become a volunteer?

A: You must successfully complete the Citizen’s Academy.  After completion of the Citizen’s Academy you will have to fill out the Volunteers in Policing application.

Q: Are there any qualifications?

A: You must be able to complete a successful background check.

Q: How can I apply?

A: You can stop by the Winchester Police Department and pick up an application or fill out the form on our website. You can also call Detective William Griffith at (540) 545-4730 x1026 and he will assist you with any questions or concerns that you may have. You can also request that the application be mailed to you. The application should be returned to:

Winchester Police Department
231 E Piccadilly Street, Suite 310
Winchester, VA 22601
ATTN: Detective William Griffith

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