Police Increase Patrols for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

The Winchester Police Department is stepping up patrols for St. Patrick’s Day and the weekend ahead. There will be extra patrols on City streets Tuesday evening and officers will be targeting drunk drivers. The extra patrols are part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign. Drivers are reminded to plan ahead before heading out to celebrate the holiday by designating a sober driver before leaving home. We also recommend that you know the phone numbers of local taxi companies so you can call them if you are in need of a ride.Clover

If you suspect a driver is impaired call the non-emergency police telephone number at 540-662-4131. Callers should be prepared to give a description of the vehicle, license plate number, location, and the car’s direction of travel.

Also remember that if you know someone who is about to drive or ride with someone who is under the influence to help them make other arrangements to ensure their safety.

Everyone is reminded to drink responsibly and have a safe holiday weekend.

Winchester Man Arrested for Breaking and Entering

Bernardo Lewis

Bernardo Lewis

Detectives with the Winchester Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division arrested a Winchester man following an investigation into two breaking and enterings at the same business. Bernardo Lee Lewis, 55, is charged with two felony counts of breaking and entering. On August 24, 2014 Hopscotch Coffee Roasters on Millwood Avenue was broken into and money was taken. On September 23, 2014, the same business was forcefully entered and a laptop was stolen. An investigation linked Bernardo Lewis to the crimes.

Lewis was arrested on March 12, 2015 and taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center. He has been released on bond.

These incidents remain under investigation and other charges may be pending.

Community Response Team Receives Hero Award

Members of the Community Response Team Receive the William D. Barton Hero Award

Members of the Community Response Team Receive the William D. Barton Hero Award

Congratulations to the Community Response Team on receiving the William D. Barton Hero Award Tuesday morning during the Employee Recognition Breakfast. The CRT was recognized for its public service to the community. The team tackles special projects in the City and works to make Winchester a better and safer place to live, work, and visit. Join us in thanking them for their service!



Robin Shillingburg is recognized for her 15 years of service.

Robin Shillingburg is recognized for her 15 years of service.

Robin Shillingburg was recognized for her 15 years of services with the Winchester Police Department. She has worked in our Records Department her entire career and is currently a Community Resource Officer. Thank you Robin for your dedication and service!







Janet Pope is recognized for her 35 years of service.

Janet Pope is recognized for her 35 years of service.

Janet Pope was recognized for her remarkable 35 years of service with the Winchester Police Department. Janet handles the warrants for our department and stays busy delivering paperwork to the courthouse each day. What an incredible example of dedication!

Community Information Sessions Bring Awareness to Substance Abuse

The severity of heroin addiction in the Northern Shenandoah Valley continues to be apparent with eight overdose deaths between January 1 and March 11, 2015. The Addiction Action Committee (AAC), a coalition of law enforcement, health, criminal justice, and social service experts, is calling on the larger community to learn more about the complex problem of opioid and heroin addiction.

Community Forum on HeroinThe AAC is sponsoring two free programs to address this community health issue. The Community Forum on Heroin will be held March 31st at 7 p.m. in Stimpson Auditorium at Shenandoah University. Attendees will hear from a local father about his long struggle with addiction, how he overcame the disease and turned his life around. A panel of speakers will address the scope of heroin addiction in our community and solutions being explored by the AAC. Lastly, Lt. Wally Stotlemyer from the North West VA Regional Drug Task Force will describe what law enforcement is doing to combat the problem and explain the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and what to watch for.

A second community event titled Your Kids Know More Than You Do: Straight Talk for Parents About Teen Drug Use will be held on Tuesday, April 14th at 7 p.m. in the Patsy Cline Auditorium at Handley High School. Will Rushton, M.D. is an emergency physician at UVA Medical Center who specializes in medical and clinical toxicology. Dr. Rushton will share information on current trends of recreational drug abuse and what parents need to be aware of. This presentation is for adults only.

The Addiction Action Committee is working to educate the community about the far-reaching impacts of substance abuse and the importance of tacking the problem openly, as a community. The AAC encourages the public to attend both of these events.

For more information on the AAC and Addiction Resources in the Northern Shenandoah Valley visit www.roadtorecovery.info.

These events are being sponsored by Casey Family Programs.

Winchester Woman Arrested Following Stabbing

Kathryn Teel

Kathryn Teel

A Winchester woman was arrested this morning after a stabbing that happened in the 100 block of Holliday Drive. Winchester Police responded to the call around 10:48 a.m. When officers arrived on scene they discovered a 27-year-old male from Winchester with a puncture wound to his right upper arm. The male was taken to Winchester Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. An investigation determined the stabbing happened after an altercation.

Kathryn Teel, 30, of Winchester was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. She was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center where she is being held without bond.

Missing Woman Found

Joyce Wise

Joyce Wise

A 59-year-old Frederick County woman was located early Thursday morning after she went missing at Winchester Medical Center. Joyce Wise was at the hospital around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday visiting someone when she couldn’t be located. The Winchester Police Department was notified just before 7 p.m. and responded to the scene. Wise was found safe in a patient room around 1 a.m.

Virginia State Police, along with a K9 Unit, responded to the scene to assist in the search.

The Winchester Police Department utilized the new Winchester Emergency Notification System to notify 2,500 residents within a two mile radius of Winchester Medical Center about the missing person.

Register Today to Receive Alerts

Register today to receive notifications about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for our Emergency Alert Program. This system enables the City of Winchester to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of emergency situations. Everbridge

Emergency messages will come from: (540) 662-9851
Non-Emergency message will come from: (540) 662-9850
Text messages will come from: 893-61

We encourage you to save the 893-61 number on your mobile phone as “Winchester Alert”.

You can also choose to subscribe to the following non-emergency alerts:

  • Refuse/Recycling Collection Changes
  • Non-Emergency Law Enforcement Info
  • City Facility Closures
  • Snow Plan Activation/Deactivation
  • Non-Emergency Fire & Rescue Info
  • Special Events-Public Safety

You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how.  Only addresses with 22601 can register.  Questions? Call the City’s Public Information Officer at (540) 667-1815.

Residents without Internet access can register by calling 540-545-4739 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To register now click here.

Apply Now to Become a WPD Police Officer

The Winchester Police Department is currently accepting applications for police officer positions until March 20th. We do not currently have any positions available, but we will be creating an eligibility list that will be held for six months. Selected candidates will be notified, via e-mail, of their invitation to participate in the physical and written testing to be held on April 3rd.

For more information about the application process click here.

To apply click here.

Winchester Woman Indicted on Second Degree Murder Charge

A Winchester grand jury indicted Nija Johnson, 18, of Winchester Tuesday on a second-degree murder charge. Johnson is charged in the death of her 6-month-old daughter Natalia Johnson. On January 20th around 1:30 p.m. officers responded to the 600 block of Sherlock Trace in reference to a baby in cardiac arrest. The infant was taken to Winchester Medical Center and was then flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital where she later died on January 23rd.

Nija Johnson

Nija Johnson

An investigation revealed Nija Johnson caused the death of Natalia. The investigation is ongoing and the details of the case will be released during court proceedings.

Nija Johnson was arrested just before 10 a.m. on Tuesday in the first block of Raleigh Court following the direct indictment. She was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

Winchester Police Investigate Burglary

The Winchester Police Department is investigating a burglary that occurred at Olde Towne Realty located in the 1800 block of Valley Avenue. On Monday officers responded to the business around 9 a.m. for a reported burglary and forced entry. Sometime between Friday, February 20th around 5 p.m. and Monday morning someone had broken into the business and taken an undisclosed amount of money.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS. Individuals who are able to provide information that leads to an arrest in this case could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.