Winchester Police Department Receives Grant

The Winchester Police Department is pleased to announce the receipt of $117,414 in grant funding from the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  This money will be used to purchase less than lethal weapons for the department, purchase training weapons that will allow officers to simulate live fire scenarios, and most importantly, fund interactions between our officers and young people in the community.   These funds have been allocated to provide transportation to the Youth Development Center for officers and kids so they may recreate together to support the WPD community outreach efforts.

The funds for this grant were made available by the 2012 plea agreement entered into between Abbott Laboratories and the United States relative to the interstate commerce of mislabeled drugs.  The Department submitted a proposal to the OAG in November of 2014, and the request was recently authorized.

The Winchester Police Department wishes to thank Retired Senator Russ Potts for his assistance in pursuing this funding.

Citizen Police Academy Registration

Applications are now being accepted for the next Citizen Police Academy beginning on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.  If you have ever wondered about the Winchester Police Department, about a career in Law Enforcement or what it takes to serve and keep a community safe, here is your opportunity to attend the Citizen Academy.  Click the link below to view the Citizen Policy Academy page for the application and additional information.

Citizens Police Academy

Active Shooter Training Exercise

First responders in the City of Winchester will be conducting an active shooter training exercise on Saturday, August 22nd at Quarles Elementary School.  The drill will include police, fire and rescue, the city’s sheriff’s office, Winchester Public Schools, emergency management, and the Emergency Communications Center.  The purpose of this exercise is to provide scenario-based training to law enforcement personnel in a simulated critical incident environment as well as to coordinate efforts with school staff.  The activity will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The public should expect the following:

Road Closures –

  • South Loudoun Street, from E. Hart Street to E, Whitlock Avenue
  • South Cameron Street, from E. Hart Street to E. Southwerk Street
  • South Kent Street, from E. Whitlock Avenue to E. Southwerk Street
  • Southwerk Street, from South Loudoun Street to South Kent Street
  • Whitlock Avenue, from South Loudoun Street to South Kent Street
  • A number of Winchester Police Department patrol vehicles and fire and rescue apparatus parked in the area with emergency lights engaged
  • Hearing simulated gunfire

We ask that drivers use caution in this area during this time as there will be an increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Detectives Investigate Bank Robbery

The Winchester Police Department is investigating an armed bank robbery at BB&T located at 2082 South Pleasant Valley Road.  Around 11:24 a.m. a white male entered the bank, displayed a gun, and demanded money.  The suspect is described as being in his late 20s to early 30s, about 6’ tall, wearing a navy blue jacket, blue jeans, a baseball cap, and had a bandanna covering part of his face.  He was last seen heading north from the bank on foot.

A Virginia State Police K-9 Unit responded to the scene and attempted to track the suspect, but was unable to locate him.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to 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 reward of up to $1,000

 

BB&T 3 BB&T 2 BB&T 1

Back to School Safety

– It’s back to school next week for students in Winchester and drivers are reminded to use extra caution on area roadways.  The first day of school for students in the city is Monday, August 10th.  We’re asking that drivers add a little more time to their morning and evening commutes to accommodate extra traffic.  Drivers are also asked to follow speed limits, pay attention to school bus warning lights, and be extra vigilant of students who are walking and those riding a bike to school.

More than 23 million students nationwide ride the bus to and from school.  Motorists are reminded that when a school bus is displaying flashing red lights, those traveling in both directions must stop, except on divided highways.  Violators will be charged with reckless driving, a class 1 misdemeanor that is punishable with up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Parents are asked to supervise their children at bus stops and encourage safe school bus loading and unloading.  We urge motorists who are transporting children to and from school to ensure they are safely restrained in seat belts, booster seats, and child restraint devices.

The Winchester Police Department is increasing security and the presence of officers at all schools in the city in an effort to ensure safety.

We wish all local students a safe and happy first day of school.

Dangers of Carrying an Air Gun in Public

The Winchester Police Department would like to remind citizens, especially parents, of the dangers of carrying or displaying an air gun.     Some air guns are exact replicas of lethal firearms in both appearance and weight and can easily be mistaken for real firearms.   Manufacturers are going to great lengths to make these guns look like real firearms, from handguns to assault rifles.   When officers encounter someone with a “gun” they have to make a split second decision.  Is the gun real or is the gun fake?

It is a Class 3 misdemeanor for any person to discharge an air gun in the City of Winchester.

DSC_5734

Two of the guns pictured above are air guns, one is real.

DSC_5737

Two of the guns pictured above are air guns, one is real.

 

Session on Social Media to be Held for Local Parents

WPD BADGE From tweeting, to sharing daily thoughts on Facebook, and posting pictures on Instagram, social media has become an integral part in the lives of today’s youth.  A challenge for parents has become staying aware of what their children are doing online.  The Council Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is hosting an informational session on Social Media: What Parents Need to Know.  The session will include speakers from law enforcement, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office, and an IT Specialist.  The presenters will delve into cyberbullying including the criminal elements, investigations, what attorneys need in order to prosecute, and options parents have for limiting their children’s access to these sites.

 

The informational session will be September 1, 2015 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in the Tilford Room.  The presentation is free and open to the public, but seats are limited.  For more information contact Leslie Hardesty at 540-667-6160 or Mary Moore at 540-662-3889 ext. 88192.

Crime of the Week August 3, 2015

The Winchester Police Department is investigating a series of grand larcenies in the 200 block of Wood Avenue.  Sometime between 11 p.m. on July 18 and 11 a.m. July 20, the suspect entered several storage sheds and stole various lawn and garden equipment. The stolen items include lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws, and tools.

 

If you have any information regarding a suspect or suspects, please contact the Crime Solvers Hotline at (540) 665‑TIPS (8477).  Information leading to the arrest of a suspect may result in a reward of up to $1,000.

 

Incident #15027751, 15027621, 15027616

Officer L.M. Eiland, MPO P.S. McFarland

 

Man Arrested Following Motor Vehicle Theft

Rahim Franklin

Rahim Franklin

A Winchester man was arrested Tuesday morning after a dune buggy was stolen.  Officers responded to the 500 block of North Kent Street for a dune buggy riding on a public highway.  Witnesses observed three males on the dune buggy and stated that one of the males riding had a bandana covering his face and was shooting a BB gun in the air.  Officers located the dune buggy in the area of Smithfield Avenue and Liberty Avenue and the males got off the dune buggy and ran on foot.  After a short foot pursuit, Rahim Franklin, 18, of Winchester was detained.   It was determined that the dune buggy had been stolen earlier that morning from the 400 block of Fairview Avenue.  Officers arrested Franklin and transported him to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center and obtained warrants on him for Grand Larceny, Discharge of a Firearm in City Limits, Wearing a Mask in Public, and Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer.  Franklin was held on a secured bond.

This investigation is on-going and officers are looking to identify the other two males that were on the dune buggy with Franklin.  The only description available at this time is the males are unknown race and possibly teenagers.

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

Winchester Residents Invited to Take a Stand Against Crime

   WPD BADGEWinchester residents are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “32nd Annual National Night Out” (NNO).  The event is Tuesday, August 4, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m.  The Winchester Police Department is excited to host the event once again on the Loudoun Street Mall in front of the Old Courthouse Museum.  The event will include bluegrass band Five of a Kind, activities for kids, free hotdogs, chips, sodas, appearances by McGruff, and informational booths.  National Night Out is a great way to connect with your neighbors and promote neighborhood and police-community partnerships in our fight for a safer city.

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and are fighting back.

From 6 to 9 p.m. residents in neighborhoods throughout Winchester and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with their neighbors and police.

In all, more than 38.1 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”  We hope you will be one of them!

Residents are encouraged to bring folding chairs with them to the event.  Metered parking in the downtown area is free after 6 p.m. (Monday – Friday).