Residents Reminded to Not Leave Valuables in Car

Leave It and Lose It updatedPolice Investigate Reports of Smash-and-Grabs

Winchester Police are reminding local residents to not leave valuables in plain sight inside their car, after reports of smash-and-grabs. Six victims have reported having their wallet or purses taken from their vehicles. All of the vehicles were parked in public parking lots and many were in the area of Jim Barnett Park. The incidents occurred on the following days and in these locations:

  • April 12th – 1000 block of East Cork Street between 12:40 and 3 p.m. Passenger’s side front window was smashed and a purse that was sitting on the passenger seat was taken.
  • April 12th – Parking Lot of Student Athletic Center between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Passenger’s side front window was smashed and a purse that was sitting on the passenger seat was taken.
  • April 12th – 700 block of University Drive between 1 and 3:30 p.m. Passenger’s side rear window was smashed and a purse on the floor behind the front passenger seat was taken.
  • April 12th – Lowery Drive and University Drive between 2:10 and 2:30 p.m. Driver side front window was left down. Purse was taken.
  • April 12th – 1000 block of East Cork Street between 12:30 and 6 p.m. Sunroof was left open and windows were left open a bit. A wallet was taken.
  • April 13th – First block of Weems Lane between 4:45 and 9:30 p.m. Passenger side window was broken out and wallet on passenger seat was taken.

These are crimes of opportunity in which residents are leaving tempting items in their car, in view of passersby. Residents can discourage such incidents by taking their purse and wallet out of the car, not leaving belongings visible inside the car, locking car doors and rolling up windows, and staying aware of their surroundings and reporting any suspicious activity to police.

Anyone with information on these incidents 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 these cases could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

ECC Specialist of the Year

Emergency Communications Specialist II Michael Sale

Emergency Communications Specialist II Michael Sale

Winchester Emergency Communications Specialist Michael Sale was presented Monday evening with the Dispatcher of the Year Award. Sale has been with the department for five years. He comes to work with a positive attitude and his personality is contagious. Sale comes in on his days off when his co-workers are out sick and he willingly signs up to work additional hours. Congratulations to Michael Sale!

This week we celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. It’s when we honor the men and women who are our public safety communications professionals who work behind the scenes to help us during emergencies. During an awards ceremony and dinner Monday evening Director of Emergency Communications Erin Elrod shared a quote, “between the thin red line and the thin blue line lies the thinnest gold line. This gold line represents those who rarely are seen but mostly heard. The calm voice in the dark night. Dispatchers – the golden glue that holds it all together.” Elrod recognized the years of service in the Emergency Communications System and noted that with the high turnover rate in Communications, it is important to point out the dedication of these staff members.

We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated Emergency Communications Center Specialists in the City of Winchester Emergency Communication Center. It takes an incredible amount of patience and professionalism for these individuals to calmly dispatch officers or emergency service personnel, all while communicating with an irate or hysterical caller on the phone. Join us in thanking them for their service.

Police and Fire Honor Guards Recognize Community Donors

Pictured from left to right: Lt. Mark Lahman, Sgt. Wayne Monse, Cpl. Glenn Macher, Master Patrol Officer Paul McFarland, Sgt. Frank Mytle, Lt. Gerald Bohus, Officer Trey Rounds, and Commander Stephanie Arnold.

Pictured from left to right: Lt. Mark Lahman, Sgt. Wayne Monse, Cpl. Glenn Macher, Master Patrol Officer Paul McFarland, Sgt. Frank Mytle, Lt. Gerald Bohus, Officer Trey Rounds, and Commander Stephanie Arnold.

The Winchester Police and Fire and Rescue Honor Guards recognized community donors during a press conference held Tuesday morning. The groups displayed their new equipment they purchased from donations made by businesses in the community. The donations made it possible for the Winchester Police Department’s Honor Guard to add two new members, Sgt. Frank Myrtle and Master Patrol Officer Paul McFarland. The Winchester Fire and Rescue Department added the following four new members to its team: Firefighter and EMT Jeff Hartman, Firefighter and EMT Ryan Steele, Firefighter and EMT Jeremy Greenbacker, and Firefighter Technician David Kushnir. The Honor Guards were able to purchase uniforms, new flags, flag poles, flag pole holders, flag pole toppers, tassels, and gloves.

The Winchester Police Department Honor Guard received donations from:

  • Woodmen of the World
  • Jones Funeral Home
  • Miller Honda
  • Jim Stutzman Chevrolet-Cadillac
  • Malloy Ford
  • Omps Funeral Home
  • Winchester/Frederick County Law Enforcement Foundation

The Winchester Fire and Rescue Department Honor Guard Received donations from:

  • Jones Funeral Home
  • Woodmen of the World
  • Other private donations received through the Red Basket Website

The honor guards are available for high profile special events, such as ceremonial events, funerals for an officer who is killed in the line of duty, memorial services, parades, and more.

 

Detectives Investigate Bank Robbery

Bank Robbery1The Winchester Police Department is investigating an armed bank robbery that happened at BB&T at 2082 South Pleasant Valley Road. Around 11 a.m. a white male entered the bank, displayed a gun, and demanded money. The suspect is described as being in his late 40s to early 50s, wearing a black V-neck t-shirt, blue jeans, a green jacket, a black ski mask, and an orange glove on his left hand. It appears from surveillance pictures that the male has a beard. The male left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. He was last seen heading south in the parking lot on foot.

A Winchester Police Department 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 for a reward of up to $1,000.

Bank Robbery2 3-19

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.

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.

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.