Ring in the New Year Safely

Start off your New Year with a plan to arrive home safely after the celebrations. If you know your plans include drinking, be sure to designate a sober drive before you leave home. The Winchester Police Department will have extra patrols out tomorrow night and early into Thursday morning and officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers. The Winchester Police Department has a no tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving.Happy New Year

The following streets will be closed beginning at the noted times on New Year’s Eve for First Night Winchester:

4 p.m.             Boscawen Street from Braddock Street to Kent Street

East Lane from Woodstock Lane to Cork Street

10:45 p.m.      Cameron Street from Cork Street to Piccadilly Street

11:45 p.m.       Kent Street from Cork Street to Piccadilly Street

  • Vehicles will be allowed to travel south on Kent Street from Piccadilly Street to access the George Washington Autopark only, but will not be allowed to travel south of that location after the designated time that Kent Street is closed. Vehicles may also access the Court Square Autopark by traveling north on Kent Street from Cork Street, but will not be allowed past that location.

The streets will reopen at the conclusion of the fireworks once pedestrian traffic has had a chance to clear out of the area. This normally occurs around 12:30 a.m.

We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year!

Man Posing as Clarke County Deputy Scams Local Residents

A man who is claiming to be a Clarke County Deputy is scamming local residents out of money. The Winchester Police Department has received two reports of a male calling local residents and claiming to be “Michael or Mike Crawford” from the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office. He tells the victim that she missed federal jury duty and that if she loads money on a prepaid card he can get rid of the warrant for her arrest. The first victim, a 44-year-old from Winchester, loaded $100 onto a card and gave the suspect the card information over the phone. The second victim, a 57-year-old from Bluemont, loaded $489 onto the card and gave the suspect the numbers on the card.Phone Scam Pic

There are hundreds of scams circulating that involve requests for money to be wired or loaded onto a prepaid card. Winchester Police remind residents to be suspicious of any request for you to wire money or load money onto a prepaid card. You should never wire or send money to someone you don’t know. If someone calls you and claims to be a local law enforcement officer, hang up and call the agency directly.

If you believe you have been a victim of this phone scam contact the police department to make a report.

Business Donates Hundreds of Items to Help Area Families in Need

Greenbay Packaging

Major Kelly Rice presents Lori Bassler and Frank Hetzel with a Certificate of Appreciation

For the second year in a row employees at a local business have gathered hundreds of items to ensure local families aren’t going without this holiday season. On Thursday, Green Bay Packaging donated more than 770 cans of food, 500 warm clothing items, and 200 toys to the Timbrook Food and Toy Drive. The employees at the packaging company gathered the donations and held competitions amongst the various shifts. “We took a vote and the Timbrook Fund seems to touch people because it helps not only children, but families as a whole,” says Customer Service Manager Lori Bassler. Dave Denson who is on the third shift was one of the biggest donors and brought in a number of canned goods.

Shipping Technician Frank Hetzel also got support from Stateline Exxon, Dollar Saver, and Walmart.

More than 35 Winchester families will benefit from this year’s drive.

All of the items that have been donated to the Timbrook Food and Toy Drive will be sorted on Friday, December 12, 2014 at 11 a.m. The items will be delivered on Saturday around 8 a.m.

A Healthy Resolution: Make Mental Health a Top Priority

On average, the Winchester Police Department responds to assist a person with a mental health crisis every other day. While many New Year’s resolutions focus on changing our outward appearances by losing weight or hitting the gym, the Winchester Police Department encourages residents to also consider making their mental health a priority as we head into a new year.Mental Health

The holidays can cause people to feel stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed. This is a good time of year to be reminded of the importance of maintaining good mental health and taking the time to check on those around us who may be experiencing mental health crises.

A number of officers with the Winchester Police Department have received crisis intervention training which has become a critical tool for law enforcement agencies. The CIT program, facilitated by Northwestern Community Services, educates and prepares first responders on how to recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness. The program trains officers on strategies to safely maneuver through situations involving the mentally ill, including deescalating tense situations, and then compassionately directing individuals into treatment. Crisis intervention teams (CIT) have been shown to reduce unnecessary restraint and incarceration of people with mental illness.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis call the Concern Hotline 24 hours a day at 540-667-0145. Northwestern Community Services also has a Crisis Response Therapist on duty Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Crisis Response Center can be reached by calling 540-635-4804 and choosing option one. When a therapist is not on duty, the line will roll over to the Concern Hotline.

As you ring in the New Year make a healthy resolution to make your mental health care top-of-mind.

Road to Recovery Website Provides Addiction Resources

Heroin Overdose Deaths Rise to 30

WINCHESTER – The number of people in the Northern Shenandoah Valley who have died from a heroin overdose this year has risen to 30. The Addiction Action Committee continues to work to find solutions for an epidemic that is impacting families across our region. The Addiction Action Committee recently launched a website, RoadtoRecovery.info, that includes awareness and education initiatives to inform the community about the disease of addiction, promote prevention, and offer helpful resources, locally and beyond. The website provides information for those struggling with addiction, family members of individuals living with addiction, parents, and community members.R2R Banner

The website provides information on the following ways the community can get involved:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of drug use, dependence, and addiction.
  • Seek help for your loved ones living with addiction.
  • Clean out your medicine cabinet and remove unwanted or expired medications. Take your unwanted medications to a drug collection unit like the one in front of the Timbrook Public Safety Center at 231 East Piccadilly Street, Winchester.
  • Lock up your prescription medications at home.
  • Report information on drug activity in your community by contacting the Northwest VA Regional Drug Task Force at 540-535-0304 or perry@vsp.virginia.gov.

The website includes the number for Concern Hotline, 540-667-0145, where callers can speak to a person 24 hours a day. It is our hope that local individuals who need help will use the website as a tool to find the resources and information they need to put their lives on the road to recovery.


Street Closures for the Old Town Christmas Parade

The holiday season officially kicks off in Winchester on Monday, December 1st with the annual Old Town Christmas Parade. A number of street closures will be in place to allow the bands, floats, and of course Santa Claus to make their way through the city. The following streets will be shut down at 6 p.m. and will reopen immediately following the parade.WPD Badge


  • Cameron Street from Fairfax Lane to Monmouth Street
  • Piccadilly Street from Cameron Street to Braddock Street
  • Braddock Street from Piccadilly Street to Cork Street
  • Cork Street from Braddock Street to Kent Street
  • Boscawen Street from Braddock Street to Kent Street
  • Indian Alley from Piccadilly Street to Cork Street


Traffic will be diverted one block from each of the closures. Parking restrictions go into effect at 4 p.m. in areas marked with “No Parking” signs.

The parade gets underway at 7 p.m. Parking is available for $5 at any of the four downtown autoparks:

  • George Washington & Court Square (on Cameron St) – Use Kent Street entrance/exit only
  • Braddock Street Autopark – No exit allowed until parade in finished
  • Loudoun Autopark – No access restrictions

The Winchester Police Department’s Honor Guard, K9 Kota, and police officers along with their children will be participating in this year’s parade. We hope to see you there and we wish you a safe holiday season!

Donations Being Collected for the 15th Annual Timbrook Food and Toy Drive

The Ricky Timbrook Food and Toy Drive has been an annual tradition for the past 15 years. This year more than 35 Winchester families will benefit from the donations given by local residents. The drive provides less fortunate families in the city with gifts and meals around the holidays. The food and toy drive has been held every year since Ricky Timbrook was killed in the line of duty in 1999. Sergeant Timbrook had a passion for giving back to the community and his family, along with the Winchester Police Department, continues to carry on his legacy.

2013 Timbrook Food & Toy Drive

2013 Timbrook Food & Toy Drive

The Department of Social Services provides the list of families who will benefit from the annual drive. Toys are being collected for children who are 18 and under. Monetary donations are also being accepted. Those wishing to make a monetary donation can make checks payable to the Ricky Timbrook Memorial Foundation. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to the Winchester Police Department. The drive also includes non-perishable food items. The items will be collected until December 12th and will be delivered to the families on December 13th.

Collection boxes have been placed at seven locations throughout Winchester including:

  • Timbrook Public Safety Center, Piccadilly Street
  • War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park
  • Joint Judicial Center, North Kent Street
  • Rouss City Hall, North Cameron Street
  • Daniel Morgan Middle School
  • Handley High School
  • Youth Development Center (YDC), Battaile Drive

The Winchester Police Department would like to thank the public for helping out local community members who are in need this holiday season.


Extra Patrols in Place for Holiday Shopping

As shoppers gear up for Black Friday Winchester Police are reminding you to not let your safety get lost in the shuffle. The police department will have extra patrols out as shoppers head to the stores Thanksgiving night and Black Friday. As you make your shopping list, make sure you’re checking it twice and include the following safety tips.Woman with Shopping Bags

  • Park in well-lit areas of store parking lots.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Lock your car doors.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Shop with a friend or group.
  • Place shopping bags in your trunk and do not leave packages visible in your car
  • Leave your purse at home to avoid purse snatchers and pickpockets. Carry your ID and credit cards in a front pocket. If giving up a purse is out of the question, choose one with a long strap that can be worn over your head and covered with a jacket for safety. Do not leave your purse in your car.
  • Be extra cautious when driving through parking lots and be aware of people who are walking to and from stores.

Winchester Police have received eight reports of car windows being smashed in and purses stolen since November 3rd. Officers are stressing the importance of taking your valuables out of your car. Residents are reminded to immediately report any suspicious activity or persons to the police department by calling the non-emergency number at 540-662-4131.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for our area on Wednesday, November 26th from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drivers are reminded to be extra careful as you head out and to allow extra time to get to your destination.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Incident with Suicidal Male in Parking Garage Ends Peacefully

Winchester Police responded to the George Washington Autopark located at 131 North Kent Street just after 11 a.m. for a suicidal male. A 55-year-old male from Winchester was on the fifth floor of the parking garage and was threatening suicide. Kent Street was blocked at Piccadilly Street while members of the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and SWAT Team responded to the scene. A Winchester Police Officer and Winchester City Sheriff’s Deputy who are trained in crisis negotiation were the first units who responded to the scene and started negotiations.

The Winchester Police Department’s SWAT Team utilized less-lethal means to subdue the male and take him into custody. The male was taken into custody at 12:48 p.m. and transported to Winchester Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. The male has active warrants for grand larceny and a capias.

Don’t Leave Valuables in Plain Sight

Detectives Investigate Three Reports of Smashed Windows and Purses Taken

The Winchester Police Department has received three reports of car windows being busted out and purses, that were left in plain sight, being stolen from the vehicles. All three incidents happened in parking lots outside of businesses in the 100 block of Tevis Street. On November 3rd around 4 p.m. a victim reported that she discovered her front passenger window had been shattered and her purse was missing. The incident happened between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The second report was received on November 8th just before 4:30 p.m. The victim in this case reported that between 3 p.m. and 4:23 p.m. someone had broken out the passenger side front window of the vehicle and taken a purse.

The third incident was reported on November 11th at 2 p.m. Again, in this incident the victim found the front passenger side window smashed and a purse was taken.

All of these incidents remain under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division. Lock Doors

In all of these incidents purses were left inside of the vehicles in plain sight. Residents are reminded to not leave any valuables inside of their vehicles. You are reminded to lock your valuables in your trunk or leave them at home.

Anyone with information on these incidents or a possible suspect in these cases is asked to call the Crime Solvers HOTLINE at 540-665-TIPS.

If you are a victim of this crime you are urged to file a police report no matter how small the loss may be.