8th Annual Community Safety Fair

The Winchester Police Department and Winchester Medical Center are teaming up for the 8th Annual Community Safety Fair.  The event is Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Jim Barnett Park.  The Community Safety Fair is a free event with more than 50 exhibitors, hands-on activities, learning, and fun for everyone.

Come join law enforcement officers, fire & rescue personnel, and medical and safety experts to learn about and enjoy:

  • NEW Distracted Driving Simulator
  • Golf cart obstacle course
  • AirCare helicopter landing
  • Bike rodeo (bring your bike)
  • Magic, face painting & balloon bending
  • Mini Emergency Room
  • Child safety seat checks
  • Kid printing
  • Barrel train rides
  • Dunk Tank
  • Medication safety & drug take-back
  • Pet and wild animal behavior
  • Safety games with prizes

Free bike helmets and free gun locks will be handed out while supplies last.  Also, you can enter for a chance to win a new bicycle.

Rain location: S.U. Health Professions Building on the Winchester Medical Center campus (1775 N. Sector Ct.)

For more information visit http://www.winchesterpolice.org//community/events1.html or http://www.valleyhealthlink.com/safetyfair.  We hope to see you there!

This press release lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

 

Safety Concerns in School Zone

The Winchester Police Department is asking for the public’s immediate attention to traffic safety concerns near Handley High School.  Motorists are reminded that the road immediately behind Handley High School from Jefferson Street to Handley Boulevard is a private drive for school vehicles, school-authorized visitors, and public safety vehicles.  Unauthorized use of this road is now causing a safety concern because of students and buses in this area.  Therefore officers will be ticketing drivers on this private property and those who are parking their vehicles in the drop-off and pick-up circle on the south side of Handley High School.

We ask for your immediate cooperation in this area to ensure safety.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

WPD Asks for Public’s Feedback

The Winchester Police Department is committed to monitoring the quality of services we provide to our community as part of our ongoing improvement process.  We are asking for the public to provide feedback on their level of satisfaction with our service.  Please take a short survey and let us know how we’re doing.   All submissions are anonymous.

The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/WPD2013.  A link is also posted on the Winchester Police Department’s website at www.winchesterpolice.org.

We are honored to serve you and we appreciate you providing us with valuable feedback.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

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 19th.  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.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Support the YDC by Competing in the Charity Challenge

YDC's Charity Challenge 2013

YDC’s Charity Challenge 2013

Are you up for the challenge?  We are!  The Winchester Police Department and Frederick County Sheriff’s Office have each formed a team to compete in the Golden Seal Charity Challenge to support the Youth Development Center.  The event is set for Saturday, September 28th and includes the following seven physical challenges:

  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Starting a Fire
  • Shooting
  • Giving First Aid
  • Building and Climbing a Log Wall
  • Sandbag Shuffle
The YDC's Charity Challenge 2013

The YDC’s Charity Challenge 2013

Register your team of five today to go head to head against officers in your community.  There is limited space.  The winning team will have bragging rights for the next year.

The YDC provides area youth with the opportunity for recreational and educational programs focused on their total development.  The programs provide resources and services to empower youth to improve the quality of their lives.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Financial Exploitation of Seniors

The Winchester Police Department invites members of the community to attend a free presentation on the most common types of financial exploitation on seniors and how to prevent becoming a fraud victim.  Community Outreach Director Juanita Balenger from the Office of the Attorney General will talk about the growth of fraud; how to stop a fraudster; and what to do if you think you have been victimized.  Useful handouts will be provided.

The presentation will be held on Tuesday, August 13th at 1 p.m. in the Lord Fairfax Room at the War Memorial Building at Jim Barnett Park.

Community members interested in attending the presentation should contact Lauren Cummings at (540) 545-7548 or by e-mail at lcummings@ci.winchester.va.us.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

National Night Out 2013

On Tuesday, August 6th residents in Winchester are invited to join the Winchester Police Department, Winchester Sheriff’s Office, Winchester Fire and Rescue, and Winchester Probation and Parole for the 30th Annual National Night Out.  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.

Along with the traditional display of outdoor front porch lights, citizens can enjoy a variety of events such as block parties, cookouts, and visits from local police, and fire and rescue members.

Please join us for free food and drinks at these locations in the city:

  • Highland Memorial Presbyterian Church (446 Highland Avenue)
  • Woodland Avenue Neighborhood Watch Group (1032 Woodland Avenue)
  • Montague Avenue Methodist Church (102 Montague Avenue)
  • Willow Lawn Community Center (1824 Tilghman Lane)
  • Target (2340 Legge Blvd.)

In all, more than 37.5 million people are expected to participate in “America’s Night Out Against Crime.”  We hope you will be one of them.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Street Closures for the Salute to Our Troops Parade

The City of Winchester will honor veterans, current military personnel, and our nation’s history on Saturday during the Salute to our Troops Parade.  The parade will be held at 1 p.m. in Old Town Winchester and will run along the following streets: Piccadilly, Cameron, Braddock, and Cork ending at Cork and Cameron Streets.  The following streets will be blocked starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday:

  • 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 will be closed for the parade line-up.  The Braddock Street Autopark will also be closed starting at 11:30 a.m. until the conclusion of the parade around 2:30 p.m.

We hope you will join us in saluting our troops this Saturday.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Officers to Use Undercover Vehicles to Enforce Texting While Driving Law

The Winchester Police Department will use undercover SUVs to enforce the texting while driving law that went into effect July 1.  On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 officers will begin the undercover enforcement.  Drivers who are seen texting while behind the wheel will be charged.  On July 1 texting while driving became a primary offense in Virginia.  The changes with the law allow officers to now pull someone over if they see them texting while driving.  Those convicted will be fined $125 for the first offense and $250 for the second or subsequent offense.

The undercover enforcement is an effort to make our roadways safer.  Statistics show you are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash if you are texting while driving.  Make a promise today to stop driving distracted.  Your safety depends on it.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov

Fireworks Safety

Safety is the number one priority as residents enjoy fireworks in celebration of the Fourth of July.  The Winchester Police and Winchester Fire and Rescue Departments want to remind residents that public fireworks displays are the safest and most suitable alternative for viewing fireworks.  Public display fireworks are established under a controlled setting, safety regulations, and monitored by public safety organizations.

Many fireworks are not available in the City of Winchester because they are illegal. Firecrackers, cherry bombs, and skyrockets are just a few examples of fireworks which may be purchased in other areas but are illegal in Virginia.  Since even the possession of unapproved fireworks is prohibited in Winchester, such fireworks may be confiscated and persons possessing them can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. This carries a maximum penalty of a $2,500 fine and/or one year in jail.  All fireworks that explode, emit a flame, sparks, or performs as a projectile are prohibited by the City of Winchester Fire Prevention Code.  Winchester Police Officers and Winchester Fire Marshals will be out ensuring residents are following the Winchester City Code (3309) pertaining to fireworks.  They will be issuing warnings for first time offenders and charging repeat offenders.

The fire department recommends you enjoy fireworks at a professional event.  If you do purchase fireworks for private use we urge you to purchase them from one of the approved vendors within the city.  Please consider the following safety precautions:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Adults should always supervise fireworks activities.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.  Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.  After fireworks have been fully discharged, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never use, ignite, or discharge any fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Never leave pets unattended, even in a fenced yard. The chaos may cause them to panic and try to escape.

A number of local communities and public venues offer firework displays.  The City of Winchester’s “Rockin Independence Eve” Community Fireworks Display will be July 3, 2013 at approximately 9:15 pm in Old Town Winchester.

For further information you can go to www.winchesterva.gov/fire or contact fire department headquarters at 540-662-2298.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  lauren.cummings@winchesterva.gov