WPD Forms First Honor Guard

Lt. Mark Lahman presents the American Flag to the family of a fallen officer during a mock funeral held at a seminar in Fairfax County.

Lt. Mark Lahman presents the American Flag
to the family of a fallen officer during a mock
funeral held at a seminar in Fairfax County.

Thanks to the support of community service organizations the Winchester Police Department has formed its first-ever honor guard. Donations from the Exchange Club of Winchester, Kiwanis Club, and the Winchester/Frederick County Law Enforcement Foundation were used to fully outfit four officers in honor guard uniforms. Lt. Mark Lahman, Sergeant Wayne Monse, Corporal Glenn Macher, and Officer Trey Rounds are the four honor guard members. Three of the officers attended a three-day honor guard seminar in June hosted by Fairfax County. During the training the officers got a firsthand look at one of the most important duties they may have to perform; the funeral for a fallen officer.

The Winchester Police Department’s Honor Guard will be 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.

K-9 Kota Named Finalist in 2014 Hero Dog Awards

K-9 Officer Kota

K-9 Officer Kota

K-9 Officer Kota has been named the 2014 Law Enforcement dog winner for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Kota is now one of eight finalists vying for the title of top American Hero Dog of 2014. “I felt very touched by the loyalty of all his fans,” says Corporal Brittney Neer. “They’ve fallen in love with him and made sure to vote for him daily so he could be recognized as a hero for his sacrifice and loyalty.”

The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards is an annual competition. Eight finalists are chosen by the public and a celebrity judging panel from eight categories: Law Enforcement Dogs, Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide & Hearing Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dog. The eight finalists win $1,500 for a selected charity partner. The public has the chance to vote for the top dog until September 15th at www.herodogawards.org. Kota and his partner will attend the Hero Dog Awards on September 27th in Beverly Hills, CA and a production team will be coming to Winchester to film a tribute video that will be shown at the gala.

On Friday, January 3, 2014, Kota was injured when he was assisting officers with a breaking and entering on Franklin Street. Two suspects were hiding in a crawl space and as Kota was apprehending one of them, he fell through the ceiling nearly 8 feet, to the first floor of the house. The fall caused Kota to break his leg. Even after his injury, Kota showed his dedication to his handler Corporal Brittney Neer, by returning to her side on the second floor of the house. Kota underwent an extensive surgery to treat his broken leg and he continues to go through rehab. Veterinarians are optimistic that Kota will return to duty in the coming months to do narcotics work.

Taking Control of Your End-of-Life Care

TRIAD LOGO2The Winchester/Frederick County S.A.L.T. (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council wants local residents to be prepared with the legal documents they need to speak for them, when they are not able to speak for themselves.  Unexpected end-of-life situations can happen at any age and it’s important for adults to have the necessary documents to ensure their wishes are met.  The local S.A.L.T. Council will hold a three part series to educate area seniors and their caregivers on the following topics:

  • Advanced Medical Directives, August 5, 2014
  • Powers of Attorney, September 2, 2014
  • Living Wills, September 30, 2014

Each part of the series will take place on the above mentioned dates at Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury from 9 – 11 a.m.  Registration is required and there is limited seating.

To register please contact Jennifer Benavente at (540) 327-4284 or jennifer@whiteproperties.net.  The deadline to register is July 28, 2014.

Officers to Compete in YDC’s Second Annual Charity Challenge

GSE Physical Challenge Brochure 2014

2014 Charity Challenge ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Jpf70oZA4

2013 Charity Challenge Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFB5W1Nw5qI

Golden Seal Charity Challenge 2013

Golden Seal Charity Challenge 2013

Does your team have what it takes? After a successful inaugural year, the Golden Seal Charity Challenge is back with an added challenge. The Winchester Police Department, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and Winchester City Sheriff’s Office have each formed teams to compete in the Charity Challenge to support the Youth Development Center. This year’s event is set for Saturday, September 27th and includes eight physical challenges:

• Swim

• Run

• Start a Fire

• Shoot

• Give First Aid

• Build and Climb a Log Wall

• Carry Sandbags

• Climb a Rope

This year there are two divisions: a Master’s Division for teams with all members age 40 and older and an Open Division for teams with members age 16 and older. Each team must have a minimum of five members, but may have up to six members. Register your team today to go head to head against officers in your community. There is limited space and registrations are due by September 15th. For more information on the Charity Challenge visit winchesterpolice.org or myydc.org.

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.

Four Arrested for Counterfeit Money Scheme

Nicholas Alma

Nicholas Alma

David Pabon

David Pabon

Frankie Ramirez

Frankie Ramirez

The Winchester Police Department arrested four people last night for passing counterfeit $100 bills.  On June 29th around 5:30 p.m. officers were called to 1850 Apple Blossom Drive for a report of counterfeit money being passed.  Dispatchers provided an officer with a description of a male suspect.  The first officer on the scene saw a male matching that description, and made contact with him.  The male was identified as Frankie Ramirez, 19, of New York.  An investigation revealed that Ramirez had passed several counterfeit $100 bills at two stores in the mall.  Ramirez also had hundreds of dollars’ worth of counterfeit $100 dollar bills.  Ramirez was arrested and charged with two counts of felony obtaining money by false pretenses, two counts of felony conspiracy, one misdemeanor count of obtaining money by false pretenses, and one felony count of possessing forged bank notes.  He was taken to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center and held without bond.

An officer on the scene provided information on possible suspect vehicles from prior incidents of counterfeit bills being passed in the city.  With that information officers were able to locate a vehicle with New York registration and determined there were three other suspects in this incident.  David Pabon, 19, of New York was arrested and charged with counterfeit conspiracy and conspiracy to obtain money by false pretenses.  Nicholas Alma, 20, of New York was arrested and charged with identity theft, conspiracy to obtain money by false pretenses, conspiracy to possess forged bank notes, and possession of forged bank notes.  A 17-year-old juvenile from New York was taken to the juvenile detention center and charged with obtaining money by false pretenses, possession of counterfeit notes, and two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.

The businesses involved in this incident were able to determine the bills were counterfeit by using a counterfeit money detector pen and employees also indicated the money did not feel real.  The Winchester Police Department recommends that businesses protect themselves by taking these necessary precautions.

Thousands of dollars of the fake money has been recovered.  Officers ask that anyone who suspects they received counterfeit money to call the Winchester Police Department at 540-662-4131.

13th Annual Kids and Cops Camp

The Winchester Police Department’s 13th Annual Kids and Cops Camp kicks off Monday, June 23rd.  This year more than 80 local children ages 9-12 will participate in the week-long camp.  The children will have the opportunity to learn the importance of teamwork and have a positive experience with law enforcement officers in an exciting, but disciplined environment.  Wednesday, June 25th is Community Service Day.  The campers will hold a car wash in the parking lot of Shawnee Fire and Rescue.  This year all of the proceeds from the sale at the car wash will benefit next year’s camp.  In addition to the car wash, this year the campers will also hold a food drive.  Non-perishable food items will be collected and donated to a local non-profit organization.


Nominations Being Accepted for 2nd Annual Valor Awards

2014 Valor Nomination Form

Valor Award Classifications

An officer who had shots fired at him by a bank robber, firefighters who ran into a burning home in an attempt to save lives, and a citizen who saved the life of a passenger by pulling him from a burning car.  These are three examples of heroic actions that were honored last October during the inaugural Top of Virginia Regional Chamber’s Valor Awards Ceremony.

The Chamber is looking to you to provide nominations for this year’s awards.  The 2014 Valor Awards Ceremony will take place on October 23rd at the Best Western Lee-Jackson Conference Center.  The ceremony recognizes members of the various public safety departments, as well as every day citizens who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of others.  The deadline for nominations is July 30, 2014.  Nominations for the 2014 Valor Awards are for specific acts that occurred in 2013.  The award categories are:

  • Citizen Award
  • Unit Citation
  • Lifesaving Medal
  • Meritorious Action Award
  • Certificate of Valor
  • Bronze Medal of Valor
  • Silver Medal of Valor
  • Gold Medal of Valor

A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Valor Awards will benefit the Winchester Fire and Rescue Foundation.

Run with the Law

2014 Torch Run

2014 Torch Run Route

The Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting Special Olympics Virginia will pass through Northern Virginia Region 6 on Tuesday June 3rd, as runners make their way to Richmond for the Summer Games.  We would like to invite YOU, the community, to run with the Law and help support Special Olympics!  The Region 6 run will commence at the Old Town Mall beginning at 7:30 a.m. and will pass through several areas including Cork Street, Washington Street, Handley Blvd., and south on Valley Avenue towards Kernstown to the Virginia State Police Barracks.  The torch will be passed on to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and carried to the Frederick County/Shenandoah County line.  If you would like participate and run with the Winchester Police Officers you can register at www.torchrunva.com or you can join the pack by meeting on Loudoun Street Tuesday morning at 7:30.  We hope to see you there!

Beginning June 3rd at seven points across the Commonwealth, officers will carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope more than 1,900 miles across Virginia.  On June 6, Metro Richmond officers will run the last leg from the Capitol to the University of Richmond Robins Center, where they’ll join more than 1,300 athletes and officially open the Summer Games.

In addition to lighting the flame, we’ll also celebrate the fundraising efforts of the more than 2,000 officers involved in the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run, sponsored by SunTrust and Enterprise and supported by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Sheriff’s Association, the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Virginia Association of Regional Jails and the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.  Since June 2012, they have raised more than $1 million for Special Olympics, pushing their overall fundraising total to more than $15 million since the Torch Run’s inception in Virginia in 1986.

For more information about the Northern Virginia Region 6 Torch Run route, please see the included schedule or visit www.torchrunva.com.  In addition, everyone is invited to cheer on the officers as they make their way through town; media also are invited to join the officers at several water stops along the route.  Water stops will take place at various locations on the route.

For more information, please contact Special Olympics Virginia PR Director Holly Claytor at 804-370-7916 or hclaytor@specialolympicsva.org, or Lauren Cummings, spokesperson for the Winchester Police Department at 540-771-7642.  For more information on Special Olympics Virginia, visit www.specialolympicsva.org.



Special Olympics uses sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities as a catalyst for social change and a way of creating more unified communities around the world where each person, regardless of ability or disability, is accepted and welcomed, and where every individual contributes to the strength and vibrancy of society as a whole. Special Olympics Virginia Inc. is the state program of Special Olympics Incorporated.


Women’s Basic Self-Defense Class

The Winchester Police Department is offering a Women’s Basic Self-Defense class on June 24th at 6 p.m.  The classes are held at the Timbrook Public Safety Center.  To register for the class please contact Alison Hyman at the Laurel Center (540) 667-6160.  Space is limited so register early.  The classes are free and open to the public. Attendees should wear comfortable clothing.

Phone Scammer Poses as Winchester Police Officer

The Winchester Police Department wants to warn local residents about a scam that involves phone calls from people pretending to be Winchester Police Officers asking for money to pay back taxes.  On May 20th the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a resident who received several phone calls from a phone number with a 717 area code.  On one occasion the caller identified himself as being with the IRS.  On another call the individual said he was a police officer for the Winchester Police Department, but he would not provide a name or badge number.  The caller told the victim that he owed more than $2,000 in back taxes that needed to be paid or he would be deported from the country.  The victim was told to purchase several Pay Pal cards with the amount he “owed.”  On two of the calls the phone number that came up on caller id was the Winchester Police Department non-emergency number (540-662-4131).

If you receive a call from someone stating they are from the Winchester Police Department or IRS, hang up and call the police department (540-662-4131) or IRS to confirm it is legitimate.  We also want to remind local residents that you should be suspicious of anyone who calls you, says you owe money or have won money, and need to load money onto a pre-paid card as most of these calls involve scams.