Victim of Violence Speaks Out About Reclaiming Her Life

Debra Puglisi Sharp

Debra Puglisi Sharp

The Winchester Police Department invites members of the community to hear Author Debra Puglisi Sharp speak about her journey through the American Criminal Justice System, focused on reclaiming her life after it was torn apart by violence.  Debra was planting roses in the front yard of her house when unbeknownst to her a drug addict had broken into her house, killed her husband, and was waiting for her.  When Debra took a break from the garden and went into her house, the suspect assaulted, raped, and bound her.  This began a harrowing journey where Debra was taken to the suspect’s house where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her.  Through sheer determination and will she found the courage to escape and call the police.

Debra’s story was recently highlighted on “Surviving Evil” on Investigation Discovery.  The police department is partnering with Shenandoah University to provide an opportunity for you to hear Debra speak about her life-changing experience during a free community lecture.  The lecture will be held Tuesday, November 12, 2013 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Shenandoah University in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium.

We hope that you can join us and we encourage you to spread the word about this valuable opportunity.

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

Emergency Communications Center Experiencing Technical Difficulty

The Winchester Emergency Communications Center is experiencing technical difficulty at this time.  The call center is not receiving some 911 calls coming from residential lines in Winchester.  The communications center is receiving 911 calls made from cell phones.  If you have an emergency, please try to call 911 from your cell phone.  If you are unable to reach 911 go to the nearest fire station or come to the Timbrook Public Safety Center at 231 East Piccadilly Street.  We are working to fix the problem at this time and will notify you as soon as it is resolved.

This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office)  Lcummings@ci.winchester.va.us

Halloween Safety Tips

In one week little ghouls and goblins will be heading out trick-or-treating for Halloween.  There will be extra patrols on the streets of Winchester to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters.  The Winchester Police Department wants to remind parents of several safety tips they should keep in mind as their children head out trick-or-treating.

Costumes should be:

  • Light colored or have reflective tape.
  • Flame-retardant so little ones aren’t in danger near candlelit jack-o-lanterns.
  • Short to prevent trips or falls.

Costumes should not:

  • Include masks; instead use makeup.  Masks can obstruct a child’s vision.

Trick-or-treaters should:

  • Be accompanied by an adult.
  • Stay within the neighborhood.
  • Never enter a stranger’s house or car.
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Watch for traffic.
  • Only accept wrapped or packaged candy.
  • Go only to houses with exterior lights on.

Trick-or-treating will take place in the City of Winchester on Thursday, October 31.  Winchester Police recommend your children conclude trick-or-treating by 9 p.m.  Residents are reminded to drive slowly all evening and look for children crossing the road.  If you see any suspicious activity, report it immediately to the police department.

The Winchester Police Department is teaming up with the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department for a Public Safety Truck-or-Treat on Halloween from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Shawnee Fire Company on Valor Drive.  The event will include games, prizes, and fun for everyone.

 

 

 

As the weekend approaches the Police Department is also reminding residents who may be going to Halloween parties to call a cab or designate a driver if you will be drinking.

We wish everyone a safe Halloween!

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

 

 

Drug Take-Back Day

It’s time to get rid of your unwanted or expired medications.  On Saturday, October 26th the Winchester Police Department’s Community Response Team will assist the Drug Enforcement Administration with Drug Take-Back Day.  The event is being held at CVS on Berryville Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Citizens can bring their unwanted prescription medications to this location with no questions asked.

This is the 7th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  The event aims to reduce the prescription drug abuse epidemic occurring in the United States.  This is a great opportunity for members of the community to cleanout old medicine cabinets where expired medications are often left for years.  This event ensures the safe disposal of these unwanted drugs.  According to the CDC, prescription pain medications are to blame for nearly 15,000 overdose deaths a year in the U.S., which is more than the total deaths caused by heroin and cocaine combined.

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

 

East Lane Road Closure between Cork Street and Woodstock Lane

East Lane from Cork Street to Woodstock Lane will be closed on the following dates during the times listed below:

  • Monday, October 14th
    • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 17th
    • 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    • 4:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    • 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Friday, October 18th
    • 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
    • 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 20th
    • 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Monday, October 21st
    • 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    • 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 22nd
    • 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
    • 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 24th
    • 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
    • 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    • 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Traffic will be allowed access to the Winchester Voter Registration Office and Mount Hebron Cemetery.  All other traffic will be rerouted around East Lane.  Thank you for your cooperation and patience with this road closure.

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

WPD to Recognize Law Enforcement Supporter

The Winchester Police Department recognizes C.R. Newlin for his support of the department

The Winchester Police Department recognizes C.R. Newlin for his support of the department.

The Winchester Police Department invites members of the media to a brief presentation on Thursday, October 10, 2013 as the department recognizes C.R. Newlin for his years of support to the department.  Mr. Newlin is the owner of Echo Valley Training Center in High View, West Virginia and has graciously allowed the Winchester Police Department’s SWAT Team to train at the facility free of charge.  Mr. Newlin will be presented with a plaque for his continued support of the department.  The Range at Echo Valley Training Center is used by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for qualifications and training.

The presentation will take place at the Timbrook Public Safety Center at 11 a.m. on Thursday, October 10, 2013.  We hope you can join us.

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

Teams Gear Up for the Golden Seal Charity Challenge

Members of the media are invited to the Golden Seal Charity Challenge tomorrow as a team from the Winchester Police Department takes on eight other teams including one from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.  The event kicks off at 8 a.m. with the swimming round at the War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park.  The teams will then walk to Daniel Morgan Middle School for the running portion of the competition.  All of the other events including starting a fire, shooting, giving first aid, building and climbing a log wall, and the sandbag shuffle will take place at the Golden Seal Enterprises facility located at 230 Aviation Drive in Winchester.  Proceeds from the Charity Challenge will benefit the Youth Development Center.

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

 

Valor Award Winners Announced

Members of the community are invited to attend that The Top of Virginia Regional Chamber’s Valor Awards to honor local public safety members and every day citizens who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of others.  Today the Chamber announced the 2013 Valor Award Winners during a press conference.  The award recipients are:

    • Debra Lynn Miles of Winchester
    • Derek Costello of Winchester
    • Harry Hamilton, Jr. of Winchester
    • Tammy DeHaven, Elizabeth Yost, and Kelly Brill of the Winchester Emergency Communications Center
    • The Winchester Fire and Rescue Department A-Shift and Volunteers which includes the following people:

Battalion Chief Matt DeHaven, Battalion Chief Craig Strawderman, Lieutenant Kevin Duckwall, Lieutenant Scott Gray, and Firefighters Elyus Wallace, John Ball, Nathaniel Brooks, Matt Gearhart, Darius Thompson, Leonard Clowser, Joshua Adams, Andrew Funk, Brandon Krippner, Samuel Bohus, David Hughes, Jesse Walther, Jeremy Fultz, Allen Ballenger, Rick Burton, and Chris Yost.

  • Deputy T.J. Roper, of the Winchester City Sheriff’s Office
  • Corporal Chris Ivins of the Winchester Police Department
  • Master Patrol Officer Amber Polk of the Winchester Police Department
  • Captain Mike Danielson of the Winchester Police Department
  • The North West Virginia Regional Drug Task Force

The awards will be presented at the Valor Awards Ceremony on October 17th from 6:30 – 9 p.m. at the Best Western Lee-Jackson Inn & Conference Center in Winchester.  A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Frederick County/Winchester Law Enforcement Foundation.

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

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