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 October 22, 2015

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Northwest Virginia Regional Search and Rescue Task Force and Boyce Volunteer Fire Company conducted a search in relation to the search for Donald Lowery.  The search concentrated in the area of the Shenandoah River, near John Mosby Highway (Route 50).  Late this morning, a body was discovered during the search.  The body is being taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Manassas.  The identification of the body will not occur until the completion of the autopsy.  

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234

 

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 September 11, 2015

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On September 9, 2015, deputies from the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office assisted members of the Virginia Department of Corrections Probation and Parole District 11 Office with a probationary home visit at a residence located on Goat Hill Lane in Clarke County, Virginia. During the visit information was developed that led deputies to obtain a search warrant for the residence and two vehicles located on the property. During the search, approximately 3 ounces of crystal methamphetamine and a semi-automatic pistol was seized along with cell phones and paperwork. Three people was subsequently arrested:

  • Mario Thomas NAVARRO, of Goat Hill Lane, Berryville, VA. The 27 year old was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance

Mario Navarro

  • Kevin Luis NAVARRO of Goat Hill Lane, Berryville, VA. The 22 year old was charged with a Probation Violation.

Kevin Navarro

  • Kayla Barb CHILDS of the 200 block of Walnut Street, Berryville, VA. The 25 year old was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Kayla Childs

The investigation is ongoing and more charges will be placed. If anyone has any information on this investigation please contact Sergeant Jason Hough at 540-955-1234

Press Release prepared by Travis M. Sumption, Chief Deputy. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234

 

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 May 12, 2015

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, with the support of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors, received a grant for a secured medication collection unit. The grant was obtained from CVS/pharmacy® and The Medicine Abuse Project through The Partnership at Drugfree.org. The grant creates an innovative community donation program through which the Sheriff’s Office received a drug collection unit to help our community safely dispose of unwanted medications, including controlled substances. Law enforcement drug collection programs help rid communities of unwanted medications that may otherwise be diverted, abused, or contaminate our water supply.


The medication collection unit is located in the lobby of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office located at 100 North Church Street, Berryville, VA. Access to the collection unit is available to citizens 24 hours a day. Citizens will never be asked any question when disposing of the medications.


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Chief Deputy Travis M. Sumption at 540-955-5182.

 

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 March 17, 2015

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


On March 17, 2015 at approximately 4:05 PM, Nathaniel Perry IACONE was located on the grounds of the Clarke County Parks and Recreation on West Main Street and taken into custody without incident.  Berryville Police Department assisted with the apprehension.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234.

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March 17, 2015

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


On March 17, 2015 at approximately 11:18 AM, the Clarke County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a 911 call regarding a house on fire in the 10300 block of Harry Byrd Highway.  The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Virginia State Police, conducted an investigation and determined that the fire was intentionally set.  During the investigation a suspect was established and a warrant charging Felony Arson was issued.  

Iacone

The suspect is identified as Nathaniel Perry IACONE, 26 years of age, of the 10300 block of Harry Byrd Highway.  Mr. Iacone is currently at large.  Anyone having information on the whereabouts of Mr. Iacone should contact the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office at 540-955-1234 or Winchester/Frederick/Clarke Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS (8477).   

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234

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January 30, 2015

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Update To Heroin Arrests


On January 27, 2015 members of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, with the assistance of the Berryville Police Department, conducted an investigation regarding the distribution of heroin which led to several arrests and the execution of a search warrant.

Those arrested were:

  • Tiffany L. Mays, 21 years of age, residing in the 200 block of Ritter Place, Berryville, Virginia, was charged with one count of Distribution of Heroin and a Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin out of Shenandoah County and one count of Distribution of Heroin in Clarke County.
  • David H. Butts, 25 years of age, residing in the 200 block of Ritter Place, Berryville, Virginia, was charged with one count of Distribution of Heroin and a Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin out of Shenandoah County.
  • Jane H. Ruby, 31 years of age, residing in the 1800 block of Salem Church Road, Stephens City, Virginia, was charged with Possession of Heroin in Clarke County.
  • David K. Ruby, 36 years of age, residing in the 1800 block of Salem Church Road, Stephens City, Virginia, was charged with possession of Heroin in Clarke County.

The search warrant was executed in the 200 block of Ritter Place, Berryville.  This ongoing investigation is separate from the incident that took place during the early morning hours on January 27, 2015.  

    
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234

Press release prepared by Travis M. Sumption, Chief Deputy

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January 30, 2015

 

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is committed to keeping our citizens informed. To that end, the Sheriff’s Office has started a Facebook page and a Twitter account. The purpose of these sites is to convey important public safety information, communicate public safety alerts, and increase our ability to quickly, effectively, and efficiently reach Clarke County and Shenandoah Valley residents. These sites will also help us find missing and/or endangered persons, criminal suspects, and further our mission of preventing, reducing, suppressing, displacing, solving, and fighting crime in Clarke County.

 

Please visit the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and “like” it. Also follow us on Twitter at “ClarkeCoSO”.

               

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234.

Press release prepared by Travis M. Sumption, Chief Deputy

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/clarkecoso

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clarke-County-Sheriffs-Office/1535064076775964

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January 27, 2015

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On January 27, 2015, after a two month long investigation, members of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force, with assistance from the  Berryville Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, arrested six (6) individuals for Distribution of Heroin.


Those arrested for Distribution of Heroine were:
    Sophia Lesly Kirby, 21 years of age of the 100 block of East Fairfax Street, Berryville.
    Justin Andrew Jenkins, 23 years of age of the 100 block of Walnut Street, Berryville.
    Ronald Jared Jenkins, 24 years of age, of the 100 block of Shepherds Mill Road, Berryville.
    Thomas Edward Wilkins, 25 years of age, of the 300 block of First Street, Berryville.
    Perry Mychel Ferguson, 22 years of age, of the 300 block Josephine Street, Berryville.


A female juvenile of Berryville was taken into custody for Distribution of Heroin. A search warrant on Josephine Street was also executed in relation to this investigation. This investigation is ongoing and more charges for the listed individuals will be forthcoming.     


If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234.
Prepared by Travis M. Sumption, Chief Deputy

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January 12, 2015

PRESS RELEASE -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office responded to an apparent drug overdose at 13630 Lord Fairfax Highway.  Ian Patrick McDonald, 25 years of age, was discovered at that address, deceased.  There were items discovered near his body which lead investigators to believe this was a drug overdose.  Mr. McDonald was an inmate at NRADC, and had been on work release prior to his death.  

The body has been taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.  This is third reported drug overdose death for the region in 2015.   This death is being investigated by the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force.  
    
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Sheriff AW Roper at 540-955-1234.

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PRESS RELEASE -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Clarke County Sheriffs Office has seen an increase of telephone scams targeting residents of our county.  The scammers are identifying themselves as being associated with the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The Sheriffs Office wants residents to know what to do in case they receive a call from a scammer.
The most important rule is to not give out personal identifying information (such as social security number, birthdate, etc.) to anyone that calls you.  Neither, the IRS nor the Social Security Administration will call and ask for this information.   
Listed are several websites that give more information on what to do if you receive these calls.


http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Reiterates-Warning-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam
http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt


If you are a victim of a scam, please contact the Sheriffs Office or your local law enforcement agency.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Chief Deputy Travis M. Sumption at
540-955-1234

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April 23, 2014

 

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office continues its administrative investigation into the discharge of a service weapon by Deputy J. C. McDonald on April 13, 2014.

 

On April 22, 2014 the Sheriff’s Office received several pieces of evidence, including the Glock service weapon and a copy of the in-car camera video recording of the incident. This Office will review all of the evidence in order to determine the appropriate administrative action for this case.

 

Deputy McDonald’s service weapon was equipped with a weapon mounted light, and this system is one of the areas on which the administrative investigation will focus. On April 21, 2014 the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office directed that no weapons with mounted flashlights would be allowed until this review is complete.

 

Deputy McDonald will return to work on his next regularly scheduled shift.

 

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234

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April 17, 2014

 

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

Virginia State Police representatives met with Clarke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Suzanne Mackall on April 17, 2014 to review the evidence in the April 13, 2014 shooting incident involving Clarke County Sheriff’s Deputy J.C. McDonald. The State Police is still waiting for reports from the forensic laboratory examination of the firearm, and other reports were not complete at the time of this release, 3 PM.

 

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office will not comment on the administrative investigation of this matter until all criminal investigations are complete.

 

 

Sheriff Anthony W. Roper

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March 24, 2014

DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY


GotDrugs

THE CLARKE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, BERRYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE VFW POST 9760 LADIES AUXILLARY IS COLLECTING EXPIRED AND UNWANTED PRESCRIPTIONS AT NO COST TO THE PUBLIC.

 

 

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014

 

10:00 AM -2:00 PM

 

 

 

PLEASE BRING THE MEDICATIONS TO:

 

VFW POST 9760

 

425 SOUTH BUCKMARSH STREET

 

BERRYVILLE, VIRGINIA 22611

Download Flyer (Adobe Reader Required)

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January 23, 2014

 

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office has concluded its investigation into the December 1, 2013 death of a juvenile in Clarke County. This investigation included the evaluation of the report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, a forensic examination of physical evidence found at the scene, interviews of witnesses, and examination of social media. The Sheriff’s Office, in consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney of Clarke County, finds no evidence of criminal violations by anyone in this case.

We all feel a deep sense of sorrow in the passing of this young person, and wish the best for the family and friends.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Sheriff Tony Roper at 540-955-1234.

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Badge2Accredited2

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Northwest Virginia Regional Search and Rescue Task Force and Boyce Volunteer Fire Company conducted a search in relation to the search for Donald Lowery.  The search concentrated in the area of the Shenandoah River, near John Mosby Highway (Route 50).  Late this morning, a body was discovered during the search.  The body is being taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Manassas.  The identification of the body will not occur until the completion of the autopsy.  

 

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact 540-955-1234

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Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch is a community crime prevention program that was launched by the National Sheriffs’ Association in 1972 to encourage citizens to look out for each other, work on neighborhood problems, and make themselves safer. Today, more than 40 percent of Americans live in areas covered by Neighborhood Watch groups. Clarke County participates in the neighborhood watch program and is willing to provide the training and support to start a neighborhood watch in your community.

Neighborhood_Watch

Crime Solvers

Winchester / Frederick / Clarke County Crime Solvers is a Community based non-profit organization that partners with law enforcement, the media and the community in the fight against crime. The Winchester / Frederick / Clarke County Crime Solvers provides a 24 hour confidential hot line and offers rewards up to $1,000.00 for tips leading to the arrest and indictment of individuals wanted for criminal offenses. Any individuals who have any information about a crime are encouraged to call Crime Solvers at (540) 665-TIPS. All persons (Tipsters) calling are provided with an identification number and their name is never used. The caller is assured ANONYMITY.

Security Surveys

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office will provide security surveys to residences and businesses located in Clarke County free of charge. The surveys are intended to provide information that would help deter crime on your property. Even if all of the recommendations by the evaluator are followed there is no guarantee you and your property will not become the victim of a crime. It is the intent of the evaluator to make your property less appealing to a criminal and to make it more difficult for a criminal to successfully commit a crime on your property.

Refuse To Be A Victim

Experts agree that the single most important step toward ensuring your personal safety is making the decision toRefuse2BeVictimrefuse to be a victim. That means that you must have an overall personal safety strategy in place before you need it. Through a seminar called Refuse To Be A Victim®, you can learn the personal safety tips and techniques you need to avoid dangerous situations and avoid becoming a victim. Refuse To Be A Victim seminars are taught throughout the year, free of charge, thanks to the partnership between the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, Clarke County Parks and Recreation, and the National Rifle Association. For information regarding registering for a Refuse To Be A Victim seminar contact Clarke County Parks and Recreation at (540) 955-5140 or visit their webpage, where you can download “The Core” newsletter for a complete listing of all classes they offer.


For any questions surrounding Neighborhood Watch, Refuse To Be A Victim, Security Surveys, Crime Solvers, or any other crime prevention issue contact Deputy Curtis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (540) 955-5151. 

 

 

 

Badge2Accredited2

 

 

 

Clarke County, VA Sheriff's Office Clarke County Sheriff's Office
100 North Church Street
Berryville, Virginia 22611-1110

Telephone 540-955-1234
Facsimile 540-955-4111
Clarke County, VA Sheriff's Office



Quarterly Report - 1st Quarter 2010



Monthly Report - March 2010




Monthly Report - February 2010





Monthly Report - January 2010


Offense Quantity Percentage of All
GAME CALLS ALL OTHER 15 1.31%
LARCENY 13 1.13%
ANIMAL CONTROL 12 1.05%
HANG UP CALL 911 12 1.05%
SUSPICIOUS PERSON 12 1.05%
DOMESTIC 10 0.87%
B & E 4 0.35%
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE 3 0.26%
DRUNK IN PUBLIC 3 0.26%
HARASSMENT 3 0.26%
VANDALISM 3 0.26%
ASSAULT 2 0.17%
DISTURBANCE 2 0.17%
NARCOTICS VIOLATION 2 0.17%
THREATS IN PERSON,BY PHONE,OR 2 0.17%
TRESPASSING 2 0.17%
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY 1 0.09%
GAME VIOLATION 1 0.09%
MISSING PERSON JUVENILE 1 0.09%
STALKING 1 0.09%

The monthly statistics can be downloaded as a PDF file here: Monthly Report






Badge2

Clarke County Sheriff's Office
100 North Church Street
Berryville, Virginia 22611-1110

Telephone 540-955-1234
Facsimile 540-955-4111
 

 

 

 

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2016 ANNUAL REPORT

MISSION STATEMENT

 The mission of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is to provide for a safe community through customer service based policing. We will achieve this mission through Professionalism, Respect, and Ethical Service.

2016 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office continues to evaluate and implement technology, with the purchase of an automated ticketing program, and Taser and scheduling software. These programs allow for better use of our office’s resources.

Our office continues to pursue training opportunities, and has implemented several lifesaving programs. Our use of NARCAN has one documented save; and placing AED’s in our cruisers gives our deputies the tools necessary for administering medical aid.

Our Reserve and Chaplain programs continue to expand and provide our office with support that doesn’t affect the budget.

2017 GOALS

Our office will begin the first phase of our Communications upgrades. We have already identified training opportunities, including on-line and scenario based opportunities. We continue our work with the Clarke County schools, striving to guarantee their safety. Finally, we hope to move into a new training academy, with a belief that a new physical plant will only improve our service.       

STATISTICS

Calendar Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Civil Process (Subpoenas, Custody Orders, etc.) 3,389 3,391 3,498 2979 3046
Calls for Service (Sheriff’s Office) 11,981 9,250 9,340 8883 9838
Traffic Stops 3,691 4,132 4,415 4221 4836
Citations 3,694 2,738 3,075 3,091 3452
Calls for Service (911 Emergency Services) 17,775 16,121 16,855 15350 16165

ARRESTS

Calendar Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Juvenile 55 76 62 53 29
Adult 335 306 273 247 309
Total 390 382 335 300 338

 

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2015 ANNUAL REPORT

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is to provide for a safe community through customer service based policing. We will achieve this mission through Professionalism, Respect, and Ethical Service.

2015 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

In 2015, our office achieved re-accreditation from the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Commission (VLEPC) with a perfect score, reflecting many hours of assessment of our operations. Sheriff’s Deputies received a large increase in the number of hours of training in various aspects of our profession. Once again, the cost of this additional training was paid for with forfeited asset funds. New technology included emergency medical dispatch, upgrades of camera technology, and video conferencing capabilities which reduced prisoner transports.

2016 GOALS

In 2016, our office will complete our strategic plan, essentially mapping out our future goals for the office. We will maintain our aggressive training schedule. The accreditation evaluation process will also be continued.

STATISTICS

Calendar Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Civil Process (Subpoenas, Custody Orders, etc.) 3,353 3,389 3,391 3,498 2979
Calls for Service (Sheriff’s Office) 12,221 11,981 9,250 9,340 8883
MVA with Property Damage 222 336 227 464 582
MVA with Personal Injury 37 91 47 64 89
MVA with Property Damage handled by CCSO         182
MVA with Personal Injury handled by CCSO         70
Traffic Stops 5,645 3,691 4,132 4,415 4221
Calls for Service (911 Emergency Services) 24,452 17,775 16,121 16,855 18,635

*MVA = Motor Vehicle Accident

ARRESTS

Calendar Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Juvenile 54 55 76 62 53
Adult 391 335 306 273 247
Total 445 390 382 335 300

 

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Online Safety Presentations

Sheriff's Office Offers Online Safety Presentations to Community Groups

The Clarke County Sheriff's Office is offering Online Safety Presentations to community groups geared toward protecting children online. Presentations are available for Parents, Teens, Tweens, and younger children in association with NetSmartz.org and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The one-hour presentations provide statistics, online resources, videos, and expert tips to educate, engage, and empower children and adults to be safer on- and offline. 

On September 1, 2015 Reserve Deputy Robert Spitler presented an Online Safety for Parents Presentation at an informational session for the Virginia Department of Health and the Counsel on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault in Winchester, VA. WHAG News from Hagerstown was at the event and provided a report.

WHAG

http://www.your4state.com/news/news/informational-session-about-social-media-and-what-parents-need-to-know-held-in-winchester_

 
If you are interested in a presentation for your group please contact the Sheriff's Office at 540-955-1234. Parents can find additional resources on the Parents portal of Netsmartz.org and includes tips, video's and other resources to ensure parents understand dangers their children face and can learn to recognize and limit risks.

 

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VA Sheriff's Magizine Article

The Northwest Virginia Regional Search and Rescue Task Force (NVRSRTF)

CommandVanNorthwest Virginia law enforcement agencies have a new tool for locating missing persons as well as supporting criminal investigations. The Northwest Virginia Regional Search and Rescue Task Force (NVRSRTF) was created in May of 2014 to support Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren County Sheriff Offices.

The NVRSRTF was the original idea of Sheriff Robert Williamson, Frederick County. Sheriff Williamson met with Sheriffs Roper, Fox, Carter and McEathron and began discussing the need for a regional task force to support both missing person searches as well as providing resources to support the member agencies with criminal investigations. The U.S. Marshal Service joined the task force as an affiliated member to provide electronic support.

The NVRSRTF is made up of sworn deputies who are trained in Search and Rescue (SAR) as well as sworn deputies who are certified man-­‐trackers. The NVRSRTF has two main objectives. The first is to provide sworn SandR2personnel to assist in locating missing persons filling the gap between the identification of the missing subject and the time when volunteer resources can arrive from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM). There is generally a time gap between when a person is identified as missing and when trained civilian SAR resources can safely arrive on scene. The second mission of the task force is to provide sworn personnel, also certified as law enforcement man-­‐trackers, to support the apprehension of criminal subjects and to support other criminal investigations.

The NVRSRTF is available as a resource to other law enforcement agencies, non-­‐member agencies, on a case by case basis. When requested support will be provided to other law enforcement agencies based upon the individual availability of member agency personnel.

To date the task force has responded to approximately 20 different missions ranging from missing persons to homicide.

SandR3The task force trains approximately one Friday per month for a minimum of eight hours. In-­‐service hours are provided via the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy – Middletown campus. Task force tracking training is provided by the Appalachian Professional Tracking Group (APTG) in accordance with the methodology of Blue Line Tracking, LLC. Task force training is open to other law enforcement agencies based upon the availability of instructors. SAR training is provided to NVRSRTF by VDEM.

 

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2014 ANNUAL REPORT

 

MISSION STATEMENT


The mission of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office is to provide for a safe community through customer service based policing. We will achieve this mission through Professionalism, Respect, and Ethical Service.

2014 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

 

In 2014, the Sheriff’s Office began the long overdue renovations to 100 North Church Street. Our communication’s equipment was upgraded with additional radio channels. The office was able to use forfeited funds, versus tax-payer funding, to purchase needed equipment. New mobile data terminals, a new vehicle for the School Resource Officer, and bullet resistant vests make up a partial list of these purchases. Our office continues to improve our training with a great deal of attention focused on skills training.

2015 GOALS

 

 

In 2015, our office will be assessed for re-accreditation in the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Commission. Our Emergency Communications Center will install the Powerphone Total Response program which includes emergency medical, fire, and law enforcement dispatch. Our office will continue to improve our ability to provide physical security in the Court complex, and assist in the security of our schools.

 

2014 STATISTICS

 

Calendar Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Civil Process (Subpoenas, Custody Orders, etc.)

3,073

3,353

3,389

3,391

3,498

Calls for Service (Sheriff’s Office)

11,795

12,221

11,981

9,250

9,340

Motor Vehicle Accidents with Property Damage

277

222

336

227

464

Motor Vehicle Accidents with Personal Injury

103

37

91

47

64

Traffic Stops

5,358

5,645

3,691

4,132

4,415

Calls for Service (911 Emergency Services)

20,477

24,452

17,775

16,121

16,855

 

2014 ARRESTS


Calendar Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Juvenile

42

54

55

76

62

Adult

415

391

335

306

273

Total

457

445

390

382

335

 

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 On January 21, 2011 the Clarke Daily News published an article titled Is Your Home Wireless Network Cybercrime Safe? written by Rob Spitler, Clarke County Sheriff's Office Reserves.  This is a public service article to inform our citizens on steps to help secure home wireless networks and protect them from cyber crime. Excerpt: "Computer crime and cyber terrorism are growing threats not only in this country, but in your neighborhood as well. Securing the wireless network in your home is important for the safety of you, your family, community, and county."

 

Special Feature: Is Your Home Wireless Network Cybercrime Safe?

Computer crime and cyber terrorism are growing threats not only in this country, but in your neighborhood as well.   Securing the wireless network in your home is important for the safety of you, your family, community, and county.

Ever noticed when you turn on a wireless device that there are, at times, more than one wireless access point available to connect to?  Were they begging you to join?  What happens if you do join someone else’s network, or even still what happens when someone else joins yours?

Let’s first take a look at you connecting to their network; often referred to as “piggybacking.”  Depending on the state or jurisdiction and what occurs while you are on the network it may also be known as Theft of Computer Services.  This occurs when someone obtains computer services without authority, in other words using someone’s internet without paying or having permission. The Virginia Computer Crimes Act (VA Code 18.2-152.1 – 18.2-152.15) defines criminal acts specific to computers and networks.

Now let’s look at safety.  Whose network are you connected to?  By connecting to that network, what privileges have you just given them for your own device? Can that person monitor what you are doing, steal data from, or even take control of your device?

Often hackers will map out towns and neighborhoods to find every open wireless network. This is referred to as war driving.  It may be done with the simple intent of finding where to get free internet, or may be for some nefarious reason, such as identity theft.

A criminal can easily take advantage of an open network to distribute child pornography, gain access to your personal information, or create attacks on other computers or networks.  Terrorists can use open networks as access points to inflict damages through cyber-terrorism.

For many people with a new home wireless network, getting onto the Internet as fast as possible is the main goal.  By accepting default settings and leaving the network open, he or she are not only inviting others to use the network at will, but also opens the door fraud, abuse, and even cyber-terrorism.

By taking steps, like those listed below, to secure your home wireless network you are taking steps to protect not only yourself, but your friends, neighbors, country, and way of life.  Each of the steps will provide a measure of security or anonymity to protect your wireless network.  Beware when following “rules” to secure your network from websites.  Often these can be misleading and give a false sense of security. The more layers of security you use, the less chance of you being affected by cybercrime.

Wireless routers offer a number of security features. It's important to read and under the operating manual before connecting your device before activation.

    • Read The Manual.  The first step to wireless security is to learn the features offered by the router you choose.  Most routers are similar, but each has different features in different locations.
    • Change Default Administrator Passwords.  Every wireless router comes with a default username and password.  These can all be found on various websites across the Internet.  Hackers like the easy route first, so they will often try the defaults first when attempting to break into your network.
    • Turn On Encryption.  All wireless routers come with built in data encryption.  Most routers are compatible with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption.  Although WEP is better than nothing, it is weak and easily broken. Try to use WPA2 or better to secure your network.
    • Change Default SSID.  The SSID is your network name. Most routers will come with a default name such as Linksys.  If a criminal see’s Linksys he or she will know what make your router is, and can then look for default usernames and passwords for Linksys routers to gain access to your network.  He or she may also already have steps to break past security on a specific router.
    • Use Non-Obvious Network Name.  Avoid using your name, address, or combinations to name your network.  When you use Smith Network or 1225 Main Street you are identifying to criminals who a network belongs to or where it is located.
    • Turn On Mac Address Filtering.  Every network device (wireless card, network card, router, etc) has a Mac address.  This is a number similar to 08:R4:J9:23:6M:B7 which identifies your network device.  Mac filtering will allow only the Mac addresses logged in the router to access the network.  This will help to thwart attackers.
    • Turn Off Broadcasting SSID.  A wireless router sends out a radio signal to tell everyone it is there using the wireless network name.  If the network name is not being broadcasted it is more difficult for a criminal to identify and attack your network.  In essence this will make you relatively invisible to most outsiders.
    • Assign And Filter IP Addresses For Devices.  Network attached devices are assigned an IP address by Internet Service Providers or personal routers.  This is a number, similar to 192.168.0.1, that points directly to you the same way your home address does. Your cable modem will be assigned an external IP address by the ISP.  Your router will then assign internal IP addresses for each device that connects with it. Usually it does this automatically (DHCP) and the device may change the IP addresses each time it connects.  By setting static (non-changing) IP addresses for each device, it will allow the router to further filter “who” is allowed access to use the network.  Filtering of IP addresses is not a feature on all routers.
    • Upgrade Firmware.  Keep your router’s firmware upgraded as often as possible.  Firmware upgrades will fix bugs, close vulnerabilities, and often give new features and security.
    • Update Operating System. Whether using Windows, Mac, or Linux keep the operating system up-to-date. This patches holes in security that allows people to exploit your computer.
    • Disable Remote Administration.  Many routers allow access remotely via the Internet.  By disabling this feature, it will only allow a computer from within the network to access the router and make changes.
    • Use Firewalls.  Enable firewalls on any computers attached to your network and on your router if it has any.  Firewalls will help keep outsiders from intruding into your systems even if they are able to access your network.
    • Use Anti-Virus. Ensure that your computer has an anti-virus program installed and running, that you keep it updated, and regularly scan your hard drives.
    • Position Routers in a Safe Location. By placing your router near the center of your residence you will get better coverage for your home and less signal spilling outside of your residence.
    • Reduce the Signal Range.  Some routers allow you to set the signal strength of the routers wireless signal. If so, try to limit the router to only extend coverage to within your residence or as close to as possible.  This will keep someone from sitting in a car on the street using your Internet.
    • Turn Routers Off.  If you are going to be away from home for extended periods of time, turn your router off. This will ensure no outside access while you are gone.  If you have a cable modem that also has your home phone included, check the user manual; you may be able to turn off everything except the phone.
    • Sharing. Be careful with sharing settings on the router or individual computers.  It is best to share only what you must, and only with specific people.  When setting sharing, try to do so by sharing only with computers within your network.  Sharing outside of the network opens you to letting vulnerabilities in

Though no single step will guarantee 100% protection, by using as many of these suggestions as possible, you will build a solid layer of protection for you, your family, and your community.

Here is one last item of advice when away from home. Turn the WiFi off on your mobile devices, or at least turn off the Auto Connect to Open Networks settings. If your phone is set to always connect to open WiFi you could inadvertently connect to a malicious computer system and you can become a victim.

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office hopes this information will help you to understand some of the risks associated with unsecured home wireless networks and give you layered security methods to ensure a safe and enjoyable Web connected experience. Making you aware of dangers that are associated with the cyber world, and teaching you to take precautions also helps to protect you, your family, community, and county from the dangers of cybercrime.

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