As the full service law enforcement agency for Westmoreland County, we operate a number of specialty units and special assignments to meet unique and specific needs throughout the county. Click a link below to learn more about these activities:
STRATEGIC RESPONSE TEAM (SRT)
Some Law Enforcement situations present special problems that increase the potential danger to citizens, victims, and law enforcement officers attempting to resolve the incident. The Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office has established the Strategic Response Team (SRT) as an additional resource available in the management of these incidents.
The unit’s mission is to ensure the safest possible resolution of high risk law enforcement situations through continuous training in advanced tactical concepts and procedures.
BIKE PATROL TEAM
The WCSO Bike Team attends special events and large public events such as the Annual Colonial Beach River Fest, the Montross Fall Festival, the various 4th of July events, and trick or treating on Halloween.
These special events result in increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic; these are ideal situations for bike patrol to be utilized as an alternative to vehicle response. This also as allows for a faster response by bike versus by foot patrol in crowded areas.
The team is assigned neighborhood patrols on an as needed basis which allow for more direct community policing interaction, and to saturate statistically high crime areas to deter crime.
The Virginia Department of Forensic Science offers training for sworn personnel in multiple areas. The Forensic Training Section has the responsibility to conduct the Virginia Forensic Science Academy, a nine-week school of crime scene technology. After successfully completing the course, law enforcement personnel will be able to apply the proper techniques for locating, recognizing, documenting and collecting items of physical evidence. They also will be able to preserve items of physical evidence, recognize the laboratory potential of examining physical evidence and properly package and submit physical evidence.
Westmoreland County currently has one state certified Crime Scene Technician with plans to send a detective to the training program in early 2017. These technicians are on call available to respond to crime scenes requiring more detailed, skilled or time intensive processing than routine calls for service. While these jobs seem glamorous and fast paced on television, the reality is the processing of a crime scene can be tedious, labor intensive and physically challeging depending on the weather, location and degree of complexity.
SCHOOL RESOURCE (SRO) UNIT
The Commonwealth of Virginia and Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office are committed to providing safe schools where students can learn and teachers can teach. The proactive and effective School Resource Officer Program is one components of the partnership that commits public safety personnel to the safety and security of the school community.
The Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit is designed upon the “Basic Triad Concept” of being a law enforcement officer, teacher and counselor to the school community. The “school community” includes the school administration, faculty, staff, parents, students and the schools surrounding community. An SRO provides this service in many ways while always taking a personal interest in student’s lives, activities and problems.
The central mission of the law enforcement-educator partnership is student success. When students succeed, the entire community succeeds. Student success contributes to community safety: students who experience success and make positive contributions within their schools become productive citizens in the larger community.
The deputies serving as SROs in Westmoreland County schools already have patrol experience and and have received additional specialized training and evaluation to determine their suitability. In addition, the SROs are also the D.A.R.E. instructors for the county. SROs work closely with the rest of the Sheriff’s Office to help reduce crime and other issues placing our youth at risk.
Click here to view the most recent Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services School Safety Survey results.
CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a well-documented and successful model of improving law enforcement interactions with people experiencing acute episodes of mental illness. The training is designed to educate and prepare law enforcement officers who come into contact with people in crisis, to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and to respond effectively and appropriately to the individual.
Because law enforcement officers are often the first responders in these incidents, it is essential that they understand how mental illnesses can alter people’s behaviors and perceptions. The trained CIT Officer is skilled at recognizing and de-escalating crises involving people with acute episodes of mental illness, while bringing an element of understanding and compassion to these difficult situations.
The goal of the CIT program is to reduce unnecessary restraint and incarceration of people with mental illness and to provide individuals with appropriate treatment in the community.
Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the Middle Peninsula – Northern Neck Crisis Intervention Team and has specially trained patrol deputies available to assist with calls related to these services.
If you need immediate help with a mental health emergency, call 911. If you are looking for mental health resources, please visit the MentalHealth.gov website.
ANIMAL CONTROL UNIT
Westmoreland County Animal Shelter
6154 Stratford Hall Road
Montross, VA 22520