The Patrol Division is comprised of three shifts that are supervised by a lieutenant and at least one sergeant.

Officers are normally the first responders to calls for service. Patrol officers familiarize themselves with their assigned areas and conduct diligent patrols, focusing on crime prevention and positive community relationship building.

Aside from crime prevention and suppression, the goals of the Patrol officer are to protect lives and property, apprehend and prosecute offenders, and try to preserve peace. 

Patrol officers conduct a thorough initial investigation, collect evidence, and record data which will aid in the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of offenders and the recovery of property. They are responsible for exerting every effort to satisfy the needs of citizens requesting service, assistance, or information. When necessary, they make reports of crimes, vehicular accidents, and incidents.

The Patrol Division also consists of several specialized fields including the K-9 Unit, Bicycle Patrol, School Resource Officers, Animal Control Officers, Telephone Reporting Unit, and the Community Resources Team. An assignment to any of these specialized fields is voluntary and requires special schooling and training.

Patrol Units

Animal Control

The Winchester Police Department employs two Animal Control Officers (ACO). The ACOs perform all duties as patrol officers as well as respond to calls concerning animals.

When to call an ACO:

  1. If there is sick or injured wildlife (including feral cats) on your property
  2. If a human has been exposed to sick wildlife or been bitten
  3. If a pet has face-to-face contact/interaction with wildlife (must test for rabies)
  4. When there has been a dog/dog or cat/cat fight or bite if one of the animals is not yours

ACOs can help with: 

  • Sick or injured wildlife
  • Removing snakes
  • Abandoned dogs
  • Sick or injured cats
  • Littering (feces)
  • Loose aggressive dogs
  • Dogs left in hot vehicles
  • Barking/howling dogs
  • Dog bite reports (cal 9-1-1 if an ambulance is needed)
  • Adequate securement and shelter for outdoor pets
  • Removing bats if in a residence overnight or several days

Nuisance wildlife:

Nuisance wildlife such as the animals listed below are the responsibility of the property owner unless they are sick or injured or appear to have rabies. If they are not sick, injured or have rabies, contact a pest control company or licensed wildlife trapper to have them removed, if desired. Visit for a list of wildlife trappers.

Nuisance Wildlife 

  • Fox 
  • Raccoon 
  • Opossum
  • Skunk
  • Squirrels
  • Rabbits
  • Groundhogs
  • Deer (healthy or deceased) 

ACO Contact:

Call (540) 662-4131 to speak with an ACO or to report an animal concern.

Bicycle Patrol

The Winchester Police Department Bicycle Patrol was formed in the spring of 1995. Bike Officers receive specialized training for using and riding bicycles to patrol areas that have high crime, drug problems, and anywhere that is difficult to access by marked patrol vehicles. The Bike Patrol is also utilized in many other ways, such as parade escorts for celebrities and diplomats, traffic control, bicycle safety classes for children, and other special events. 

Bike officers perform the same duties as officers in patrol cars. Utilizing bikes as a proactive policing technique provides officers with a “stealth” advantage because they are silent. Bikes are also less visible than a marked patrol vehicle, thus bike officers can ride right up to the scene of a crime before they are noticed. 

Bike patrol is a great resource for the City and the Department. Officers have the ability and are encouraged to patrol on bicycles whenever possible.

K-9 Officers

The highlight of the Patrol Division is our K-9 team, which is a community favorite. The Winchester Police Department is fortunate to be supported by four canines:

  • K9 Riggs - Dual purpose, narcotics and patrol 
  • K9 Axl - Dual purpose, narcotics and patrol 
  • K9 Clark - Narcotics 
  • K9 Kylo - Narcotics 
  • K9 Leo - Therapy 

Canines and their handlers go through several months of training in order to be certified and maintain their training on a monthly basis. The partnership and bond between the canine and their handler is like none other.

School Resource Officers

The Winchester Police Department promotes safety and prevention of juvenile delinquency by supporting Winchester Public Schools with four school resource officers. The role of SROs is a complex one, as they must maintain a separation between administrative and criminal matters while also being approachable and engaging. Our school resource officers are assigned to Daniel Morgan Middle School, John Handley High School, and the four elementary schools.


The Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) is responsible for handling situations that require extraordinary police actions, tactics, or equipment. The goal of the SWAT team is to resolve incidents while limiting citizen and police personnel to the dangers associated with the incident. The team is responsible for handling high risk search warrants, high risk arrest warrants, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, tactical operations, crowd control duties, and more.

Telephone Reporting Unit (TRU)

The Winchester Police Department Telephone Reporting Unit provides an effective and practical approach to receiving citizen calls for service that do not require an actual police response to meet the citizen in person. The calls for service forwarded to the TRU are calls for service that can be taken by providing police reports, referrals, or advice by telephone without jeopardizing an investigation of the incident. All calls forwarded to the TRU will come from the Emergency Communications Center (ECC). Police officers shall not refer reporting persons or citizens to the TRU if an incident is being reported to that officer.


Telephone Reporting Unit Video