Wednesday, January 17, 2018

APD Call Log January 8th-15th, 2018

Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser 2-10-18

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1994 will hold their February Fundraiser to support student scholarships on Saturday, February 10th, 2018, from 9:00AM to 12:00PM at the Southwest VA 4-H Educational Center located at 25236 Hillman Highway, Abingdon, VA. Tickets can be obtained from any Post or Auxiliary Member or at the door. For more information, email 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Public Intoxication & Reckless Endangerment of a Child 1-15-18

Abingdon Police Department

For Immediate Release

On Monday, January 15, 2018, at approximately 11:27 AM, Abingdon Police were dispatched to 396 Towne Centre Drive in reference to a possible intoxicated male inside the store in the company of a young juvenile. Upon arrival, officers observed the person checking out at one of the registers. As officers made contact with the man, he was very lethargic and unsteady on his feet. He was identified as Christopher Brian Harris, 42, of 18301 Amish Drive, Abingdon, VA. To confirm their suspicions, officers administered a PBT (Preliminary Breath Test) on Harris, in which the results were a 0.400 BAC. 

Officers placed Harris under arrest for public intoxication and transported him to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.

Another officer remained with the child in an attempt to determine the relationship of the child to Harris. The mother reported to the scene to take custody of the juvenile and clarified that Harris and the child were cousins. After reviewing surveillance video, it was determined that Harris drove to the store with the juvenile as his passenger. 

He was charged with Public Intoxication, in violation of § 18.2-388 of the Code of Virginia; and Reckless Endangerment of a Child, in violation of § 18.2-371.1 of the Code of Virginia. Harris is being held without bond.

Pictured: Christopher Brian Harris, 42, of 18301 Amish Drive, Abingdon, VA

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Retirees at Town Council Meeting on 1-8-18

Last night at the regular Town Council meeting, the Town of Abingdon Police Department recognized our three most recent retirees for their service and contributions to the community.
School Resource Officer Allen Hay retired on August 1st with twenty-nine years, seven months of service; Sergeant Charlie Overbay retired on January 1st with twenty-eight years, eleven months of service; and Lieutenant Bill Snodgrass retired on January 1st with thirty-nine years, nine months of service.
Each officer was recognized for their service in front of town council and presented with a service award. We are grateful for the long, healthy careers that each of these men had with the Abingdon Police Department. While they will be missed, their impact upon the agency, and their footprints in the community, will be long lasting. We wish them god speed as they move to the next chapters in their lives.

APD Call Log January 2nd-7th, 2018:

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Never-ending Quest to be a Social Media Star

In our ever growing narcissistic society, people will do anything to be the next YouTube sensation or social media star. Unfortunately, their brilliant ideas are not often well planned. The combination of youth, the immediate need for attention, and poor planning are often a dangerous combination.
Recently, four local teens decided it would be a good idea to video their apparent shoplifting trip to a local convenience store. The video shows the youngsters boisterously walking in to the establishment, grabbing a few items and running back to the apparent "getaway" car. The video from inside the car, after the apparent theft, was filled with celebratory congratulations and excitement. What the video does not show is that it was all false. The entire thing was set up by the teens in an attempt to be famous on social media.
However, what really took place is quite different. In reality, the teens entered the store - without video rolling - and purchased several items. Next, they informed the clerk that they were making a video for a school project and asked if they could put the items back on the shelf and return a few minutes later with video running and "steal" the items that they previously purchased. The clerk agreed to allow the teens to carry out their ruse, thinking that it was for an educational experience.
The event was posted to social media, causing several concerned parents to contact the police. After a brief investigation, the teens admitted that the entire shoplifting episode was staged in an attempted to become famous on social media. They added that they had seen similar videos on Instagram and YouTube, and that they had gone viral.
While thinking of how to address this case, I ran across this anonymous quote:
"On the internet you can be anything you want. It's strange that so many people choose to be stupid."
As an agency, we greatly appreciate the parents who were concerned enough for the safety and welfare of others to take the time to contact the police over this incident. Parents like this will raise our next generation to be productive citizens. However, it seems that our narcissistic age has caused us to forget how society functions. In our society, there are people who are inherently good and helpful. These are people who run in to burning buildings to save those inside, when all others are fleeing from them. They do not do this to be the next YouTube hit or Instagram star. They do it because they are good to the core. That is how God made them. These are the same people who will attempt stop a robber or a thief in their tracks. Simply because it is the right thing to do.
The teens in our case thought that they had all of the variables under control. They scouted the store, spoke with the clerk, paid for and re-shelved the items. What they could not control was the next customer to pull on to the parking lot. Would it be an off-duty police officer, military veteran, or a citizen exercising her 2nd amendment right to open or concealed carry? This could have gone wrong 1,000 different ways, but it didn't. After thinking about all that could have gone wrong with this case, I don't really believe that the teens in our case were stupid, they were just plain lucky.
Before your next social media stunt, please consider those who are not in on the joke. I would hate for a well intention bystander to commit to an irreversible action, all because of a hoax.