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.

Update on MVC involving WCSO Deputies

On Thursday, December 21, 2017, at 11:33 PM, Abingdon Police Department officers responded to the intersection of West Main Street and Cummings Street in reference to a traffic crash involving two marked patrol units from the Washington County, VA Sheriff's Office. The deputies were responding to a domestic violence call on Fall Hill Road in Washington County, VA.
Emergency vehicle operations in the Commonwealth of Virginia are governed by 46.2–920 of the code. That section stipulates that emergency operation can occur if the emergency vehicle is using lights and sirens and there is a certificate of insurance in place. Further, the vehicle must be operated with due regard for the safety of others.
The Abingdon Police Department will be investigating the crash to ensure that each of the criteria was met by the officers who were operating vehicles in an emergency manner. The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the Commonwealth Attorney for charging determination.

APD Call Log December 11th-25th, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

SCAM ALERT: Impersonating A Deputy

Several residents have received phone calls from someone impersonating a Deputy. The caller identifies themselves as Deputy Aaron Dean and states that the person is being held for contempt of court for missing jury duty. The caller then tells the person to stay on the line (or they will face more fines or charges) and obtain a $500 prepaid card to send to them. 

The number this person is calling from is 276-595-50XX, which comes back to a Max Meadows, VA location but no name associated with the number. 

Please be aware of this SCAM and spread the word to others. DO NOT give your information to anyone over the phone!

SCAM ALERT: Photo Monitoring Device Ticket

A resident received a phone call from someone stating they had received a ticket from a photo monitoring device on a traffic light in Abingdon, VA. The caller advised that the person would be receiving the ticket in the mail or would need to call back to pay the ticket over the phone.

The number this person called from is 276-701-45XX, which comes back to a Richlands, VA location.

Please be aware that this is a SCAM and the Town of Abingdon, VA does not use these types of devices on their traffic signals. For more information on § 15.2-968.1, Code of Virginia regarding the use of photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals visit-

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 APD Employee of the Year

The Abingdon Police Department recognizes outstanding service to our community by our sworn and civilian employees by awarding an Employee of the Year. The employee’s peers select the person whom they feel has contributed the most to the town and to the department during the previous year.
Chief Sullivan presented the 2017 Employee of the Year award to Evidence Custodian, Angela Sullins. E.C. Sullins holds herself to the highest ethical standards at all times and provides a positive and reassuring presence to all she encounters. Her co-workers cite her helpfulness and willingness to provide answers to tricky evidence questions as her biggest contributions to the agency. We are truly grateful to have her as part of the APD family and extremely proud to recognize her as our Employee of the Year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

APD Retirement

On Saturday evening, December 9th, the APD family came together to celebrate the blessings of the Christmas season and to say goodbye to three of our longest tenured members. SRO Allen Hay, Sgt. Charlie Overbay, and Lt. Bill Snodgrass decided that it is time to retire.  Their retirement creates a void in the department.  Collectively, they have nearly a century of experience (98 years, 2 months to be exact). While we will miss their experience, an even greater loss is their humor, stories, and the rolls they play in our community. Those of us that remain, and those hired to stand on the line for them, will have to up our levels of performance to fill the void created by their absence. 

SRO Allen Hay was hired as a patrol officer on December 28, 1987 and retires as a School Resource Officer at Abingdon High School with 29 years, 6 months of service.

Sgt. Charlie Overbay was hired on January 30, 1989.  He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on November 5, 2004 and retires at this rank.  He retires with 28 years, 11 months of service.   

Lt. Bill Snodgrass was hired on March 8, 1978. He was promoted to Corporal in July, 1983, and two years later was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on July 1, 1985. He earned the rank of Lieutenant on July 1, 1989, and was the agencies primary investigator until he was assigned to field operations on May 1, 2002.  He retires at the rank of Lieutenant with 39 years, 9 months of service.

Please join us in thanking these men for their service and wishing them well as they begin a new chapter in their lives.

Monday, December 11, 2017

APD Call Log December 4th-December 10th, 2017

Showdown SUNDAY is Coming!

Showdown SUNDAY is Coming!

At the APD we take our sports, and sports rivalries, very seriously! Sunday, December 17th is a special day for us.  On this day, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team will travel to The Summitt to take on the Tennessee Volunteers.

This game has great implications for the APD.  This contests will have two of our best sports fans, and trash talkers, in a head to head battle.  On one side we have the world's biggest Tar Heel fan, Investigator Chris Jennings and on the other, the woman who bleeds orange, our community relations coordinator, and social media guru, Ms. Tenille Montgomery.

Knowing importance of this game around the office, we arranged a friendly wager between the two.  If UNC wins, Ms. Montgomery must wear UNC apparel for a full work day.  If UT wins, Investigator Jennings must wear the orange of the Volunteers!

Photos will follow - no matter who the winner may be. 

You can join in as well, comment with your choice:

"Montgomery" if you choose UT or "Jennings" if you think UNC will be the victor!

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Abingdon Police Department


For Immediate Release

Traffic Advisory for abingdon kiwanis christmas Parade

The Abingdon Kiwanis Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, December 2, 2017. The parade begins at 6:00 p.m. however, street closures will occur earlier to allow the parade to line up. 

Be alert for pedestrians and prepare for detours, delays, and officers directing traffic.

            If you are traveling through Abingdon, or plan to attend the parade, you are encouraged to leave at least an hour earlier than planned to insure that you reach your destination on time. Above all, be prepared to wait. Traffic will be heavy and there will be a large number of pedestrians in the downtown area. 

Officers deployed for this event have certain priorities, the first of which is pedestrian safety.  Honking your horn or attempting to initiate conversation with officers directing traffic is not advised.  Officers are in place for the safety of those attending the parade, including themselves.  Traffic will be too heavy for officers to answer questions from each passing car, while avoiding traffic coming from the opposite direction. They are not escorts or valets.

The Code of Virginia addresses drivers who do not obey officers, ignore their signals, or drive around barricades:

§ 46.2-834. Signals by law-enforcement officers, crossing guards, and flaggers.
A. Law-enforcement officers may assume control of traffic at any intersection, regardless of whether such intersection is controlled by lights, controlled by other traffic control devices, or uncontrolled. Whenever any law-enforcement officer so assumes control of traffic, all drivers of vehicles shall obey his signals.
B. Law-enforcement officers and uniformed school crossing guards may assume control of traffic otherwise controlled by lights, and in such event, signals by such officers and uniformed crossing guards shall take precedence over such traffic control devices.

§ 46.2-852 Reckless driving; general rule.

Irrespective of the maximum speeds permitted by law, any person who drives a vehicle on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be guilty of reckless driving.

Street closures will occur on the following schedule:

·         East Main Street will be closed from Hutton Street to Court Street from 4:00 p.m., until the parade concludes.
o   Motorist needing to access this area of East Main Street should use exit 17 from Interstate 81 to access East Main Street.
·         East Main Street from Court Street to Cummings Street will be closed to traffic at 5:45 p.m. to clear the parade route.
o   Motorist needing to access the Barter Theatre, Barter Stage 2 or the Martha Washington Inn before 5:45 p.m. should plan to arrive prior to that time.
·         West Main Street from Cummings Street to Route 19 will be closed to eastbound traffic at 5:45 p.m.
·         Westbound traffic from Court Street to Route 19 will be allowed to use West Main Street until the parade approaches.

Drive safely and have a great experience in downtown Abingdon.


Friday, November 17, 2017



Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve

Abingdon, VA Police Department urges consumers to plan a sober ride

Abingdon, VA–  As millions of Americans get on the roads to travel home and spend the Thanksgiving holiday reconnecting with friends and loved ones, the Abingdon, VA Police Department is serving them a reminder: “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is a cultural phenomenon called “Thanksgiving Eve,” an evening associated with drinking and a big night for bars. From 2012 to 2016, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads.

The Abingdon, VA Police Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be running a blitz social media campaign, “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.” On Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving, all of Abingdon, VA Police Department’s social media channels will be exclusively sharing content on the importance of not drinking and driving, and planning ahead for a sober ride home – a true takeover. Social posts, Instagram images, and tweets with hashtags #buzzeddriving and #designateddriver will be available for organizations to participate and help distribute this critical message.

The APD is urging the public and the media to help spread the word, and to take precautions, so everyone can make it to the table this Thanksgiving by:
-Planning ahead and designating a sober driver before the first drink.
-Using public transportation, a taxi, ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to get home safely.
-If you see a drunk driver on the road, dial 9-1-1.

-Whether riding or driving, always wear your seat belt.


Monday, November 13, 2017

584 Norfolk Street Incident- 11-10-17

Abingdon Police Department


For Immediate Release

On Friday, November 10th, 2017, at approximately 8:56PM, Abingdon Police were dispatched to 584 Norfolk Street in reference to a breaking and entering of a residence. 

Upon arrival, officers found the doors to the mobile home were unlocked. After getting permission from the owner, the officers checked the residence and discovered one room was barricaded at both entrances. Officers could hear movement inside the room but were unable to get a response from the people inside. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit and Tactical Team were dispatched to the location for assistance. When the subjects heard the K-9 unit, officers began to see movement in the underpinning of the mobile home. Officers removed the underpinning and apprehended Kandust M. Garrett, 21, of 14508 Providence Road, Abingdon; and Harvey R. Reynolds, 20, of 234 Wiley Street, Abingdon. They were taken into custody, questioned by investigators, and transported to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail. 

Garrett was charged with Obstruction of Justice, in violation of § 18.2-460 of the Code of Virginia; and Common Law Trespassing, in violation of § 18.2-119 of the Code of Virginia. She is being held on a $3000 secured bond. 

Reynolds was charged with Obstruction of Justice, in violation of § 18.2-460 of the Code of Virginia; and Common Law Trespassing, in violation of § 18.2-119 of the Code of Virginia. He is being held on a $3500 secured bond. 

The Abingdon Police Department expresses sincerest thanks to the Washington County Sheriff’s Officer for their assistance with this incident.


Monday, November 6, 2017

APD Call Log October 30th-November 5th, 2017

Buddy Poppies Veterans Day 2017

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1994 will be distributing Buddy Poppies in Abingdon from 9am to 7pm on November 10th and 9am to 5pm on November 11th and 13th 2017, at Kroger, Food City and Food Country. The red poppy is meant to remind us of all the Veterans who have sacrificed to ensure our freedoms. Please join us in honoring our Veterans.