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A Message From Sheriff Fred Newman

The Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office was established in 1776 and has grown to its current staff of 95 full and part time employees in order to keep up with the county’s increasing population.

 I have over twenty-five years of law enforcement experience, having served as a Sergeant with the Chilhowie Police Department, Senior Trooper with the Virginia State Police and as Patrol Captain with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office before being elected Sheriff and taking office in January 2000.   I have an Associate’s Degree in Education, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, and have attained fifteen credit hours toward a  Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

This following descriptions will identify the various divisions within the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and their purpose. Please take time to review these and read our mission statement. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact me at (276) 676-6000.


“The men and women of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are committed to serving the citizens of our county in a fair, honest and professional manner. My goal as your sheriff is to provide the best law enforcement possible to the citizens of our county”


Sheriff Fred Newman



This division consists of the Sheriff, Chief Deputy, Division Captains and Communications Supervisor.  Each member is heavily counted on to assist the Sheriff in his overall decision-making responsibilities.  The Office Manager and an invaluable group of office support staff, including payroll clerk and receptionist, provide administrative support for all divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.  The Grants Administrator researches, writes, and maintains the many grants utilized by our Sheriff’s Office.  The Fleet Maintenance Supervisor is also assigned to the Administrative Staff and oversees the maintenance of our motor vehicle fleet.



The Patrol Division consists of Sheriff’s Office personnel that are most often seen by our county’s residents.  They are our frontline of defense against crime.  The primary goal of the Patrol Division, through patrol and other proactive law enforcement methods, is to develop and maintain a safe and orderly environment for the citizens of Washington County.  Our traffic enforcement deputy is also assigned to this division.  His primary responsibility is the enforcement of  vehicle registration, speeding and other traffic related laws.  Patrol Division deputies also conduct Neighborhood Watch meetings in various locations throughout Washington County.  Off-duty patrol deputies are paid overtime and assigned to traffic enforcement on interstate, primary, and secondary roads in our county.  This traffic enforcement has greatly reduced the number of serious accidents and fatalities that are attributed to speed in Washington County.  The Auxiliary Deputy Program is also assigned to the Patrol Division.



 Detectives play an important role within our Sheriff’s Office. They respond to major crime scenes, investigate serious felony cases and assist the Patrol Division with other investigations. The detectives have specialized training in areas of forensic science, evidence collection, interrogation and interviewing techniques. Our Narcotics Investigative Unit and Domestic Violence Deputy are assigned to the (CID) Criminal Investigations Division. The Criminal Records Clerk is assigned to this division and maintains criminal records and assists in crime analysis.



In July 2005, litter control operations came under the supervision of the Sheriff’s Office.  The responsibilities of this section are to identify illegal dump sites in Washington County and charge those individuals responsible for the illegal dump site.  The Assign-A-Highway Program which utilizes persons placed on probation for the purpose of picking up trash along our roadways is also a primary responsibility.  Sworn law enforcement personnel are assigned to the Litter Control Section.


One of the most important responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office is the protection of our judges, court staff, and thousands of citizens who utilize our courthouse each year.  This service is provided by our Protective Services Division through our Courthouse Security Unit.  The Civil Process Unit serves subpoenas and other civil papers issued by the courts.  Public sales of Sheriff’s Office surplus and confiscated property are conducted by the Civil Process Unit.  The newly formed Criminal Warrant Service Unit serves hundreds of criminal warrants each year, and relieves some of the workload on the Patrol Division through their warrant service.



The Communications Division of the Sheriff’s Office provides the vital link between our county citizens and police, fire, and rescue.  Our Communications Officers handle all incoming telephone calls including 911 emergency calls.  These calls are then dispatched to law enforcement personnel from the Sheriff’s Office, Towns of Abingdon, Glade Spring, and Damascus and county fire and rescue personnel.  The Communication Division also provides some communications support for the Virginia State Police and Game and Inland Fisheries.



The Dare and School Resource Officers are in our county schools on a daily basis. The D.A.R.E. officers teach Drug Abuse Resistance Education classes to elementary, middle and high school students in our fifteen county schools. The School Resource Officer program is a cooperative effort between education, law enforcement and the community. The program promotes positive and effective communication between youth, teachers and law enforcement. Most of our School Resource Officers are cross-trained to teach in the D.A.R.E. program. The primary goal of the School Resource Officer is to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and other school personnel.



This division is comprised of the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT),  Underwater Recovery Team (URT), Mounted Patrol, Bike Patrol, K-9 Units and Honor Guard. Men and women from within the Sheriff’s Office support the Special Operations Division. This Division requires a tremendous amount of dedication, as intensive and strenuous training is often required from those involved.


In 2004, the Washington County Virginia Sheriff's Office took over operations of the C.C. Porter Animal Shelter and all animal control responsibilities.  This section is comprised of the Shelter Supervisor who oversees the overall operations of the shelter, animal adoptions, etc., and three Animal Control personnel who respond to domestic animal complaints and conduct investigations into animal bites and other animal related situations.  Animal Control personnel also handle the enforcement of animal control laws.


Washington County Sheriff’s Office


Mission Statement

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing the highest level of community-oriented public safety services and protection to all peoples of the County. The Office will progressively strive to be proactive in crime prevention; to fairly and impartially enforce the Statutes of the Commonwealth and the Ordinances of the County; to be continually-interactive with all segments of our population; and to maintain irreproachable integrity and ethics of professional conduct by all personnel-both on and off duty.


Dedication to Serving...

Our Profession~

Our Agency~

Our County~


Our Citizens


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