Statistics & Agency Activity

2020 Summary of Activities

View a summary of activities of the Sheriff's Office from the Crime Prevention Unit.

This Annual Report summarizes activities of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office (YPSO) Crime Prevention Unit for the 2020 calendar year. The Crime Prevention Unit introduced new methods of communication and instruction during the 2020 year, especially due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. 

The 2020 year has been a challenging time for so many and with the fluctuating social gathering restrictions and social distancing concerns. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Crime Prevention Unit assisted with patrol functions at the Yorktown Waterfront, but as time continued, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit adapted their teaching methods and community outreach programs to accommodate the “new normal” and created new innovative ways of community engagement. 

Public Education Activities 

The Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit continually educates the public with various community presentations and/or classes offered to the citizens of York County and the City of Poquoson. 

Online Crime Prevention Videos 

Online Crime Prevention videos created another avenue of engagement through utilizing an additional platform to reach out to the citizens of York County and the City of Poquoson during the pandemic and heightened concerns for social distancing. 

  • Crime Prevention uploaded training videos to the Sheriff’s Office YouTube channel and social media platforms. Crime Prevention also worked with York County Video Services to create educational videos. 
  • The online training videos included: Holiday Safety and Online Shopping, Project Lifesaver, Designated Driver Public Safety Announcement, CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events), National Situation Awareness & the 3 W’s, October is Crime Prevention Month, York County School District Safe Driving & Good Choices, Crime In Your Area, How To Submit An Online Report, Imposter Scam Presentation, and Crime Tips for Labor Day Weekend. 

Neighborhood Watch 

Neighborhood Watch is a Crime Prevention program that stresses education, awareness, and prevention principles with the assistance of law enforcement in order to reduce crime within the neighborhood. This program enlists the active participation of the residents with the cooperation of law enforcement in order to reach the goal of reducing crime within the community. 

  • Crime Prevention Unit conducted several follow-ups with Neighborhood Watch contacts and presentations in order to relay pertinent information between the Sheriff’s Office and the Neighborhood Watch Coordinators and participants. 
  • Crime Prevention Unit participated in four separate Neighborhood Watch Community events. These neighborhoods include Bethel Manor, Queens Lake, Willow Lakes, Yorktown Arch, and Kiln Creek.  

Operation Identification 

Operation Identification is a crime prevention program where electric engraving pencils are loaned to the public, free of charge, so that they may engrave an identifying number on selected valuables for identification purposes, in case the property is stolen. 

  • Crime Prevention Unit did not loan out any engravers for 2020 because there was no request from the public. 

ProtechDNA 

ProtechDNA is a crime prevention program where a special adhesive can be swabbed onto all types of property and dries invisible and permanent. There are thousands of tiny microscopic dots that are chemically etched with a PIN that is registered solely to the property owner. The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office has access to view registered property that has been stolen and be able to return it to its rightful owner. 

  • Upon hearing about the program, the Crime Prevention Unit contacted ProtechDNA directly and arranged for a training and informational session on the product. Upon receiving the training, the Crime Prevention Unit collaborated with Farmers Insurance in order to supply the citizens of York County with specialized ProtechDNA pens and information. 
  • Crime Prevention Unit has distributed over 500 ProtechDNA flyers, pens, and brochures to citizens of York County and the City of Poquoson. 

Security Surveys 

The Crime Prevention Unit offers both residential and business security surveys, free of charge, to the community. The security surveys identify vulnerable areas within and around a home, church or business; then provides recommendations to enhance the security of resident’s home and/ or business. 

  • Crime Prevention Unit conducted five security surveys to include a Historic Triangle, residential, and church security assessments/ surveys, as well as nighttime security surveys. 
  • Crime Prevention personnel contacted each of the fourteen individuals that participated in the security survey to conduct a follow-up visits to each of the sites. The follow-ups included discussions on how to being implementing the security enhancement options and working towards a more secure property. 
  • There was a 100 percent rate of compliance in making efforts and discussion towards enhancing the security of their homes, churches, and businesses. 

Educational Programs 

The Crime Prevention Unit offers various educational programs to the community that encompass all age groups from toddlers participating in daycare centers / programs to senior citizens within the community. 

  • York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Citizen Academy is a 43-hour block of instruction, over a 12-week period, that is designed to give the citizens of York 

County and the City of Poquoson a working knowledge of the Sheriff’s Office and the criminal justice system. 

  • The Crime Prevention Unit organized conducted one York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Citizen Academy beginning in February and then having to go on a hiatus during the pandemic, and finally graduating in December, after having to divide the class in half and instruct twice a week to meet the social distancing and gathering constraints. 

The Crime Prevention Unit also reviewed and updated all the power point presentations used for the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy.  

  • York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy for YOUTH is a weeklong academy that provides insight into the operations and functions of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office through practical exercises, classroom instruction, demonstrations, and tours. This academy is specifically designed for youth between the ages of 14 – 19 years old (high school aged students). 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit had to postpone this year’s Sheriff’s Citizen Academy for YOUTH due to the public safety concerns arising from COVID – 19 pandemic.  
  • National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes law enforcement – community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit participated in National Night Out that was postponed until the first Tuesday in October due to the pandemic. 
    • There were at least four communities that participated in National Night Out on the first Tuesday in October.  
  • Sentara Safety Fair is an educational outreach to over 700 employees and staff at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center on various topics of safety. 
    • This 2020 year, Sentara Safety Fair was canceled due to the pandemic.  
  • Rape Aggression Defense Classes Rape Aggression Defense classes are designed to teach women on various topics and tactics on how to defend themselves in potentially dangerous situations. These classes are offered four to five times a year, free of charge. Each class (session) consist of five days with fifteen hours of instruction. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit personnel is a certified RAD Instructor and assists with teaching the classes throughout the year. In 2020, we were unable to hold any classes due to the concerns of social distancing.  
  • Refuse To Be A Victim Training Seminars © is a nationally recognized NRA award-winning crime prevention and personal safety seminar. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit did not hold any in-person Refuse To Be A Victim Training due to the ongoing COVID – 19 pandemic. 
  • Child ID Program is a program designed to provide safety information to both the parent(s) and child and allow them to be able to document their child’s information on a personal identification card/ booklet. The Crime Prevention Unit utilizes two forms of child identification. The first form is a packet that is provided to the parent(s)/ guardian(s) of the children. The parent/ guardian completes the form inside, which includes steps on how to obtain DNA, and upon successful completion of the form, the parent/ guardian keeps this packet for themselves. It is easy to take with the family on vacation and is not jurisdictional-specific. If a tragic situation arises that the child/ children go missing, the packet contains everything needed for an Amber Alert and should be given to the first responding officer. The second form of child identification is a computer-based identification card that is printed immediately. A photograph of the child is taken and the information for the child identification card is completed. Upon successfully completion of the form, the child identification card is printed and the parent(s)/ guardian(s) receive a 3*5 card with two additional wallet size cards to take with them. Then, the child’s information is deleted from the computer. York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit does not keep any child’s information on record. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit participated in several Child ID events from handing out over 300 child identification packets. 
    • We were unable to utilize our computer-based system due to the pandemic and the system requiring personal hand to hand contact. 
  • Child Safety Presentations/ Programs are presentations / programs that teach children about the importance of safety, how to protect themselves, and who to go to if they need help. Depending on the age group of the children, depends on how detailed the safety discussion will be. 
  • The Crime Prevention Unit presented Child Safety Presentations / Programs for the teenagers of Marlbank Community, the children of the Woods of Yorktown, Rivermeade and York Square, and New Beech Grove Baptist Church and Cub Scout Pack 200.  
  • File of Life Program is a program that is designed to assist first responders in providing the necessary medical attention for an unconscious individual, in a time a crisis. File of Life is a packet that contains vital medical information from allergies to medication and emergency contact(s). 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit participated in the File of Life Program throughout 2020 and shared this information at community events, safety fairs, and presentations to the community. Over 300 File of Life packets were distributed within the community. 
  •  Robbery Prevention Training is a training program that incorporates a formal presentation on robbery prevention techniques, criminal statistics, and what steps to take if a business or person becomes a victim of robbery. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit contacts every bank in the County, on an annual basis, to offer robbery prevention training, ensure updated emergency response information is current, and to offer additional training presentations and programs. 
  • Active Shooter/ Workplace Violence / Personal Safety Training is a training program that teaches employers, employees, staff, and even individuals on how to handle potential workplace violence from a disgruntle customer or fellow employee to an active shooting situation. As well as crime prevention principles to lessen their individual opportunities of becoming a victim of crime. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit presented Active Shooter/ Workplace Violence Training to businesses and churches throughout York County. 
  • CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) © Training Seminar is designed and built on the Avoid, Deny, and Defend strategy developed by ALERRT. This course will provide strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event. Topics include the history and prevalence of an active shooter events, civilian response options, medical issues, and considerations for conducting drills. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit personnel are Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events Instructors in order to teach the course to the citizens of York County and City of Poquoson. 
    • Due to the inability to meet in large gatherings because of the pandemic, the Crime Prevention Unit created online CRASE training to be viewed on the second Tuesday each month, beginning in June. The online training was offered to the entire community through a Zoom platform. 
    • Over 100 people attended the online CRASE training seminars. 
    • Worked with Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, in Florida, and assisted them with setting up CRASE Online. 
  • Eddie Eagle GunSafe ® Program is a “gun accident prevention program that seeks to help parents, law enforcement, community groups and educators navigate a topic paramount to our children’s safety” (eddieeagle.nra.org) 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit shared the Eddie Eagle GunSafe ® Program information through our trailer events held within the communities from talking to parents and children about gun safety to handing out coloring books, brochures, and informational flyers. 
  • Gun Safety Program is a presentation designed to educate adult citizens on the proper handling, maintenance, and storage of weapons. This presentation also covers laws that apply to open carry and concealment of handguns. 
    • The Gun Safety Program was canceled due to the pandemic, but informational brochures on gun safety handling, storing, and transporting were offered to citizens at community engagement events. 
  • Bike Safety Program is a program that teaches children about bike safety, road awareness and how to ride properly along the roadways, as well as the importance of wearing a helmet. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit did participate in two separate Bike Safety Program / Events this year at Marlbank and Willow Lakes Subdivisions. The Crime Prevention Unit is still working with a teacher from Bethel Manor Elementary School in referencing to offering a Bike Safety Program on Langley Air Force Base for all the students and adults that ride their bicycles. 
  • SALT Senior Safety Summit is an annual safety summit that provides valuable information to senior citizens in an effort to promote awareness of scams, fraud, and identity theft. 
    • The SALT (Seniors And Law Enforcement Together) Safety Summit was canceled this year due to the pandemic. 
  • Home Security Program is an educational and preventive program that teaches citizens about different methods on reducing the risk of becoming a victim of crime through enhancing home security measures. The home security recommendations are based upon proven crime prevention principles. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit presented the two separate Home Security Program at Marlbank and Queens Lake Subdivisions. 
    • The Home Security Program is also offered in conjunction with Refuse To Be A Victim Seminar. 
  • Career Day Programs are programs that educate individuals on particular careers available. Some of the career day programs are offered through local York County schools and range from basic information on how to become a law enforcement officer to the responsibilities of the job. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit participated in several York County Schools Career Days to include Grafton Bethel Elementary School, Waller Mill Elementary School and Mount Vernon Elementary using online video recordings. 
  • Crime Prevention Programs Presentation is an educational presentation that highlights all the available Crime Prevention programs offered through the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. Tailored from the Roll Call Training presentations, a Crime Prevention Deputy shares the information about all the Crime Prevention Programs available to York County and the City of Poquoson residents. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit presents the Crime Prevention Programs Presentation for the semi-annual HOA board meeting, but due to COVID – 19 pandemic. All HOA board meetings were canceled for 2020. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit also partook in informative video recordings for the York County News Minute and News from the Sheriff YouTube programming to include discussing the YPSO Shield Program, RAD, and available Crime Prevention Programs. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit created online training videos for the York County community and uploaded the training videos to the Sheriff’s Office YouTube channel, and other social media platforms, as well as worked with York County Video Services to create and update old Sheriff’s Office videos. 

Other Programs 

  • Project Lifesaver Program is a “premiere search and rescue program” operated internationally by public safety agencies, and is strategically designed for “at risk” individuals who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering” (Project Lifesaver). The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office has participated in this program for years. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit overseas the daily operation, maintenance, and functions of the Project Lifesaver Program. There are currently 22 clients are on the Project Lifesaver Program through the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. Each month, the Crime Prevention Unit personnel changes the batteries and checks on the functionality of the bracelet, as well as the wellbeing of the client. They also ensure that the trackers are properly maintained and operational. 
    • Over the 2020 year, the Crime Prevention Unit had to adapt them methods and teach the caregivers on how to change their loved one’s batteries in order to limit the possibility of exposure during the pandemic. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit also created two separate online presentations and trainings on the purpose of Project Lifesaver and how it works for both deputies and citizens. (For the deputies, the training was also taught during Roll Call Meetings). 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit updated the Project Lifesaver paperwork to include email addresses and social media platforms. Then the Crime Prevention Unit reached out to York County Video Services and was able to add a Project Lifesaver feature to the Sheriff’s Office webpage. This allowed citizens to have access to the paperwork required in order to participate on the Project Lifesaver Program. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit also assisted in two separate searches for missing Project Lifesaver clients and the individuals were found within 30 minutes of being reported missing. 
  • Look Out / Lock Out Program is a program that was started through Triad on a grant. This program allowed law enforcement agencies to reach out to senior citizens and install a large door scope viewer, in place of the peephole, to allow for a 132-degree viewing area. The grant has expired and the program is funded through Crime Prevention Unit’s budget. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit did not install any door scope viewers due to the pandemic. 
  • Roll Call Trainings for York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Deputies 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit provided Roll Call Trainings to each shift in October of 2020. The training covered the Project Lifesaver Program purpose, responsibilities, and current participants on the program. Also, disseminated Human Trafficking information to all the deputies. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit continued the Roll Call Trainings from 2019 (Crime Prevention Programs) and 2020 (Project Lifesaver) for each new hire that was hired in 2020. This training was incorporated into the new hire’s Administrative week. There were 9 new hires in 2020. 
  • YPSO Shield Program is a two-way form of communication and information sharing with the citizens of York County and City of Poquoson. Offered through the YPSO Shield Program is our Camera Registration and York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Newsletter. 
    • In conjunction with the Crime Analysis Unit, the Crime Prevention Unit advertised and recruited citizens to register for both the Camera Registration and the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Newsletter.  
      • (Camera Registration) At this time, the current registered camera user list is only available to the Investigation’s Division. Arrangements are being made to train the rest of sworn personnel on accessing the Camera Registration list. 
      • (Newsletter) The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Newsletter is still under creation with the Crime Analysis Unit, but the Crime Prevention Unit will be sharing community event information for publication. 
      • (Fusion Center) Crime Prevention worked with the Crime Analysis Unit to send out information on specific alerts and educational material addressing security awareness and implementing awareness teams to neighborhood watch ideas and practices. 
  • Job Fairs & Recruiting for Adults 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit did not participate in any job fairs or recruiting for adults due to the ongoing pandemic and cancelations of social events. 
  • CarFit Program is an educational program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them. The CarFit program also provides information and materials on community-specific resources that could enhance their safety as drivers, and / or increase their mobility in the community (www.car-fit.org). 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit had scheduled for a regional CarFit Program to be held in November, but with the ongoing pandemic, the event was canceled. 
  • K9 Presentation and Demonstrations 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit coordinated and organized one K9 presentation and demonstration for the community. These demonstration was held in conjunction with the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Citizen Academy. 
  •  Infant Abduction Drill 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit assisted Mrs. Amanda Lopes from Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center’s Maternity Unit with the planning and review of an Infant Abduction Drill for the hospital staff. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit was able to assist with a tabletop discussion, but an actual drill was not held due to COVID – 19. 
  • National Coffee with a Cop Day is a nationally recognized community event that offers citizens the opportunity to spend time with their local law enforcement agency and discuss the community’s needs, ask questions, and build a rapport between the community and the agency. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit organized a National Coffee with a Cop Day to be held in their community on the first Wednesday in October; which is also Crime Prevention Month. 
    • The event was held at Shorty’s Diner with approximately twenty-five to thirty citizens in attendance. The event was held outside and the Crime Prevention trailer was set up on display. Shorty’s Diner donated the coffee, sugar, and creamers. It was a great event, especially considering it was held during the pandemic. 
  • Community Day Events / Community Engagement Events 
    • Due to the ongoing pandemic and social distancing constraints, the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit participated in several self-initiated community engagement events. The Crime Prevention trailer was set up and crime prevention information was relayed to neighbors within the following areas: Middletown Farms, Penniman East, Creekside Landing, Reserve Way’s Fall Festival, Kiln Creek Subdivision, High Grove, Hudgins Farm, Four Season’s Apartment Complex, Lackey Community, Rivermeade and York Square Apartment, First Responders Market at the Waterfront, DEA Drug Takeback, Seaford Neighborhood (Mastin Drive), Rivermeade & York Square’s Trick or Treat Event, Shop with a Sheriff, Carver Gardens’ Community Day. 
  • Community Meetings 
    • The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit also involved with several committees that meet on a monthly and bi-monthly basis such as the York-Poquoson Triad, S.A.L.T. (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) which focuses on the senior citizens’ needs. The Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center’s Safety Committee and the Hampton Roads Crime Prevention Association and the Retail Alliance Group. Due to the pandemic, many of the monthly and bi-monthly meetings turned to being held through online platforms such as Zoom. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit personnel is also part of the Colonial Crisis Intervention Team and assists the Training Division with various training needs such as CPR training, REVIVE! Training, and Roll Call Trainings. The Crime Prevention Unit also coordinated and implemented Human Trafficking 101 training for deputies. The training objective was to educate the deputies on the basic knowledge of human trafficking because the Crime Prevention Unit is working towards implementing a Human Trafficking Seminar for the citizens of York County and the City of Poquoson in 2021. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit regularly assists with the mandated school lockdown drills through York County, but this 2020 school year was held virtually and therefore the Crime Prevention Unit did not assist with school lockdown drills. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit also actively participates in the Explorer Post Program. Once the Governor issued lockdowns due to COVID – 19, the Explorer Post was placed on a hiatus until further notice. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit works closely with the Public Information Officer and Crime Analysis Unit to communicate information between the citizens of York County and the social media and media outlets. The Crime Prevention Unit created several memes and flyers to educate the citizens on crime prevention tips. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit meets with York County Social Services to address the community’s needs. The Crime Prevention Unit also relayed concerns from the patrol deputies in reference to citizens that need Social Services assistance. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit has also developed a working relationship with many of the churches within the County and they offer places to hold larger training sessions, such as St. John Baptist Church, Northside Christian Church, Bethel Baptist Church, Saint Luke’s Methodist Church, Christ the King Episcopal Church, Seaford Baptist Church, Zion Baptist Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, and many more. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit also coordinated two separate online community meetings: Race Relations & Law Enforcement meeting with Mrs. Penelope Carroll and Race Concerns with Master Sgt. Harvey Ross from Langley Air Force Base. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit continued communications with HOAs and Neighborhood Watch Coordinators through emails and phone calls, as well as creating flyers for distribution to their communities. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit also worked with Sentara Hospital in reference to Potential Disruptions during Elections and assisted with coordinating a response plan. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit also met with management from Aura at Arbordale in reference to key access and key holder information in gaining entry to apartment areas during emergencies. 
    • The Crime Prevention Unit worked with Administrative Division on the development of the new Pistol modules for Project Lifesaver and Crime Prevention & Point of Contacts. 
  • Unable to attend: 
    • Numerous planned community events and presentations were canceled due to COVID – 19 pandemic, hence the reasons for creating new ways of community engagements. The following events and presentations were canceled: 
    • In – person Career Fairs at York County Schools 
    • The Driving Drunk & Distracted Event at both Bruton High School and Tabb High School 
    • Refuse To Be A Victim Training Seminar 
    • Sheriff’s Citizen Academy for YOUTH 
    • The 25th Anniversary Senior SALT Safety Summit