The Patrol Division provides programs and training to the citizens of the county also. Some of these programs are listed below.
Smart & Sober Program – Monitors DUI/DUID, speeding, reckless driving, safety belt, child safety seat and all other traffic violations. The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office participates in this enforcement program targeting the above said violations. Quarterly, a report is filed on all charges made.
Child Safety Seat Training/Checkpoints – Statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death among children 14 years and younger in Virginia and throughout the nation. Through education and hands on training, the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office desires to make a difference. The Wythe County Sheriff’s Office periodically conducts child passenger safety seat checkpoints throughout the county to ensure that children are buckled up and/or properly placed in their child safety seat or booster seat. Motorists are encouraged to bring their vehicles and safety seats to the checkpoint where it will be inspected, checked for any safety recalls, checked to see it is correctly installed and if needed, will be installed correctly at no charge. Four out of five car seats are used wrong.
DUI Detection and Speed Control Education –
HEAT – Help Eliminate Auto Theft
MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving
These special officers receive advanced training in high risk arrest situations requiring a tactical response. The team is equipped with specialized weaponry to be utilized under these unique circumstances.
The Tactical Team was established in 1990, and is a group of specially trained officers who have received advanced training to handle high risk arrest situations. This team is equipped with specialized weaponry to be utilized under these unique circumstances.
In addition to their response to high risk situations, the Tactical Team provides support to the Narcotics Division in the execution of search warrants and the arrest of drug suspects. Members of the Tactical Team have attended many specialized schools to learn to deal with hostage situations, barricaded suspects, and high risk warrant service.
The Wythe County Sheriff's Office Patrol Division has partnered with Mount Rogers Community Service Board in training patrol deputies in CIT. This volunteer program teaches patrol deputies in recognizing persons suffering a mental crisis. It also teaches techniques in assisting these individuals with programs offered in our community.
Most departments goal is to train 25% of it's patrol units in this program. The Wythe County Sheriff's Department currently has 60% of patrol units trained. This number will increase with two upcoming classes scheduled for this year.
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) law enforcement training model was established in Memphis, Tennessee in 1987 following an incident where an individual with a mental health disorder and substance abuse history was fatally shot during police response to a crisis situation. As a result of public outcry for alternative ways of intervening when responding to situations involving persons with mental illness, the Memphis Police Department joined in partnership with the Memphis Chapter of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, mental health providers and two local universities. These groups worked together to develop and organize a specialized training and support model for law enforcement to ensure a safe and compassionate response to mental health crises. Since then, hundreds of police departments in the United States and across the world have participated in training their officers in the Crisis Intervention Team Model.
In July 2006, through grant funding provided by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), Mount Rogers Community Services Board launched Crisis Intervention Team services for law enforcement in the counties of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Wythe and the City of Galax. A Steering Committee was developed, including representatives from law enforcement, Mount Rogers’ staff, community service providers and mental health consumers, to establish guidelines for CIT in the rural communities served by Mount Rogers.