Filed under: Police

Asheville Police Department welcomes academy graduates into ranks

In a March 14 ceremony at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, the Asheville Police Department welcomed 15 police academy graduates into the ranks of its officers. The ceremony, held each year, gives families, friends, colleagues and City of Asheville employees and elected officials the chance to recognize the hard work these IMG_3252men and women have put in to reach this goal.

Each of the cadets completed a rigorous program that included hundreds of hours of training, physical tests, and a series of exams in order to stay in the program through graduation.

IMG_3256“This is a special moment for them and a special moment for us,” said Chief William Anderson. Anderson also thanked the families of the cadets, assuring them that he understood the sacrifice they make as well.

The new officers were sworn in by Asheville City Council Member Jan Davis, and were welcomed by Interim Deputy City Manager Michael Morgan. “This is a class that is made up of men and women of exceptional character,” Morgan said. “You have distinguished yourselves and I know you will continue to distinguish yourselves throughout your career.”

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As is tradition, the new officers had their badges pinned on by their family members.

The 2013 Asheville Police Academy graduates are: Matthew T. Brookshire, Spencer I. Brunkhorst, Heavan L. Dunne, Chelsey M. Gettys, Ben R. Green, Prentice A. Griffin, Lara E. Lemons, Christian O. Leonbacher, Ebony L. McGee, Sarah K. McGhee, Jesse J. Ramirez, Craig F. Roberts, Lindsay M. Rose-Clark, Ethan T. Russell, and Joshua D. Veridal.

The Asheville Police Department Police Academy is a collaboration between APD and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

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Leave a Comment March 21, 2014

Asheville Police Explorer Scouts win second place in national competition

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Explorer Scouts participating in the Asheville Police Department’s Law Enforcement Explorer Post 57 took second place in the BSA’s annual Winterfest competition in Gatlinburg, TN, Feb. 7-9.

The Explorer Scouts participated in three competitions and won second place in the Vehicle Search Warrant Category. Approximately 3,000 Explorer Scouts take place in the event each year.

Explorer Post 57 is an arm of the Boy Scouts of America and was begun by the Asheville Police Department in 1991. The Asheville Police Department Explorer Scout post is open to young men and women ages 14-20 with an interest in law enforcement.

Law Enforcement Exploring provides educational training programs for young adults on the purpose, mission, and objectives of Law Enforcement. The program provides career orientation experiences, leadership opportunities, and community service activities. The primary goals of the program are to help young adults with an interest in a career path within law enforcement and to challenge them to become responsible citizens in their communities.

To find out more information about participating, contact Officer Keith McCulloch at 828-259-5834 or kmcculloch@ashevillenc.gov.

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Leave a Comment February 11, 2014

Why get a City of Asheville dog license?

The City of Asheville animal control ordinance requires all resident dog owners purchase a license for every dog six months or older. The City of Asheville’s Animal Services Unit, a part of the Asheville Police Department, is in charge of making sure dogs are licensed, but there are other reasons besides the possibility of a ticket to get your dog on the record.

“Dog owners use different City resources than other residents,” says Animal Services Supervisor Brenda Sears. And those services cost the City money to operate. The City of Asheville maintains two popular dog parks, one at the French Broad River Park and one at Azalea Park. Both parks provide fenced-in, mulched, safe places for owners to let their dogs run and socialize. It’s a great resource for healthy and happy dogs and for dog owners to meet one another.

Additionally, select City of Asheville parks have bag and trash stations for dog owners to use to keep their pet’s waste cleaned up. These stations help keep the parks clean and safe for everyone, so PLEASE clean up after your dog!

One of the best reasons to get a dog license is that it may get your beloved pet home sooner if he or she escapes and runs free. Escaped, unlicensed dogs picked up by Animal Services are taken to the Buncombe County Animal Shelter and can only come home after the owner pays an impound fee. Licensed dogs can often be returned to their owners without a trip to the shelter and without the resulting extra expense. “Licenses help us get them home quicker,” Sears says.

Lastly, we all, animal owners included, benefit from the support provided by Animal Services. Loose dogs are in danger of being hit by vehicles and can be a nuisance to other dogs on leashes or their owners. They also pose a danger to motorists who may try to stop suddenly or swerve to avoid hitting a roaming pet. Animal Services is around to answer the call if a pet gets loose. Animal Services also investigates cruelty to animals, animal bites and dangerous animals which are concerns for the entire community.

In 2012, the City of Asheville contracted with the company PetData to handle dog licensing, and the company offers an easy online process for applying and paying for dog licenses. The license is only $10 for a year, but is good from January-December. So the earlier you register for a license, the better value it is!

Click here to purchase a City of Asheville dog license.

Leave a Comment December 4, 2013

APD/Southside community working together to solve crimes

Community engagement and involvement played a huge part in a recent investigation into several break-ins in an Asheville community. See this press release from the APD on how initiatives like community policing and “Changing Together” have brought neighbors and police together to fight crime in communities:

On September 2, 2013, three residents of the Southside community of Asheville experienced breaking and entering into their homes. These crimes occurred during the day and while the victims were out of their homes. Asheville Police officers assigned to the Southside community noted the similarities between these three incidents and began to investigate them as being related. While the officers were doing so, however, the numbers of similar cases in that same community began to grow.

The officers were able to recover physical evidence left by one of the offenders that resulted in revealing his identity. Through these same officers having a working knowledge of their beat, the suspect was taken into custody. Further research into this person’s known associates revealed a number of other offenders that were subsequently implicated in the string of crimes.

At the same time, one of the officers recognized the need of the Asheville Police Department to involve the members of the community in the investigation. The purpose of this need was to provide the citizens with ideas and methods to protect and secure their homes against future crimes of opportunity, and also to empower them to work alongside the officers working toward making their community a safer place to work and live. Dozens of community members attended the meeting, during which these cases and other issues affecting the community were discussed.

As the investigation continued, community support led to the identification of the home in which the spoils of these crimes were being kept. The collaboration between the community members and the APD led to the ability of the officers to receive a search warrant for this home. A subsequent search led to the seizure of multiple items of stolen property, including a firearm taken during one of the early breaking and entering cases. In all, the investigation involved 17 separate incidents and resulted in excess of 30 felony charges being levied against nine offenders.

The successful resolution of the incidents is the direct result of a positive collaboration between community members, stakeholders (Changing Together, Southside Community Advisory Board), and patrol officers within the Asheville Police Department. Through dedicated and ongoing efforts such as these, the philosophy known commonly as community policing was put into practice and is shown to be an effective method of addressing crime.

For more information about how the APD interacts with communities as well as ways to report criminal activity to officers, click here.

Leave a Comment December 2, 2013

Asheville Police Department promotes two to rank of sergeant

The Asheville Police Department is proud to announce the promotions of two of its officers. On Wednesday, November 20, fifteen year veteran Detective Ricardo Martinez and Senior Police Officer Shaun Ward, an 11 year veteran, were promoted to the rank of sergeant at a ceremony in Asheville City Council Chambers.

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APD Sgt. Shaun Ward

The ceremony was officiated by Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy and attended by the families, friends and colleagues from the Asheville Police Department and the City of Asheville organization.

“I am proud to be able to promote two outstanding members of our department,” said APD Chief William Anderson.

Mayor Bellamy had words of encouragement and praise for Martinez, Ward and the other officers of the Asheville Police Department. “Every day, you put on a badge and say ‘I’m going to go out and protect someone I don’t even know.’ I look forward to seeing you all do great things in this department.”

Leave a Comment November 21, 2013

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

In an effort to ensure everyone has a fun and safe Halloween, the Asheville Police Department has these safety tips:

Safety at Home:

• Turn on exterior home light
• Keep walkways free of obstructions
• Don’t allow anyone in your home that you don’t know

Costume Safety:

• Choose bright colored costumes. If dark colored costumes are selected, affix reflective tape for visibility
• Consider using makeup rather than a mask. Masks reduce peripheral vision and present a hazard to children wearing them
• If masks are used, cut eye holes large enough to provide improved vision
• On the inside of the costume, affix the child’s name, address and phone number

Trick-or-Treating Safety

• Plan out a route that will be followed
• Cross streets at intersections, never mid-block or from between parked cars
• Walk on sidewalks when provided. If they aren’t available, consider a different route or walk facing the flow of traffic
• Parents, remind children that you need to inspect all candy before they eat it
• Increase visibility by providing children with a functioning flashlight or glow stick
• Never take shortcuts across alleys, back yards or fields
• Instruct children not to enter strange cars or homes
• Avoid Trick-or-Treating in areas and homes with which you are not familiar

Treat Safety and Other Tips

Treats – Don’t Forget the Safety Check

• Check for loose or tampered packaging
• Discard open candy and fruit
• If fruit is to be eaten, wash and cut it into small bite-sized portions to allow for internal inspection
• Avoid consuming homemade treats unless a parent can be certain of the source

Other tips to stay safe

• Attend public activities such as trunk-or-treat
• Host a family function
• Organize a neighborhood block party
• Have a safe, enjoyable time
• To avoid creating a monster, don’t let children eat all of their candy at once!

Leave a Comment October 31, 2013

Rest in peace APD Sr. Officer Robert Bingaman -Updated with funeral announcement

On Tuesday, October 29, the city tragically lost a member of the Asheville Police Department family in the line of duty. Officer Bingaman was driving across the French Broad River when the patrol vehicle he was driving left the Captain Jeff Bowen Bridge. Despite the great efforts of emergency personnel and APD officers who responded to the scene, Officer Bingaman succumbed to his injuries. Our prayers and deepest condolences are with Officer Bingaman’s family. He honorably served his country as a member of the Marine Corps and his city as a well respected police officer.

We ask that the community keep Officer Bingaman in their prayers as well as his family, friends and the officers he worked alongside to keep our community safe. We also ask that you keep the Asheville Police Department in your thoughts and prayers. It goes without saying that this is a great loss for the department, the City of Asheville and our community as a whole.

Funeral services for SPO Bingaman have been set for Monday, November 4, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. Interment will follow at Western NC Veteran’s Cemetery in Black Mountain, NC.

Morris Funeral Home of Asheville is coordinating the arrangements. Here is a link to SPO Bingaman’s obituary with Morris Funeral Home with directions to each location. Please take time to share a memory or thought for Rob’s family.

Leave a Comment October 30, 2013

Public/private partnership restores high-speed communication to Asheville’s emergency responders

Fire engines and police cruisers alike lit up on September 17 at the Murphy-Oakley Community Center and Fire Station Building, but they were not responding to an emergency. The blue and red lights were flashing in celebration of a high-speed communication connection that means better and faster service responses by Asheville’s emergency responders.

The City of Asheville Information Technology Services Department has been working on restoring the fiber-optic reconnection since 2009, and the accomplishment was the result of a great community collaboration. Asheville-based Education and Research Consortium of the Western Carolinas (ERC), which received a grant in 2012 in partnership with North Carolina-based MCNC to enhance its fiber-optic network in Western North Carolina, has partnered with the City of Asheville to connect 12 Fire Stations and 4 Police Stations to dispatchers using its new fiber optic network. The move provides the fastest emergency alert notification available and saves the City of Asheville the approximately $5 million it would have cost to install its own fiber network.

“In a project of this magnitude, there are a lot of moving parts,” said Jonathan Feldmen, the city’s Chief Information Officer. Feldman presented plaques to the ERC’s Executive Director Hunter Goosmann as well as representatives from the Reed Memorial Baptist Church, which allowed the city to use its steeple for a wireless connection while the communication system was in transition.

Joined by firefighters and police officers who rely on the ability to respond quickly in emergency situations, Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy spotlighted the increased public safety and even its impacts on the city’s accreditation. “Today we are talking about how to make sure people are even safer,” she said. “To the IT Department, this shows your commitment to making sure the City of Asheville is wired and at a low cost.”

In 2012, Asheville City Council approved a franchise agreement with the ERC in support of the partnership that provides the high-speed fiber-optic access.

Leave a Comment September 20, 2013

Did you know about the Storm Cleanup information button?

This summer’s rainfall certainly put Asheville on the charts, making it the second-wettest city in the U.S., according to the National Climactic Data Center. And the rainfall was not without its costs. Landslides, sinkholes and flooding were all impacts of the high volume of rain.

From time to time, the City of Asheville experiences extraordinary weather events, be they rain, wind or snow, and that’s when city crews from Public Works, Streets and Water Resources work their hardest to restore the City of Asheville back to normal.

To keep you informed of where work is happening and how it is progress, we’ve included a “Storm Cleanup” button on the front page of the City of Asheville web page, ashevillenc.gov. The button takes you to a dedicated page with locations and updated information about storm damage remediation.

In addition, the page offers important numbers you can use to report potential hazards and storm damage.

The City of Asheville offers several tools you can use to report or find out about important weather related events in your community, including the Citizens Alert Information tool, the Asheville App and the Storm Cleanup page.

Leave a Comment August 27, 2013

Carolina Brotherhood rides into Asheville

On Friday, August 16, the Carolina Brotherhood, a group of firefighters, police officers and emergency personnel riding 700 miles across North and South Carolina in honor of their fallen comrades, rode into downtown Asheville on their way to their final stop in Boone.

The group of bicyclists included Asheville’s own Landon Davis, Dan Flinn, Joe Hallam, Eric Stalte, Mark Jameson and Rich Rauschenbach. The AFD’s Mike Webb and Stacy Bowen, widow of Capt. Jeff Bowen, worked on the Carolina Brotherhood’s support team. Capt. Bowen was one of those honored in last year’s inaugural ride.

From Carolinabrotherhood.com:
“The Carolina Brotherhood is a means to provide both emotional and financial support for the families of those lost in the line of duty in the Carolinas.” See more info and how to donate here.


Click the image above to see a video about the Carolina Brotherhood Ride.

This was the second year of the Carolina Brotherhood ride, and particpants rode in honor of six police officers who pain the ultimate sacrifice last year:

Bobby Gene Demuth, Jr. – Trooper, North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina.

Jeremiah M. Goodson, Jr. – Master Police Officer, Lumberton Police Department, North Carolina.

Dewayne Charles Hester – Deputy Sheriff, Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina.

William Mast, Jr. – Deputy Sheriff, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina.

Sandra E. “Sandy” Rogers – Master Corporal, Aiken Department of Public Safety, South Carolina.

Randall “Shane” Thomas – Detective, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina.

See more photos from the Carolina Brotherhood Ride in Asheville at the City of Asheville’s Flickr page.

1 Comment August 19, 2013

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