Leave a Comment February 15, 2012
Filed under: Police
ASHEVILLE – The Asheville Police Department on Friday celebrated the promotion of Scott C. Pruett to the rank of sergeant.
Pruett has served at APD since 1992. He had previously been a member of the high-profile Traffic Safety Unit, where he eventually led as acting sergeant for several months before assuming acting supervisor duties in the Patrol Division. He is also a member of the department’s Motorcycle Unit.
Pruett will now supervise a team of day-shift officers in West Asheville.
Interim Chief Wade Wood said he was honored to promote Pruett, with whom he has worked since their early days at APD.
“I wish you the best,” Wood said.
Pruett said he was very moved by the turnout of people to share in his promotion – among them family, co-workers and colleagues from other agencies.
“I am grateful to each and every one of you,” he said.
Leave a Comment October 10, 2011
UPDATED: 10/3, 3:30 p.m.:
Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, Rep. Heath Shuler will be unavailable for Sunday’s game. An updated date and time for the game will be released as soon as possible.
ASHEVILLE – At 2 p.m. on Oct. 9, employees of the Asheville Police Department and the N.C. Highway Patrol will face off at T.C. Roberson High School in their third annual flag football game to raise money for Eblen Charities.
Celebrity quarterbacks Brad Johnson and Heath Shuler will steer the teams, with Johnson leading APD and Shuler leading the Highway Patrol.
Tickets are $3.
All proceeds will benefit Eblen, a community organization that helps thousands of families in Western North Carolina meet their medical and emergency assistance needs.
For more information about Eblen Charities, visit: http://www.eblencharities.org/.
Leave a Comment October 3, 2011
ASHEVILLE – Members of the Asheville community, city leaders and staff on Sunday gathered to observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The ceremony was led by the Asheville Fire Department and was held in the Ferguson Auditorium of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
Officials say the total number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks was 2,819. The number of firefighters and paramedics killed was 343. Twenty-three New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers were also killed.
Some 3,051 children lost a parent that day.
To date, some $1.4 billion has been donated to 9/11 focused charities.
Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette shared his feelings about the somber occasion in an editorial that ran Sunday in the Asheville Citizen-Times as part of the newspaper’s anniversary coverage:
“The attention and focus that firefighters receive during this time is often awkward for us. Firefighters do not consider themselves heroic. As firefighters we know that we are human, fallible and vulnerable. We strive every day to live up to the honor the public places upon us, and we carry a heavy burden to not let the public or our fellow firefighters down. We spend a lot of time trying to understand this paradox.
“Although we do not consider ourselves heroes, our heroes are firefighters. The 343 firefighters who died on 9/11 are our heroes. Capt. Bowen [who died in the line of duty in Asheville on July 28] is our hero.
“We take great honor in participating in recognizing these heroes for what they stand for and who they are…”
See more photos of the ceremony at http://bit.ly/nwAqRx.
Leave a Comment September 12, 2011
ASHEVILLE – The Asheville Police Department hosted the 2011 BadgeBall softball tournament Aug. 13-14 to raise money for the Fallen Firefighters Fund and North Carolina Special Olympics.
Games were played the first day at Jackson Park in Henderson County, and the championship games were Sunday at McCormick Field in Asheville.
The team from Henderson County took the overall win, with the Charlotte Fire Department taking runner up.
Proceeds from food went to a fund set up by the Asheville Fire Department and Mission Health System to assist the family of Capt. Jeff Bowen, who was killed in the line of duty July 28. The fund also assists families of firefighters who were injured that day.
In addition, the participating teams’ tournament fees will go to North Carolina Special Olympics, whose mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
To learn more about the Fallen Firefighters fund, visit http://bit.ly/pskZRq.
To learn more about N.C. Special Olympics, visit http://www.sonc.net/.
Leave a Comment August 15, 2011
A May 12 ceremony in the Asheville Civic Center banquet hall honored Asheville Police Chief William Hogan in recognition of his years of service. Hogan, who announced his retirement from the department in April, had a 36-year career in law enforcement. He served as Chief of the APD for seven years.
“It has been an honor to serve with the professional and dedicated men and women of the Asheville police department,” Hogan said. “I have the utmost confidence in the level of service they will continue to provide to the citizens of Asheville.”
That same day, in a separate ceremony, APD Captain Wade Wood was sworn in as interim police chief. Wade, who has 19 years’ experience with the APD, will serve in the role while the selection process for a new chief is underway.
“We are fortunate to have someone with such a strong and proven track record in police administration ready to take the helm,” said Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson. “Captain Wood is exceptionally well prepared to step into the interim chief role while we proceed with a national recruitment effort to permanently fill the position.”
Leave a Comment May 20, 2011
On April 29, the Asheville Police Department, City of Asheville officials, friends, and family members gathered to recognize the graduation of 22 cadets from the Asheville Police Academy. The department’s newest officers were sworn in and received their badges in a ceremony held at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium.
“Congratulations to each of you. We are proud of each and every one of you,” said Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy. “Thanks also to your friends and families for their support.”
“Congratulations,” Hogan said. “You put a lot of long hours getting through this program.”
“You took the challenge and you measured up,” Jackson said. “We hope and pray for your well being, because you are the ones who put your safety on the line every day.”
The ceremony was led by academy instructor Lt. Gary Gudac, and badges were pinned by loved ones in attendance. The officers were sworn in by Asheville City Council member Jan Davis.
“It is incumbent upon you to engage with citizens and represent not only the department but the community as a whole,” Bellamy said.
The most recent graduates of the Asheville Police Academy are:
Joshua T. Andrews Toby R. Braswell
Noland C. Brown David V. Bruchon
Brad A. Butterfield Kevin W. Creasman
Ismael DelRosario Travis J. Edwards
James E. French Nathaniel D. Gearles
Brian P. Hernandez Kendrick T. Johnson
Lucas L. Lovelace Abraham Mata
Jefferson D. May Jenna M. Mellon
Dane R. Onderdonk Stephen E. Pinkerton
Daniel G. Simpson Allen R. Snedeker
William R. Vanderberg Rayleon Ward
3 Comments May 2, 2011
The Asheville Police Department recognized the exemplary service of officers, employees and volunteers at it annual awards banquet, held March 31 at the Crest Mountain Pavilion.
The event highlights achievements of individuals within the force, touching on instances where the actions of APD officers intervened in criminal or potentially hazardous situations. Some of those, noted APD Chief Bill Hogan, were high profile cases covered in the media and others were not as well known. Regardless of the exposure, Hogan said that these members of the department had provided an invaluable service to the Asheville Community.
“This is a special opportunity to recognize the men and women of this department,” Hogan said. “Whether you are here tonight as an officer or an employee of this organization, thank you for providing the dedicated professional service that you do.”
The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was Asheville resident Harry Anderson, star of the hit television show “Night Court” and renown comedian and magician. Anderson kept the evening full of laughs, but also spoke about his respect for the men and women of the police department.
“You guys are extraordinary individually and extraordinary as a group,” Anderson said. “My admiration for what you do mounts on a daily basis.”
Asheville native and “American Idol” contender Caleb Johnson opened the ceremony by singing the national anthem.
Award winners included:
Volunteer of the Year: Sarah McDevitt
Chaplain’s Award to: Lt. Rae Ferguson
Explorer of the Year: Myjenta Spivey
Employee of the Year: Christine Devico (non sworn)
Officer of the Year: Sonia Escobedo
Click the images below to see the officers recognized at the 2011 APD awards banquet.
Click here to see the APD press release.
See more photos of the APD awards banquet at the City of Asheville’s Flickr site.
Leave a Comment April 4, 2011
An increasing awareness of the concerns surrounding the disposal of prescription drugs has spurred a local effort to provide Asheville and Buncombe County residents with a safe place to deposit unwanted medicine.
To handle the growing need, the APD has set up its own secure prescription drop box in the department for use by residents looking for a way to get rid of medication.
Leaving expired prescriptions around the house can pose a health risk if mistakenly ingested, and parents are increasingly diligent to keep drugs out of children’s hands. Meanwhile, throwing medicine away leaves them vulnerable to animals or even humans sorting through trash. And more and more people are getting the word that flushing prescriptions down the toilet has the potential to contaminate water sources.
Detective Tammy Bryson of the APD’s Criminal Drug Unit says a large number of requests from the community made it apparent that such a program was needed locally. “People were calling in once or twice a week saying, what do I do with them?” Bryson says. “Officers were running out to get them.”
The APD and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office have participated with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation to host regular Operation Medicine Drop events like the one on Saturday, March 26, and over the past year, Bryson says, both departments have worked to establish a pick-up program for residents calling in. Even then, picking up and disposing of prescription medicine required the approval of the DEA and a federally-approved method of safe destruction. And as the program progressed, demand grew high enough that the department saw a need for its own drop off location.
“People are more aware of the risks of keeping meds around and the hazards of disposing of them improperly,” Bryson says. “If we get prescriptions out of the house and get them destroyed, it reduces the chances of something like that happening.”
“The best way to prevent the potential for tragedy from accidental poisoning is to remove the risk from the environment,” says APD Chief Bill Hogan. “The drop-box located at APD is a way we can offer a secure, convenient method of disposal for our citizens. This is an on-going effort to keep our children and our community safe.”
The box is located on the lower level of the municipal building inside the door marked Property Management on South Spruce Street and is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday though Friday. The drop box is only available to members of the public, not for commercial use and only prescription medication can be accepted, not medical waste or needles.
Prescriptions dropped off at the location are properly destroyed and disposed of by the department’s Evidence Management Section.
For more information about the medicine drop box, contact Det. Tammy Bryson at (828) 250-4628. For information on the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office’s own drop box, contact Lt. Randy Sorrells at (828) 250-4473.
Leave a Comment March 31, 2011
Recently reported numbers show that, in 2010, 65 people experiencing homelessness in Buncombe County were placed in, or were in the application process for, permanent housing, reports Amy Sawyer, coordinator of the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative.
That, Sawyer says, represents successful progress in advancing the Homeless Initiative and the 10-year Plan to End Homelessness endorsed in 2005 by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners. The 10-year Plan to End Homelessness operates on the Housing First model, where people experiencing homelessness receive financial assistance and supportive services needed to access housing, and preventative steps are taken to address families and individuals who may be at risk of losing their homes.
The news comes as a result of the work and collaboration of the Chronic Homelessness Partnership, formed by the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee in 2009 to respond to the idea that using evidence-based practices to focus attention on those who regularly need the assistance of costly emergency services can go a long way toward addressing area homelessness.
The partnership, led by the Advisory Committee, made up of the Buncombe County Human Services Team, the Charles George Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the City of Asheville Housing Authority, the City of Asheville, Homeward Bound and Western Highlands.
“In just over a year, this group has knitted together existing resources in order to help some of the hardest to reach people access permanent, supportive housing,” Sawyer says.
Additionally, the Asheville Police Department, with the assistance of the City of Asheville’s Community Relations division, has placed additional focus on the effort to identify likely candidates for housing by assigning officers to facilitate communication with partners in this collaboration effort. Like the above agencies involved in the Chronic Homeless Partnership, APD officers can share important details about people who are using the greatest amount of services and are most in need of housing stability.
The combined effort, Sawyer says, is unprecedented in the region and means more sharing of information across disciplines and more effective delivery of services while avoiding redundancies, ultimately resulting in a reduction in the number of people experiencing homelessness.
“You really can’t overstate what this kind of collaboration means in the effort to get people into housing,” Sawyer says. “Everyone has to be tuned in and able to communicate in order to identify those who most need assistance.”
To pursue its mission, the partnership team reviews potential clients brought to the table by each member. Selected participants are invited to join the project and, if they agree, work with housing case managers to apply for a housing subsidy through the Housing Authority and/or access other rental assistance provided through grants from the City of Asheville and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
House managers continue to work with clients after the move in to connect them with services like job and financial counseling, child care, veterans services or even treatment for mental health and addiction to ensure long-term housing stability. For people entering the program, access to these supports is vital. So far, the over 90% of people entering the program have maintained their housing.
Sawyer reports that, in 2010, 46 people moved into a mixture of public, voucher and other forms of housing. Another 19 were in some stage of the application process. A Point in Time Count at the beginning of 2010 indicated that, with the help of other housing programs in the community, 305 people were in permanent supportive housing.
Click here for more information on the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative.
2 Comments February 23, 2011