Washington County Drug Task Force Tip Seeks Public Information

The Mission Statement of the Washington County Drug Task Force is to protect the citizens of Washington County from individuals involved in gangs, drugs, and other clandestine crimes. Law enforcement as a whole have experienced an alarming increase in overdose service calls. The task force is committed to the relentless pursuit and prosecution of individuals who choose to distribute dangerous and deadly drugs in our community. The task force would like to solicit your help in this valiant pursuit. If you have any information you would like to share, please submit it HERE.

Tips can be submitted anonymously or if you would like the opportunity to provide additional assistance, you can leave your contact information on the form and a detective will contact you.

Another goal of the task force is education. Please leave your contact information with a request for a presentation from the task force and a detective will contact you.

 

 

COVID-19 Update – April 1st, 2020

In accordance with the guidance received from State and Federal agencies regarding prevention of the spread of COVID-19, Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility (PCF) will remain on restriction until at least April 20th, 2020. The following restrictions will remain in effect:

-PCF has suspended all contracted, off-site inmate work crew jobs.

-PCF has suspended all on-site visitation, to include all legal, personal, and religious visits. All visitors are encouraged to use the messaging, telephone, and/or video visitation features available on our GTL communication system until the on-site visits are reinstated.

-PCF will not be accepting any inmates who report to serve partial commitments (i.e weekend commitments). Due to the frequency that inmates serving partial commitments come and go from the facility, they create an unreasonable and unnecessary risk of exposure for the facility. In addition, the housing area normally reserved for these inmates will be prepped for use as an isolation/quarantine area, should one be deemed necessary.

-PCF will be substantially limiting inmate recreational opportunities to allow for the appropriate cleaning of the recreational areas between each use.

-PCF will no longer accept misdemeanor arrests and/or misdemeanor warrants. The only exceptions will be Domestic Violence or DUI arrests where citing and releasing was not a reasonable option. If any other exception is requested, it will need administrative approval.

We sincerely hope that by taking such measure we can protect the public as well as the inmates whose custody and well being we are mandated to ensure.

Sheriff’s Message regarding COVID-19 Prevention Measures at Purgatory Correctional Facility

While at present there have been no cases of COVID-19 at Purgatory Correctional Facility (PCF), due to the measures called for by State and Federal governments, I wanted to take this opportunity to inform you of the steps the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has already taken, and those we will be taking in the near future, to help manage the COVID-19 virus at PCF. Last week, PCF established a Disease Committee specifically to oversee and manage the execution of our four-phase pandemic response plan. The committee has already made adjustments to our intake screening process (which now includes specific COVID-19 related medical questions), distributed educational information regarding the COVID-19 virus and basic sanitation practices to both staff and our inmates, implemented an inmate sanitation crew within the facility, and established an internal system for tracking illness and potential COVID-19 symptoms among staff and the inmate population.
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Washington County seeks RFP’s for Inmate Phone and Visitation Systems

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is seeking an electronic inmate trust accounting system to effectively manage inmate funds and financial transactions.   It is the intent of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to obtain proposals from qualified vendors for supplying, training and supporting software and services for inmate trust accounting services.

The County will select a single vendor awarding a contract for three (3) years and two optional one (1) year contract extensions with the awarded vendor.

The complete Request for Proposal may be obtained HERE.

Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams

Along with other police agencies throughout the state, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has begun to see another increase in fraud schemes involving the names of actual Sheriff’s Office Personnel. Over the past few weeks we have been made aware of several attempts to illegally solicit money by individuals claiming to work for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Many of the victims did not initially dismiss the activity as a fraud attempt due to the suspect providing the name and rank of an actual Sheriff’s Office employee.

Victims reporting these crimes have indicated they were contacted by phone, being told they had missed a mandatory court appearance. They have been instructed to send payments to avoid being arrested. In some instances, the suspect has actually requested to meet in person with the victim after payment is made. The suspects in these crimes appear to have done some research on their victims. Several victims have reported receiving the calls at both their home and place of business.

In order to minimize the amount of victims associated with these fraud schemes, The Sheriff’s Office has prepared the following tips and Sheriff’s Office practices for the public.

WCSO PRACTICES

1. 1. Members of the Sheriff’s Office are prohibited from directly accepting payments in any form for citations, warrants or civil process. If you are asked to do otherwise you should immediately report the incident to your local police agency or the Sheriff’s Office.

2. 2. In an attempt to improve efficiency, our Civil Process Division may contact a citizen to arrange service of court documents. If a citizen is concerned about the validity of a civil process attempt, they may contact the Sheriff’s Office or dispatch center. Either will be able to verify a deputy was in fact attempting to serve you with documents.

FRAUD PREVENTION TIPS

1. 1. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be law enforcement, attempt to verify the phone number from which they are calling. Calls originating from the Sheriff’s Office will meet the following standard. Corrections (435)656-66?? Patrol (435)656-65?? The number to our front office is (435)656-6500. Citizens may also verify the caller’s identity by contacting the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at (435)634-5730.

2. 2. If you are told you missed a court date. Attempt to gather the name of the court and a case number so you can contact the court directly. If legitimate, this information should be readily available.

3. 3. If you are instructed to contact the caller back at a specific number, do some research to verify the number is accurate. Suspects often will answer the phone number which they provided to a victim with an official greeting in an attempt to convince you the situation is legitimate.

4. 4. Be suspicious of any individual requesting or demanding payment in lieu of arrest. Demanded payments are most likely an indicator of fraudulent activity. This is more suspicious if you are instructed to wire money or send pre-paid gift cards.

5. 5. If you are contacted with a request for payment in lieu of arrest, contact police before sending any money. Although we will still investigate the incident if you have sent payment, it is often difficult to identify the suspects and/or recover the lost money.

Holiday Clerical Office Closures

With the coming Holiday season the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will be closing it’s clerical offices so that our staff may spend time with their families. The Offices will be closed Nov 23 & 24, 2017 for Thanksgiving and Dec 25th and Jan 1st for Christmas and New Years. Book and releases, fingerprints and DNA will not be available Nov 22-24, and Dec 26th. All other law enforcement functions such as jail releases will function as usual.

Changes to Inmate Mail Procedures

Notice to individuals who are, or will be sending mail to inmates housed at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.

As of November, 1 2014, the following changes will be made to mail procedures of PCF:

  • All incoming and outgoing mail, except legal mail and other specifically approved items, must be in postcard form.
  • Mail received other than authorized postcards will be returned to sender.
  • Postcards must have the sender’s full name and complete return address.
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