Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

1)   How do I obtain a concealed handgun permit?
  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Must be a US Citizen or have a lawful alien status.
  • Applications are available at, and submitted to, the Clerk of the Circuit Court located at 102 North Church Street, Berryville, VA (540-955-5116).

2)   How do I obtain a copy of an accident report or criminal investigation?

  • Our office is not the keeper of the record for traffic accident reports.  Requests for these reports must be submitted to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.  You can contact the DMV via the following link or call (804) 497-7100 (for deaf and hard of hearing customers, connect with the teletypewriter device (TTY) at 1-800-272-9268). You can also visit the DMV website for more information and an online request form:   http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/general/#records/drive_record.asp
  • A copy of a criminal investigations report is handled under a FOIA request. Please contact 540-955-5152 and leave your name, telephone number, and the information that is requested and someone will contact you in reference to your request.

3)   How do I request service of a trespass notice?

  • Click on Notice of No Trespass to save an Adobe PDF form to your computer.  Print the docuement.  Fill out the form and provide the Sheriff’s Office with two copies.
  • The fee for service of a No Trespass Notice is $12.00.
  • The Sheriff’s Office can only serve these notices to someone who resides in Clarke County.
  • Once the notice is served you will be mailed a copy of the notice with service made. Retain this copy for you records, as the Sheriff’s Office does not retain copies of No Trespass Notices.
  • If the defendant lives outside of Clarke County, you may fill out the form and mail it, certified return receipt, by the U.S. Postal Services. Retain a copy of the notice and the signed return receipt for your records. (link to document 4)
  • To download the form click: Notice of No Trespass Form. Adobe reader is required to view and print the document.

4)   What should I do if I accidentally dial 911?

  • Remain on the line to advise the Communications Specialists that you made a mistake. If you do not remain on the line we will dispatch an officer to your residence and attempt to call you back in order to make sure you are all right.

5)   What number should I dial to report a controlled burn?

  • Controlled burns should be reported on 540-955-1234.

6)   When I report a medical emergency why do they make me stay on the line?

  • If you are reporting a medical emergency the Communications Specialist can give you pre-arrival instructions to assist you in helping the sick or injured person. This does not delay the dispatching of emergency responders because while one specialist is taking care of you, the caller, another is dispatching the emergency.
  • If you are reporting a medical emergency the Communications Specialist can give you pre-arrival instructions to assist you in helping the sick or injured person. This does not delay the dispatching of emergency responders because while one specialist is taking care of you, the caller, another is dispatching the emergency.

7)   What is the Sheriff's Office Policy for finger printing?
  • Sheriff's Office staff will be availalbe for fingerprinting the public on non-holiday Mondays between 7:00 AM and 3:00 PM. If Monday is a holiday, fingerprinting will be done on the following Tuesday.
  • Clarke County Public School employees will be fingerprinted on non-holiday Monday's between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM. If Monday is a holiday, fingerprinting will be done on the following Tuesday.
  • Any citizen of Clarke County or any person needing fingerprints as a requirement for a business within Clarke County will be fingerprinted at no cost.
  • People who reside in jurisdictions other than Clarke County will be referred to their home jurisdiction for their fingerprinting needs.

8) How do I lodge a complaint against Sheriff's Office personnel?
  • This office encourages citizens to bring forward legitimate grievances regarding the conduct of our employees.  All complaints are fully reviewed and investigated. Complaints can be reported by filling out the Report of Complaint form and mailing it to PO Box 49, Berryville, VA 22611 or dropping it off at 100 N. Church Street, to the attention of the Sheriff or the Chief Deputy.  Or the citizen may call general administration at 540-955-5152 or stop by the office and ask to speak with the Sheriff or Chief Deputy to make the report in person.
9) How do I make a commendation for Sheriff's Office personnel?

  • The Sheriff also encourages citizens to contact him regarding a staff member's proficiency and/or helpfulness.  Citizens can forward praise regarding the conduct of employees to PO Box 49, Berryville, VA 22611 or drop it off at 100 North Church Street, to the attention of the Sheriff or the Chief Deputy.  A citizen may also call, or drop by the office, and ask to speak with the Sheriff or Chief Deputy.  Like grievances, commendations are fully reviewed, copied to the employee, and added to their employee file.

10) What do I need to know about 9-1-1 services?

  • There are several levels of 9-1-1 phone services available throughout our country from Local Exchange Carrier Services such as Verizon.  These services range from very basic to very complex.  The most basic service provides that by dialing 9-1-1 you are able to reach a PSAP, which is a Public Safety Answering Point.  A PSAP is generally but not always a 9-1-1dispatch center.  The more advanced 9-1-1 services provide the physical address, phone number and initial public safety response information.
  • Cell phone providers also offer multiple levels of 9-1-1 services.  The most basic wireless cell service provides that the cell phone is capable of dialing 9-1-1 and reaching a PSAP, so long as there is viable coverage.  With the newer technology many cell service providers have advanced their networks and or phones to be able to provide more detailed information to the PSAP.  These services range in their ability. Some systems provide the cell service provider name, caller’s phone number and physical address of the cell phone tower that is transmitting the call.  The more advanced systems provide that information as well as the longitude and latitude of the phones location.  If the PSAP has a mapping system in place that phones current location can automatically be plotted.
  • Voice over Internet protocol or VOIP solutions are also becoming very popular due to their cost savings.  VOIP providers are striving to make sure that the caller gets routed to the correct PSAP.  This type of phone service as far as 9-1-1 services are concerned is still in an early stage, so make sure that you get detailed information on the level of 9-1-1 services you will receive.
  • Next Generation 9-1-1 services are currently being beta tested in different locations around the country.  This level of service will allow for Internet based applications, text messaging, and pictures to be received via 9-1-1.


Tips:

  1. Always provide the 9-1-1 center with your location and call back number so that they can find you and call you back if disconnected.
  2. Don’t assume that your phone has the ability to be geographically located.  Check with your service provider, or contact the non-emergency phone number to your 9-1-1 center and make arrangements to place a test call.
  3. If you don’t pay for service on your phone or you use a disposable service it is very likely that your location and phone number will not display when you dial 9-1-1.
  4. If you give your child your old cell phone to play with make sure you remove the SIM card from the phone.  If this card is not removed 9-1-1 can be dialed at anytime and tie up the 9-1-1 center.
  5. Be aware that there are companies that are selling a service in which they sell a “wearable cell phone” with no monthly service and advertise that you can call 9-1-1 with the push of a button and get help.  Be aware that these devices are not initialized and will not provide a call back number or your location.  The only way that help will be able to find you in that case is if you are able to tell the 9-1-1 center your location.
  6. Before you sign up for an alternate home phone service get a detailed explanation of what happens when you dial 9-1-1 when using their service.
  7. If the cell service provider is capable, we are able to request a cell provider “ping” a cell phone and give us the location.  We do this only in the case of an emergency.  A stolen or lost phone is not an emergency and we will not request a “ping” in those cases.
  8. Many cell service providers do offer a service that allows you to access their website and locate any of your own phones so long as it is on and operational.  Many people establish this service on phones that are used by their children.


 

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