Henderson Optimist Club Hosts Annual Respect for Law Enforcement Banquet

On July 25th the Henderson Optimist Club held their annual Respect for Law Enforcement Banquet at the Henderson Country Club.

Representatives were on hand from the Henderson Police Department, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Henderson Fire Department, Vance County Fire Department and EMS, Vance County Animal Services and the Kerr Lake Park Rangers to receive awards for department representative of the year.

Britt Sams, vice president of the Henderson Optimist Club, was on hand to assist with the award presentations.

Award Recipients by department are listed below:

Vance County Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Donald R. Roberson Jr.

Henderson Police Department

Sergeant David Elliot

North Carolina Highway Patrol

Trooper J.A. Thomas

Henderson Fire Department


Battalion Chief Doug Owen

Vance County Fire/EMS

Fireman Latrel Fields

Vance County Animal Services

Officer William Spain

Kerr Lake Park Rangers

Ranger William D. Stanley


Notes: Trooper J.A. Thomas has nominated by Sergeant Jeff Rowan for leading the State of North Carolina in DWI arrests for three consecutive years. Trooper Thomas patrols the Vance, Granville and Warren County areas.

Fireman Latrel Fields received his award for completing 18 months worth of training in seven.

Ranger William D. Stanley thanked the Henderson Optimist Club and other area agencies for working together. The Kerr Lake Rangers ask for the assistance of other area agencies with various issues at Kerr Lake on a routine basis.

Local Missing Person Found Submerged in Vehicle at Satterwhite Point

David Alfonzo Young, 71, who was reported missing back in May, was found submerged inside his 1990 Dodge Dakota at the Satterwhite Point Marina boat ramp over the weekend.  Sheriff Peter White told WIZS News, “It looked as though he drove straight down the boat ramp.”

No foul play is suspected in this case as the truck was in drive when it entered the water. “Why he drove into the water we don’t know,” stated White.

Several boats have launched from the ramp since May, but one boater thought he hit something with his propeller and called local authorities.

An autopsy is being conducted in this case.

Sheriff Peter White Announces Arrest of two in Christopher Small Murder

Sheriff Peter White announces the arrest of two individuals in connection with the murder of Christopher J. Small which occurred on June 17th in Vance County.


Tatiana Deamor McKoy

Cumberland Road

Fayetteville, NC 28306


Akeem Rumeal Grissett

Marlborough Road

Fayetteville, NC 28304



First Degree Murder

Robbery With a Dangerous Weapon


Bond: No Bond

McKoy’s Court Date: 07/24/2017

Grissett’s Court Date: 07/31/2017


The Vance County Sheriff’s Office is also seeking a third individual in connection with this case who goes by the name “Memphis.”

He is described as a black male with a light complexion, approximately six feet tall with a slim build and medium hair.

Anyone having information is asked to contact the Vance County Sheriff’s Office at (252) 738-2200, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 323-1500 or the Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers at (252) 492-1925 or on the all new P3tips application.

VGCC graduates 11 cadets in school’s 104th BLET Class

Eleven cadets graduated on May 16 from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Vance-Granville Community College, in a ceremony held in the Civic Center on Main Campus. After passing the state certification exam, all are authorized to work in any law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

Graduates of VGCC’s 104th BLET class included Jill Nicole McLean of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; Spencer Reid Warehime of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office; Shawn Maurice Brown, Jr., of the Henderson Police Department; Alonza Kyle Fitts of the Louisburg College Campus Police Department; Jacob Matthew Gardner, Thomas Sellers Marrow and Joshua Taylor Mills, all of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation; Kevin Wayne Murphy of the Oxford Police Department; Christopher Michael Agamaite of the Roxboro Police Department; Mark Donald McNamara of the San Jose (California) Police Department; and Kirk Richardson of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

The ceremony began with a presentation of colors by students from the ROTC program at Northern Vance High School, and the singing of the national anthem by NVHS student Jaylen Webb.

In welcoming remarks, Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic affairs, thanked the many leaders from local and state law enforcement agencies in attendance for partnering with the college. “We are honored to work with you, and we thank you for supporting our cadets, providing many of our instructors, and hiring our graduates, as together, we promote increased safety and quality of life for the communities we serve,” Ballentine told the law enforcement representatives. “All of today’s graduates are either employed or have at least accepted conditional job offers from law enforcement agencies.” She congratulated the graduates on successfully completing the rigorous, 667-hour training program and encouraged them to continue their education. “I wish you success and safety as you protect and serve all of us,” Ballentine added.

Speaking as leader of the class, Cadet Jill McLean thanked the many instructors who had trained them, as well as the family members and friends who were there to support the graduates. “These past four months have flown by,” McLean reflected. “This class has taught us a lot about ourselves and what it takes to do this job. I could not have asked for a better group of guys to take on BLET with. We are a ‘family’ of eleven. These guys have made my job as class leader extremely easy.”

Graduates selected Sgt. Christopher Dickerson of the Roxboro Police Department, one of their instructors, to serve as their featured speaker. He is a 2006 graduate of the VGCC BLET program. “This profession is the greatest profession in the world,” Dickerson said of law enforcement. He noted that in 2016, a Gallup poll found that Americans had a higher opinion of their local police than in any survey since 1967.  Dickerson recalled, “I asked you why you wanted to be a police officer, as I do in every class. I heard ‘I want to help my community’ or ‘I want to make my family proud.’ Not a single one gave a selfish response, and that’s why you’re here today.”

He asked the graduates to “remember your drive and what put you in this class” and “never forget your first badge. By pinning that badge on your chest, you have joined the largest family in the entire world.”

Andrea Hyson, the training program coordinator, and instructor Glen Boyd presented awards to the top students in the class in three categories. Murphy won the “Top Gun” Award for having the highest accuracy score in firearms qualification. Fitts earned the Physical Fitness Award for scoring highest in the various fitness tests the cadets undergo during physical training. McLean took home the Academic Achievement Award for having the top grade average in the written tests each cadet must pass.

For more information on the BLET program, contact Hyson at hysona@vgcc.edu.


Henderson Man Sentenced for Two Counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

NEW BERN – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced ISMIL GRAY JEFFERS, 23, of Henderson, NC to 140 months of imprisonment followed by 3 years of supervised release.

JEFFERS pled guilty on November 15, 2016 to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

On September 22, 2015, the Vance County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance complaint. Upon arriving at the scene, officers found JEFFERS in the bathroom of Auto Connection Used Auto Sales and subsequently conducted a search of his vehicle where a firearm and controlled substances were found. On October 19, 2015, members of the Henderson Police Department conducted a checkpoint traffic stop in which JEFFERS was a passenger in a vehicle. The vehicle pulled away from the checkpoint causing an officer to pursue. The vehicle stopped a short distance later and JEFFERS, a convicted felon, was observed throwing a handgun into a grassy area.

This case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative which encourages federal, state, and local agencies to cooperate in a unified “team effort” against gun crime, targeting repeat offenders who continually plague their communities.

The criminal investigation of this case was conducted by the Henderson Police Department Police Department, the Vance County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the North Carolina State Crime Lab. Assistant United States Attorney S. Katherine Burnette is handling the case on behalf of the government.

USAO – North Carolina, Eastern


Firearms Offenses

Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers Approve New Text-a-Tip Program

Henderson, NC – Henderson and Vance County Residents will now be able to text the Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers along with the traditional phone in method to report crime.

Kevin Bullock, the president of the Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers said, “We’re still in the early stages of setting up our local Text-a-Tip program, but once completed, the Text-a-Tip will allow anyone with a cellphone to not only call 252-492-1925, but text in a crime they witness as well. Other Crime Stopper groups across North Carolina are using this technology with great success to reach younger audiences.”

The program will be ready to go later in the year.

Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow said, “Text-a-Tip will put us in contact with a new generation and also give others another simplistic way of reporting criminal activity anonymously.”

If anyone should have any information related to a case, they are encouraged to call the Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers at 252-492-1925. Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $2,000 for information that may lead to an arrest. Callers may remain anonymous.

Operation Silent Night results in 88 arrests in the four county area

Operation Silent Night results in 88 arrests in the four county area

Nearly 230 law enforcement officers from state, local, and federal agencies joined forces this week for Operation Silent Night, an enforcement operation that served outstanding criminal warrants and conducted compliance checks on high risk and violent offenders on probation and parole in Vance, Granville, Warren, and Franklin counties.

Significant arrests and accomplishments included:

  • Confiscation of 10 firearms including assault rifles and significant quantities of ammunition
  • Confiscation of significant quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and cash
  • Location and cleanup of a home methamphetamine lab in Franklin County
  • Absconder from post-release supervision safely brought into custody after a three-hour standoff in Franklin County
  • Recovery of a stolen vehicle in Vance County
  • Eight parole warrants issued and served for parole or post-release supervision violations
  • 118 searches of probationers attempted, 71 completed
  • 174 warrants served, 212 charges cleared, 32 probation violations issued

Participating agencies included:operation-silent-night-press-121516-wizsphoto2

U.S. Marshals Service

North Carolina Department of Public Safety

Vance County Sheriff’s Office

Warren County Sheriff’s Office

Granville County Sheriff’s Office

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office

Henderson Police Department

Butner Public Safety

Oxford Police Departmentoperation-silent-night-press-121516-wizsphoto3

Henderson-Vance Emergency Operations

NC Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NC ISAAC)

State Bureau of Investigation

U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern District NC

Office of the District Attorney for District 9

North Carolina State Highway Patrol

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

“The U.S. Marshals Service along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners will continually work to ensure that violent and repeat offenders on probation and parole supervision are compliant and held accountable for their actions,” said Scott J. Parker, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of North Carolina. “This initiative demonstrated the partnership and dedication of the men and women from the U.S. Marshals Service and our law enforcement partners throughout Eastern North Carolina. I want to thank all of the law enforcement officers from the participating agencies for their relentless pursuit of justice here in North Carolina.”

“Cooperation between state, local and federal law enforcement agencies is critical to maintaining safe communities everywhere. No agency can accomplish this alone,” said Frank L. Perry, Secretary of the NC Department of Public Safety. “We appreciate the quality work that these agencies do on a daily basis and we thank them for their collaboration on this operation.”

“The District Attorney’s office is proud to have participated in Operation Silent Night,” said Michael Waters, district attorney for Franklin, Granville, Warren, and Vance counties. “We expect the relationships forged during this effort will pay future dividends in detecting and prosecuting serious felons and probation violators.”

“The City of Henderson and its residents should be extremely pleased with the efforts put forth in this major operation,” said Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow. “Our hopes are that the work done in planning and executing Operation Silent Night will benefit our community in the months to come. This is believed to be the largest regional operation for the Henderson Police Department and we are extremely grateful to the U.S. Marshals Service, The NC Department of Public Safety and our partners for their professionalism and effort.”

“Every day the men and women of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office take proactive steps throughout the county to ensure the safety of the citizens,” said Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead. “This operation with local, state and federal agencies is another example of our commitment to continue our efforts in making this county a safe place to live and raise a family.”

“The SBI enjoys long-standing partnerships with local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies and will continue to engage in multi-agency operations like these to make North Carolina a safer place to live,” said NC State Bureau of Investigation Robert Schurmeier. “The SBI was able to contribute to overall efforts with several specialty units including the state’s fusion center (ISAAC), Special Response Team, Clandestine Lab Unit, area field agents, bomb squad and Computer Crimes Unit.”


(Press Release Information Above, including two WIZS Photos and one WIZS Cover Photo.  The entire press conference was broadcast live on WIZS 1450 AM and streamed live on WIZS.com from about 10:00 a.m. until about 10:35 a.m., which included live interviews with District Attorney Mike Waters, NC SBI Director Robert Schurmeier and Lieutenant Allen Hedgepeth of the Henderson Police Department.  The press conference occurred at Clearview Church on Oxford Road in Henderson.)

Press Release from District Attorney Mike Waters

Oxford, NC – A multi-agency law enforcement operation is underway. The operation should not interfere with daily activities of the public.


In order to preserve operational security and the safety of the officers involved, no details will be released until the operation has concluded. A news conference with details is planned for Thursday morning.


WIZS Radio will air this news conference live on location.

Sheriff Peter White Offers Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

The holiday season is here and shoppers are crowding malls and discount stores to buy the latest gadgets and find the best deals.

But what shoppers are neglecting is their safety. According to Sheriff White, this time of year attracts more shopping-related criminal activity because of larger crowds and extended store hours. These factors, and the unusual distraction of shopping, creates a more favorable environment for petty thieves and other offenders.

The Sheriff reminds all Vance County residents to follow these safety tips:

Shopping Safety

  • A single shopper is the best target for theft. Always shop with a friend or relative.
  • When going shopping, tell someone where you are going and what time to expect you to return. Also, make sure they know what you are wearing, as well as the type of vehicle you are driving.
  • Shop during daylight hours. If you shop at night, park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
  • Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry. If carrying cash, keep it in your front pocket rather than your purse or wallet. This makes it much more difficult for a pick-pocket to remove. Also store car keys in a pants or jacket pocket. If your purse is stolen, you will still be able to drive.
  • Pay careful attention to your surroundings and avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat. Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Have your keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected from the security of your vehicle.
  • If you feel uneasy returning to your vehicle alone, find a security guard and ask them to walk you to your car.

According to Sheriff White, during this time of year, busy holiday shoppers become careless and vulnerable to other crimes as well. Credit card fraud and gift card fraud are on the rise. However, taking a few preventive measures can help.

Credit Card Fraud

  • Keep a close watch on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible.
  • Never write your pin number on your credit card.
  • Never leave your credit card receipts lying around.
  • Shield your credit card number so that others around you can’t copy it or capture it on a mobile phone or other camera.
  • Only carry credit cards that you absolutely need.
  • Shred anything with your credit card number on it.
  • If you’re planning to purchase online, make sure the web page where you enter your credit card information is secure through SSL (Secure Socket Layer). You can tell if the web page is secure by looking for the gold lock or key icon at the bottom corner of your browser window.
  • If you’re not comfortable submitting your information through the internet, call the seller and give them your information over the phone. Never send your credit card information via email.
  • Check the company out. Only do business with companies that provide a physical address and phone number.
  • Lastly, keep good records. Always print out a copy of any online products or services you purchase.

For more information contact the Vance County Sheriff’s Office at 252-738-2200.


HPD and VCSO offer Gun Buy Back Program

Our local law enforcement’s “Gun Buy Back Program” asks you to anonymously surrender unwanted and illegal firearms with “No Questions Asked” and receive a Visa gift card in return. Assault weapons will receive a $150.00 Visa prepaid gift card and handguns will receive a $100.00 Visa prepaid gift card. Rifles and shotguns will receive a $75.00 Visa prepaid gift card.

The “Gun Buy Back Program” will take place on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at two locations:

Gang Free Inc. located at 940 County Home Road, Henderson, NC 27536

Kittrell Volunteer Fire Department located at 54 W. Main Street Kittrell, NC 27544


Vehicle Procedure

The following procedure MUST be followed in order to receive a gift card:

  • Place the unloaded gun inside your trunk, truck bed, or cargo area before leaving your home. Gun must be brought to the site unloaded.
    • Approach the location. Signs will be posted for directions to enter the facility’s driveway.
    • Officers will direct you to the designated area.
    • Please remain in your vehicle at all times. An officer will remove the gun. (If you cannot remotely open the trunk or rear hatch from the driver’s seat, you must hand the officer the key.)
    • After the gun is determined to be a working firearm, a gift card will be given – “No Questions Asked”

Walk-up Procedure

  • Place the unloaded gun inside a bag you can carry before leaving your home. Gun must be brought to the site unloaded.
    • Approach the designated location. Signs will be posted directing you to remain in mthe designated area until approached by an officer.
    • Officers will provide you with directions to follow.
    • After the gun is determined to be a working firearm, a gift card will be given – “No Questions Asked”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Gun Buyback Program?
The gun buyback program is a proactive campaign to take guns off our streets. The buyback program asks residents to turn in their gun(s) and in return receive a Visa prepaid gift card. The “no questions asked” program will allow individuals to anonymously dispose of firearms without fear of charges for illegal possession when turning in the weapon.

Q: How is the gun buyback program funded?
The program is funded by two sources. First, the Henderson Police Department and Vance County Sheriff’s Office. Second, from donations made to Gang Free Inc. from businesses, churches and organizations.

Q: Why is the community launching this program?
This program is a partnership effort between the Henderson Police Department, Vance County Sheriff’s Office and Gang Free Inc. This community has been impacted by gun violence. Taking guns off the street is at the heart of violence prevention and we must do everything we can to put an end to the senseless violence. Every gun turned into the program is a life potentially saved.

Q: Will I get arrested when I deliver a gun to the buyback program? Do I have to identify myself?
No, you will not be arrested when you deliver the gun. However, you must follow the turn in procedure. You will not have to identify yourself. This is a “No Questions Asked” program that means you will remain anonymous when you drop off the firearm.

Q: What types of guns are accepted?
All guns will be accepted. Gift cards will be issued only for assault weapons, handguns, rifle/shotguns. These will also have to be workable firearms. Whether a gun is “workable” will be determined by the officer screening the weapon. BB or pellets guns and ammunition will be accepted without compensation.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of guns I can turn in?
There are no limits to the number of guns that you can turn in as long as buy back money is available. After the buyback spends the entire budget, guns may still be surrendered without payment.

Q: What happens after the gun is turned in?
All weapons will be stored by the Police Department and handled according to state law. If possible, recovered stolen weapons will be returned to the rightful owner(s).

Q: Are gun buyback programs proven to reduce gun violence?
We do know that if a gun is turned in, it will not be used in a future crime. The buyback program is one part of a larger strategy and opportunity to mobilize our community in joint efforts against gun violence. This program demonstrates Henderson’s commitment for safer streets. “No Questions Asked” embraces the philosophy that one fewer gun on the street is potentially many lives saved.