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“Shop With A Cop” Program Seeks Sponsors For Annual Holiday Event

Summer is in full swing, its sweltering temps encouraging folks to stay inside in the air conditioning. But it won’t be too long before summer gives way to cooler weather that will usher in the holiday season.

And in the middle of this heat, the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the annual “Shop with a Cop” scheduled for December. This is the sixth year that the Chamber has partnered with local law enforcement agencies and area businesses to make the event possible.

The Chamber is asking for sponsors to join Maria Parham Health to help make this event a success. Again this year, MPH has stepped up to be the presenting sponsor, according to information from Sandra Wilkerson, director of administration and events for the Chamber.  The goal is to raise at least $5,000 from sponsors so members of the Henderson Police Department and the Vance County Sheriff’s Office can take underprivileged youth in the community Christmas shopping.

The shopping spree will take place at the local Walmart, and the Chamber is partnering with law enforcement and local business to continue to build the community partnership.

The campaign kicks off on Sept. 22. Contact Wilkerson at sandra@hendersonvance.org or 252.438.8414 to learn more.

The three sponsorship levels are gold, silver and bronze.

For $1,000, Gold Sponsors get their name on a ticket board, company recognition on social media at the live kickoff event and raffle drawing, as well as recognition in Chamber publications and on the actual shopping day.

Silver Sponsors, for $750, get their name on the ticket board, recognition on the social media live kickoff event and raffle drawing, and recognition on the day of the shopping spree.

And for $500, Bronze Sponsors get their name on the ticket board, and recognition at the live kickoff event on social media.

The Local Skinny! Barrow Seeks Grants; K9 Officer For HPD

Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow will welcome a new officer to the department soon. It’s a Labrador retriever, trained and ready for service.

Barrow said the police department first started using K-9 units in the early ‘90s, and there were two dogs in service until last year.

“We went from two to none there pretty quick,” Barrow told John C. Rose on Thursday’s The Local Skinny! segment.

This breed of dog will be a first for the department, which previously used either Malanois or German Shepherds. The dogs have a trainer/handler and require a special vehicle to support the animal while it’s working.

When Barrow got a call from the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement agency about the 4-year-old lab that was available, he jumped on it.

“We actually went up there and watched it work, and we liked it,” Barrow said. And he got a pretty good deal – sale price $1. There is also a K-9 vehicle at ALE that Barrow hopes will be coming his way. This expenditure will be made with money from asset forfeiture funds, used strictly for police department needs, he added.

There is money in the latest police budget for purchase of two animals, and Barrow said they’ve already purchased one pup who will be ready to begin his training soon.

The K-9 officer that just had his animal retire last year is set to leave very shortly to meet and train the dog – and himself.
Barrow said the handler will simultaneously be training the new dog while completing his own certification as a trainer.

So when Dog #3 joins next spring, he will be able to train another officer to become that dog’s K-9 handler.

In some additional police matters, Barrow said he feels confident that his department will be approved for at least one of the grants that it has applied for, and either one would be a good addition for him and his officers. One grant is for the purchase of 52 body-worn cameras for police officers and a second grant is for equipping cruisers with additional cameras.

As was shared with the City Council when he sought approval to proceed with the grant requests, the cost is less in the price of the cameras, but in the equipment needed to properly store the data the cameras generate. Some data needs to be stored for a short period – say, 90 days – and some data needs to be stored permanently.

“I have strong feelings that I’ll get one or the other, or even both” Barrow said. He said the police department has enjoyed a good relationship with grant providers in the past. “I don’t know how we could survive without them,” he said of the funding opportunities.

Barrow said the city council also approved use of asset forfeiture funds to install a gate, fencing and shrubbery around the new outdoor pavilion outside McGregor Hall.

Cost for the project is about $30,000, although Barrow said he was still waiting for a few quotes. The 15 or so public parking spaces will go away to allow for a ramp to be built off the pavilion. The ramp is needed for unloading and loading equipment when there are performances at the pavilion, he said.

The project will help protect the pavilion and will create a buffer between that area and the police department.

“I needed something that could go up and down constantly, so we’re going with a hydraulic system,” Barrow said, kind of like the gates you’d see in big city parking lots.

Police Department One Step Closer To Body-Worn Cameras, If Grant Comes Through

The Henderson City Council has given the go-ahead for a couple of requests for grant funding to equip police officers with body cams and law enforcement cruisers with additional cameras.

At its July 12 meeting, council members approved grant proposals that Police Chief Marcus Barrow and staff have prepared. “Our officers have been asking for them for several years,” Barrow told WIZS News Thursday. He said if the application is approved, it will provide half the money needed to equip the officers with body-worn cameras. “We are seeking a grant that has a 50 percent match. The match funds would come from asset forfeiture funds or state treasury funds, which both are only used by law enforcement,” he added.

Barrow said his department does have some in-car cameras now, but so far, no body cams. “The cost to outfit an agency our size has been prohibitive in the past and we felt that this was an opportunity to seize assistance,” he said. The cost lies mainly with data storage, not in the camera itself, he explained, adding that many law enforcement agencies are faced with a similar challenge. All data should be kept for at least 90 days, he said, but tagged information may need to be kept forever.

If the department does get the grant funding for $48,958, the chief said it would set into motion additional regulations and policies for the department to follow. “I am sure there will be some growing pains associated with the use of body cameras,” Barrow said, “but we will educate and train the use to be muscle memory for the officers and use corrective action for any misuse.”

City Manager Terrell Blackmon said since the police department is an accredited department through the Commission for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), “Chief Barrow has taken the time to develop standards for our officers based on best practices from around the country and from our accrediting agency.”

“I’ve always stood by my position that we would not introduce this product unless and until we could afford to properly apply it,” Barrow added.

The second grant for $21,599 is for purchase of three WatchGuard Video Camera systems and does not require matching local funds and would be shared with the Vance County Sheriff’s Office, according to information from the city council agenda. The city would get almost $13,000 and the county would get just over $8,600.

Henderson Police Department

HPD: 17-Year-Old Shot by Juvenile Suspect Succumbs to Injury

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-Press Release, Henderson Police Department

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at approximately 5:50 p.m., officers of the Henderson Police Department arrived at 111 S. Pinkston Street in response to a person being shot. When responders arrived, they located 17-year-old Tysean Wortham of Henderson suffering from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Mr. Wortham was transported to a medical facility where he later succumbed to his injury.

Through the public’s assistance, the investigators of the Henderson Police Department quickly developed a suspect. Shortly after midnight, investigators were able to take the suspect, a 15-year-old juvenile, into custody without incident.

The motive behind this tragedy remains under investigation and no further information can be released about the arrestee due to his age.

As always, we are grateful for the community we serve and the assistance they provide us in our duties. We are still seeking information from the public about this incident. Please contact us through Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers at (252) 492-1925 or P3 app, call us at (252) 438-4141, or contact us through Facebook or Instagram.

Henderson Police Department

One Dead, Two Injured in Shooting on Rowland St.

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-Press Release, Henderson Police Department

On Sunday, October 11, 2020, at approximately 8:20 p.m., officers of the Henderson Police Department were dispatched to 406 Rowland Street to investigate a shooting.

When they arrived, they located an unnamed male (name release pending family notification) suffering from a gunshot wound. The unnamed person had succumbed to his injuries prior to officers’ arrival. Two others had received non-life-threatening injuries, and a third person is being interviewed at this time.

At this point, this investigation is being deemed a domestic-related incident.

This is a fluid, ongoing investigation. More information will be forthcoming.

Henderson Police Department

HPD: 18-Year-Old Shot, Killed in Apparent Drug Deal Gone Awry

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-Press Release, Henderson Police Department

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at approximately 8:43 p.m., officers of the Henderson Police Department were dispatched to the 600 block of E. Andrews Avenue to investigate gunfire. When they arrived, they located Alveante (Al) Markeith Holden (18), of Vance County, suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Holden was found seated inside a vehicle he had been operating earlier, in the parking lot of “The Wash House,” a laundromat. Holden had succumbed to his injuries prior to the officers’ arrival.

Evidence was found in and around “The Wash House,” and several individuals were interviewed. Through information gathered, Holden is a victim of a narcotics transaction gone awry.

The suspect is a white male and is believed to be the sole shooter in the incident. He was accompanied by another white male and a white female.

HPD is seeking the assistance of the community and the people of the surrounding area to solve this case. We are currently looking for an extended cab, white, full-size truck with a high stance, possibly a lift kit. The make of the vehicle is not clear but is possibly a GMC or Chevrolet. The only additional descriptor we have is brush/limbs protruding from the cargo area.

We are pleading with the community for anyone with information about this case to contact us immediately. A cash reward of up to $2,000 is offered through Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers ((252) 492-1925 or P3 app).

Please call the HPD at (252) 438-4141 or contact us through Facebook or Instagram.

John Williams Mug Shot

Suspect in Shooting of Female While on Release for Homicide Located, Arrested

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-Information courtesy the Henderson Police Department

Today, the Vance County Sheriff’s Office located and arrested John Williams without incident on outstanding warrants from their office, along with outstanding warrants from the Henderson Police Department.

On Friday, September 25, 2020, officers of the Henderson Police Department responded to the 200 block of Chavasse Avenue after receiving a call of a person being shot. When they arrived, they located Tracey L. Person (51) suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Person was transported to an area medical facility for treatment of her injuries.

She and a male friend had been walking in the area when a dark-colored vehicle pulled alongside them and an occupant fired a weapon. As a result of HPD’s investigation, it is believed the male walking with Person was the intended target of the assault.

Through the assistance of the public, the shooter was identified as John Williams, age 37, of Vance County.

Williams was on pre-trial release for a homicide that occurred in Vance County.

Williams is now in the Vance County Jail without bond due to these charges and his previous pretrial release conditions.

John Williams Mug Shot

Williams Suspected in Shooting of Female While on Release for Homicide

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-Press Release and photos, Henderson Police Department

On Friday, September 25, 2020, officers of the Henderson Police Department responded to the 200 block of Chavasse Avenue after receiving a call of a person being shot. When they arrived, they located Tracey L. Person (51) suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Person was transported to an area medical facility for treatment of her injuries.

She and a male friend had been walking in the area when a dark-colored vehicle pulled alongside them and an occupant fired a weapon. As a result of HPD’s investigation, it is believed the male walking with Person was the intended target of the assault.

Through the assistance of the public, the shooter has been identified as John Williams, age 37, of Vance County.

Williams is described as a black male, approximately six-feet tall and 220 lbs. Williams is currently on pre-trial release for a homicide that occurred in Vance County.

HPD is asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of John Williams to contact the department immediately at (252) 438-4141 or through Facebook or Instagram.

A cash reward of up to $2,000 is offered through Henderson-Vance Crime Stoppers – (252) 492-1925 or P3 app.

Planet Fitness

HPD Releases Statement on Opening of Planet Fitness

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-Press Release, Henderson Police Department

The City of Henderson and its Police Department received definitive information that Planet Fitness will open its North Carolina facilities under an interpretation of Executive Order 141 to “allow members with a medical need to exercise.”

Due to the complexities of the “Executive Order” in this specific discourse, we will seek the guidance and lead of State officials and their subject matter experts.

Our greatest concern is the health of our community as a whole, and this will remain our stance in seeking clarification in this matter. We implore our citizens to use their best judgment and follow the guidance that has been established. We all want a prosperous and healthy community.

Henderson Police Department

Henderson Police Arrests for 8-6-20

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The following arrest reports on file today at the Henderson Police Department:

Shortly past 10 a.m., on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, police arrested Jerome Manson, 32, of 150 Falkner Street, Henderson. Manson was charged with three felonies including two counts of trafficking opium/heroin as well as possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin and one count of maintaining a vehicle or dwelling place.

Bond amount listed at $507,000, and he was confined to the Vance County Jail by the magistrate pending a court date of August 10.

Police arrested Damien Lamar Bullock, 27, of 1261 Americal Road, Lot 4 on Wednesday, August 5 about 3:45 p.m. He was charged with three felonies including possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, maintaining a vehicle or dwelling place and sell and deliver counterfeit controlled substance.

Secured bond amount listed as $90,000, and Bullock was jailed by the magistrate pending an August 17 court date.

In another matter, second-degree kidnapping, felony hit and run injury and aggressive/careless driving were the charges resulting in the arrest of Shonkale Jabar Davis, 22, of 711 Arch Street. He was arrested on-view at that residence on Wednesday, August 5 about 6:45 p.m.

The magistrate gave a $60,000 secured bond in the matter, and Davis was jailed prior to a November 20 court date.