June Deputy Patrols Dip Below Minimum Standard Five Times

Clarke County Sheriff Tony Roper told the Clarke County Supervisors on Monday that he had fewer deputies available than required by his department’s minimum staffing requirements on five occasions in June.

“Last month we had two scheduled times when we knew that we were going to go below the minimum number of personnel,” Roper said. “There were three additional instances that were not scheduled.”

During the meeting Supervisor Bev McKay (White Post) asked Roper to outline the operational staffing levels mandated for weekend patrols versus weekday staffing levels, which include court security.

Although Roper provided McKay with the requested manpower staffing level targets, the Clarke Daily News editorial policy precludes publication of specific operational information or details that could be used to the detriment of first responders. However, Roper has stated publicly during previous meetings with the Supervisors that there have been multiple occasions in 2012 when no deputies from his department were on duty due to budget limitations.

In other news from the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department:

Locke’s Landing Shooting

Roper updated the Supervisors on the recent shooting at Locke’s Landing along the Shenandoah River in eastern Clarke County. Roper said that further investigation into the incident indicated that the 19-year-old victim, Gustavo Edenlison Munoz-Argumedo had made a false report to authorities when he presented himself with gunshot wounds to the leg at Winchester Medical Center.

Although Munoz-Argumedo initially said that he had been shot in a drive by attack at the popular boat launch site along the river, authorities say that they now believe Munoz-Argumedo was handling a pistol while traveling in a vehicle on Senseny Road in the early morning hours of June 10, 2012.

Apparently the pistol discharged and Munoz-Argumedo was shot in the lower leg.

Roper said that prosecution of Munoz-Argumedo will occur in Frederick County because the false report was first made to authorities there.

Emergency Notification System Test

225 Clarke County citizens have now signed up to participate in the County’s new emergency information notification system, “Code Red” Roper told the Supervisors. Roper also said that his staff intends to conduct a County-wide test of the system, possibly as early as Wednesday.

“The test will allow us to make sure that we are reaching everyone in the County,” Roper said. “We’ll also use the opportunity to provide everyone with information about how to register for the service.”

Citizens wishing to register for Code Red alerts, which include hazardous weather warnings, may do so at: http://cne.coderedweb.com/Default.aspx?groupid=L7sXbM9%2fu6D1Qi8T1jXG7g%3d%3d or by visiting the Clarke County website, ClarkeCounty.gov

Arrests Down in 2011

Roper told the Supervisors that his department has begun reviewing its operational performance based on last fiscal year’s budget analysis. But although the analysis has just commenced, Roper said that operational statistics indicate fewer arrests last year over the previous year.

“Arrests are down because we had fewer deputies on the street,” Roper said. “There is nearly always a direct correlation between the number of deputies on the street and the number of bad guys that we are able to catch.”

General Assembly Strikes Fingerprint Requirement for Concealed Weapon Permit

Now that the Virginia General Assembly has struck down the requirement for applicants to submit fingerprints along with concealed weapon permit applications, the Clarke County Supervisors have begun the process of modifying the Clarke County Code to reflect the new rule.

Supervisor Chairman Michael Hobert (Berryville) instructed County Administrator David Ash on Monday to schedule a public hearing to strike the requirement from County Code section 106-7.

Sheriff Roper said that while his department had already stopped taking fingerprints of concealed weapon permit applicants as of July 1, he personally was not if favor of the change.

“This change caught us by surprise and there wasn’t much discussion with law enforcement about the change,” Roper said. “With a fingerprint we knew exactly who the person that we were dealing with was. Now we have to rely on other forms of identification. But that’s the law of the land now and that’s what we will enforce.”



  1. The Shocker says:

    I wonder, out of curiosity, where the traffic ticket number is in relation to the past? Arrests are down, but speeding tickets are way up? Just a guess.

    • Right Winger says:

      Geez Louise! Speeders get speeding tickets. If you don’t like it, don’t speed! Admit you have a lead foot and be done with it! Quit whining about the police.

    • Speeders can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than those who commit criminal offenses.

  2. Not acceptable! So what happens when you call 911 or there is an accident or a disaster of sorts that needs officers to help and no officers are on duty… this is one of the basics and we can’t afford it because we don’t want to raise taxes. Has Berryville been in the same situation? So, now we are suppose to sleep comfortably at night not knowing if our police are on the job or not?

    • That’s life Mr. Angry. This is a big county from one end to the other. With the exception of a few subdivisions, mostly country roads. Personally, having lived here for 20+ years, I feel there are too many deputies out there now, more than we need and can afford. Around12 or so years ago you’d be lucky to see a Clarke Deputy once a week. There were about 6 of them in the whole dept. I liked it that way. The state took care of the highways for the most part. But then again there weren’t as many people driving through from the west and WV ers (sigh) tearing up our roads driving live morons.

    • hhmmm... says:

      Idk what happens now. Knowing Sheriff Roper he has a plan and if not he can make a plan right away. Its what a good sheriff does. Used to be if there was a problem neighbors got together and helped. Nowadays most people don’t even kno their neighbors anymore. Shame

    • Bocephus says:

      Do you really determine your night’s sleep based upon police presence?! Good thing you live in a day in time when the government is expected by so many to be our provider. You would not have lived very long with that mindset in past centuries. Toughen up people, we are all still personally accountable and have a stake in our everyday lives.

  3. Shocker, Won’t catch many speeders if law enforcement is not on duty. Someone help me understand. Our county was considering 65K a year for a park on the river. A new addition is in process at the rec center and one can only wonder what other funds are allocated or being allocated that we have not heard about.
    But our sheriff states, there have been multiple occasions in 2012 when no deputies from his department were on duty due to budget limitations. Not acceptable! I hope something is in process to fix this issue quickly

    • “… I hope something is in process to fix this issue quickly”

      The only thing that can be done is to bug your BOS rep who will listen to you and then do whatever his/her rich “farmer” buddies/cronies want them to do.

      Bottom line, our tax base is non-existent to afford the luxury of a properly staffed sheriff’s office.

    • By the way, what’s on the river now? Looks to me like an abandoned golf course . Now that’s going to generate some tax revenue and out of towners spending money in Clarke. And a big job creator. Chuckle Chuckle

      • Realistic Joe says:

        No, it’s not abandoned, staff still there. It’s in limbo because The Civil War Trust is still trying to get another GRANT with our tax dollars so they can throw it at another entity and Textron getting a tax write-off. At least they are paying taxes.
        Maybe we can save money by cutting the number of deputies. No big deal right? No undesirables would ever crawl up the bank. I’m glad you are safe and secure.

        • There are a couple of grounds keepers there. No golfers. The fairways are trimmed but the rest has grown up. It is unplayable. Why would they not run the business? Wait in limbo and make money. The place is busted and any other golf course that tries to operate there will bust too. Just admit it already. The park is the best solution.
          Oh I’m very safe. Not a worry about my safety in the world. Paranoid are we?

  4. Curious says:

    The people of Clarke County had a chance to fix the issues, but you continue to vote in the same BOS members each election year. So continue to suffer the consequences of your own stupidity!

    • I did vote for a change four years ago when Mr. Bell ran against my BOS rep. I felt at that time we were in dire need of a change.
      But the voters replaced the school board and left the BOS alone. I have to agree with Right Winger’s comments above with one exception, The BOS rep’s don’t listen. They may hear what you say. But they don’t listen. There is a difference.

  5. I have no doubt that, if an emergency occurs Sheriff Roper has made arrangements for a deputy to respond if needed. He is far too much of a professional to not have a backup plan.
    While during this time of cut-backs and budget tightening it has to be very frustrating for everyone within this department.

    We all may, but hope never, need their service during a very bad situation and it is disturbing that there may be an unwarranted delay for response.
    I never look forward to higher costs taking more of my paycheck but to cut public safety is a mistake. Now there is proof, from the horse’s mouth so to speak, that our safety is compromised.

    Board of Supervisors…are you listening? At what price do you place on the safety of our children, family members, and friends?

  6. Realistic Joe says:

    Miss having the Sheriff’s Report that used to come out.
    I think it was good PR to have it published. It let Clarke residents know what was going on in their area. Staying aware of negative activity is important, no matter where you live in the county.

  7. Sunshine says:

    I agree with Grace.

    Roper would not compromise his position or residents safety. Perhaps he is now stating what needs to be said in public so more people can understand the issue and demand resolve.

    Yes BOS, are you listening?

  8. Dmaxnjackson says:

    So much for protect and serve……..

    • We are being served alright. Every time the board is confronted about issues that have an effect the folksof Clarke.
      We are served a line of stuff that lays in the pasture of a dairy farm.

  9. the little mouse that hears all. says:

    what people of clarke county do not understand is that if there are 2 officers on duty and a domestic happens in Shenandoah farms both deps are going to that due to the possibilities of danger lets say they get there and a robbery is happening on lewisville rd that’s a good 15 to 20 min driving 100mph to get there. what i believe the sheriff is try to do is if he can have 3 or 4 working at all times it would make things a lot better. 2 dep south and 2 deps on the north end. but NO the BOS doesnt see it that way. but let one of there farmer friends fence get run down and they want a state wide alert sent out. {im not against farming}
    people need to wake up in this county and realize whats going on.

  10. This isn’t new. The sheriff’s office has been short staffed for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to take a real tragedy to occur, where a deputy was not able to respond quick enough due to a manpower issue, for them to get more positions. I am all about saving money in an ecomony such as this, but there are certain areas that cannot be shorted….this is definitely one of them.

  11. Dmaxnjackson says:

    I think what the BOS would really want to have is: for everybody to move out of Clarke, they can all work their farms. ( nothing wrong with that) A nd when that happens they will look at each other and say uh what we gonna do now. Hey I try to my part at every election, vote the donkeys out of office.That is the only way.

  12. the little mouse that hears all. says:

    i also agree with kenny gall. clarke citizens have the option to ride along with a dep. call the sheriffs office and ask. people in general not just clarke county people are quick to jump to a point when they really need to go out and explore options on how to fix a problem. we all can wine about the bos but we all know it will do no good. use our heads and follow the law to find loopholds to ruffle their feathers and make them act on the issue.

  13. ElinorDashwood says:

    “This change caught us by surprise and there wasn’t much discussion with law enforcement about the change,” Roper said. “With a fingerprint we knew exactly who the person that we were dealing with was. Now we have to rely on other forms of identification. But that’s the law of the land now and that’s what we will enforce.” -Sheriff Roper (on General Assembly Strikes Fingerprint Requirement for Concealed Weapon Permit)

    I agree with Sheriff Roper and am just as surprised. Just in case you are curious how our esteemed electoral representatives voted.