Police call New Year’s Eve ‘quiet’

Local law enforcement officials have one word for New Year’s Eve 2015: quiet.

Capt. Wesley Dellinger of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office said his department answered 86 calls for service from 6 p.m. Dec.31 to 6 a.m. Jan.1. Five arrests were made on those two days, for marijuana possession, driving on a suspended license, public intoxication and brandishing a firearm.

“They were just routine calls, some fireworks complaints, but mostly routine calls,” Dellinger said. “We had a quiet New Year’s, it was pretty uneventful.”

Dellinger said campaigns against drinking and driving contributed to reducing the DUI count for New Year’s Eve to zero.

“I think the campaigns are a factor in helping educate the public and keeping them off the street and keeping them from driving impaired,” Dellinger said. “I think the laws changing on DUIs and the sentencing that’s mandated on certain conditions has probably had an impact.”

Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron said New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were “uneventful.”

“We had no DUI arrests, which is always good,” he said.

Chief Charles Peery of the New Market Police Department said his department had extra officers on the streets, but the night remained tame.

“I can happily report everything was quiet in New Market,” Peery said. “We did not have an increase in any of the calls and no DUIs. Everybody behaved themselves.”

Edinburg also saw no spikes in calls for service, DUIs or crime, Chief Mike Clem said.

“We didn’t have anything out of the ordinary,” Clem said. “In Edinburg, a lot of people leave the town and go travel over the holidays, so it cuts down on the amount of traffic and people we have in town.”

Strasburg Police Chief Tim Sutherly said New Year’s Eve in the town was sedate, with no DUI arrests.

“We were pretty quiet, nothing out of the ordinary,” Sutherly said. “We did have a few additional noise complaints and an additional officer on shift to handle that sort of thing.”

Sutherly said he believes education has a lot to do with the zero DUI arrests.

“I think people are better informed now than they were in the past,” Sutherly said. “They know we’ll be out there in force, so they planned ahead of time to make sure they didn’t have any problems.”

In Woodstock, Chief Eric Reiley said the town saw “nothing out of the ordinary” Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.

“Thankfully, it was a quiet holiday for us,” Reiley said. “We didn’t have any major calls or DUI arrests. We’re thankful that everybody exercised good judgment and had a safe holiday.”

The City of Winchester saw 229 calls for service, no DUI arrests, no juvenile arrests and 12 adult arrests, one charge ranging from assault and battery to giving an officer a false identification.

Lauren Cummings, public relations manager with the Winchester Police Department, said she considered New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day successful for law enforcement.

“Obviously we were stopping people to find impaired drivers, but we didn’t find any,” Cummings said. “I think we can attribute that to people getting the message that we will be out there arresting people and if they intend to have a drink, to make sure they have a sober ride.”

Front Royal stood as an exception to the regional trend. Police there saw 105 calls for service and nine arrests, one of which was a DUI. Capt. Crystal Cline of the Front Royal Police Department said New Year’s 2015 saw an increase of 41 calls over New Year’s 2014, as well as an eight arrest increase.

“That’s a huge increase, that’s almost double,” Cline said. “That’s just crazy, when you look at last year.”

Contact staff writer Henry Culvyhouse at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or hculvyhouse@nvdaily.com