Emergency Services in Arlington County

Emergency Services in Arlington County

Arlington County is served by both a police department and a sheriff’s office. The police serve as the county’s primary law enforcement officers, while the sheriff runs the county detention center and security in county courts.

Before the birth of what is now the Arlington County Police Department in 1940, a “Complement of Conservators of the Peace” enforced the law in Arlington.

On Feb. 1, 1940, the County Board universally adopted a proposal creating the Arlington County Division of Police. Harry Woodward, a deputy sheriff, became the county’s first chief of police.

The department has seen only six chiefs since Woodward, including current chief Douglas Scott, who has appointed chief earlier this year.

Police service in Arlington is divided into four districts, roughly split between the north, central, southwest and southeast sections of the county.

District One, in the north of the county, stretches from the Fairfax County border to the Potomac River. District Two encompasses the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. District Three is in the southwest side of the county, while District Four is in the southeast, the area around the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery.

<sh>Police Department

<lst>Chief: Douglas Scott

Central Offices:

1425 N. Courthouse Road

Arlington, VA 22201

Emergency Phone: 911

Phone: 703-228-4040

Fax: 703-228-4127

Web site: www.co.arlington.va.us/police

Email: police@co.arlington.va.us

District One:

Commander Capt. Tonya Woodson

Phone: 703-228-4130

District Two:

Commander Capt. Mary Gavin

Phone: 703-228-4150

District Three:

Commander Capt. David Herbstreit

Phone: 703-228-3356

District Four:

Commander Capt. Terry Murray (Acting)

Phone: 703-228-4140

<sh>Sheriff’s Office

<lst>Sheriff: Beth Arthur


1425 N. Courthouse Road

Arlington, VA 22201

Phone: 703-228-4460

Web site: www.co.arlington.va.us/sher

<bt>LIKE THE POLICE department, the Arlington County Fire Department was also formed in 1940. Before that, the county had been served by volunteer firefighting companies since about 1900, with the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department leading the way.

Early companies were not very well-equipped, though; when Cherrydale firefighters responded to an alarm, they took one short ladder and 10 leather buckets, carried on foot.

Those departments were funded with what they could raise in the community, but gradually turned to the county for funding. Finally, in 1940, Arlington hired its first paid firefighters, at the starting salary of $100 per month.

In the last 62 years, the county opened 10 fire stations, and gradually volunteer departments were replaced with county-built firehouses. The Cherrydale Fire Station, No. 3 at 3900 Lee Highway, is the last volunteer-owned firehouse.

The Arlington fire department is also in charge of the county’s EMS service, with firefighters receiving extra training to serve as full-time EMTs. Emergency services began in the 1930s when the Clarendon Volunteer Fire Department obtained a 1935 Buick ambulance that served the whole county.

The department's paramedic service began in the 1970s and has continued to grow over the years. Today emergency medical calls outnumber fire alarms, about two to one.

<sh>Fire Department

<lst>Chief: James H. Schwartz

Central Offices:

Fire Prevention Division

1020 N. Hudson St.

Arlington, VA 22202

Phone: 703-228-3362

E-mail: ljones@arlingtonva.us

Open weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Web site: www.co.arlington.va.us/fire

Station 1 – Glebe Road

555 S. Glebe Road


Station 2 – Ballston

4805 Wilson Blvd.


Station 3 – Cherrydale

3900 Lee Highway


Station 4 – Clarendon

3121 N. 10th St.


Station 5 – Jefferson/Aurora Highlands

1750 S. Hayes St.


Station 6 – Falls Church

6950 Little Falls Road


Station 7 – Fairlington

3116 S. Abingdon St.


Station 8 – Lee Highway

4845 Lee Highway


Station 9 – Walter Reed

1900 S. Walter Reed Drive


Station 10 – Rosslyn

1559 Wilson Blvd.


<sh>Arlington Courts

<bt>The court system is made up of district and circuit courts. The district court deals with misdemeanors, warrants, civil cases and traffic violations. The circuit court system handles felonies and appeals of district court cases.

<lst>General District Court

Chief Judge: Richard J. McCue

1425 N. Courthouse Road, Suite 2500

Arlington, VA 22201

Criminal Cases

Phone: 703-228-4405

Civil Claims

Phone: 703-228-4590

Traffic Violations

Phone: 703-228-4485

Web site: www.co.arlington.va.us/courts

Circuit Court

Clerk’s Office

1425 N. Courthouse Road

Civil Cases

Phone: 703-228-7010

Criminal Cases

Phone: 703-228-4399

Marriage Licenses

Phone: 703-228-4372

Web site: www.co.arlington.va.us/courts