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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Augusta County Officers and the Mysterious Unmarked Building: Whose Jurisdiction Is It Anyway?

Written by: Bonnie Chapman

Uncovering the Mystery: of an Unmarked Building in Staunton

STAUNTON, VA — A seemingly innocuous building at 113 S Augusta St, in Staunton, Virginia has recently caught the attention of a few of our local reporters, for somewhat mysterious reasons.

Deputies' Frequent Visits: Raising Eyebrows

From the exterior, one might mistake it for another long-abandoned downtown building, but a closer inspection reveals an unexpected sight: handcuffs strung across the wall and a somewhat eerie staircase leading to an upper floor. It's a location where Augusta County Deputies have been spotted entering multiple times throughout the past week, arousing curiosity.

A Wall of Silence: Deputies' Evasive Responses

When questioned about this peculiar spot, Augusta County Deputies—located within the nearby courthouse—were surprisingly tight-lipped. The same rehearsed line, “Just an office space,” was the default response, almost as if they had been prepped for such inquiries. They wouldn't even confirm who the office space belongs too.

Jurisdictional Puzzle: Staunton or Augusta County?

It is important to note that Augusta County contains the independent City of Staunton, but that the City is independent. The City has its own Police, its own Courts, and its own City government. The County Sheriff has authority in the County Courthouse to conduct law enforcement business. But does that extend to other buildings, or areas of the City?

Staunton PD's Response: Shifting the Focus

The mystery deepened when reaching out to the Staunton Police Department (PD). Though the building is squarely within Staunton's jurisdiction, a confirmed fact by a Staunton officer, the response was far from clarifying. “You need to speak to Augusta county about what they’re doing,” was the officer's immediate response.

Looking for a clearer understanding, the officer was directly asked if 113 S Augusta St was within Staunton PD's jurisdiction. The answer? “That is correct, that is our jurisdiction, but they don’t tell us if they’re marking off at a building in our jurisdiction.”

The Meaning of 'Marking Off': Understanding Police Terminology

What does "marking off" mean, you may wonder? According to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, "marking off" is the act of reporting an officer off duty to dispatch. A place where an officer "marked off" would be a location the deputy reported his end of shift. This doesn't provide any clarification, rather it appears that Augusta deputies enjoy their authority far beyond the county courthouse, and City police don't seem to know or really care what county law enforcement activity may be happening inside the jurisdiction, at least in this case.

Awaiting Further Developments: Stay Tuned

Breaking Through News has reached out to the leadership of the Staunton Police Department for further comments on this jurisdictional query. As of now, the exact nature and purpose of the activities at 113 S Augusta St remain shrouded in mystery, with more questions than answers.

Breaking Through News will update this story as more information becomes available.

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