Special Operations

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Current Size: 80%

Lieutenant Chris Rush - Division Commander

Lt Rush


The Special Operations Division encompasses varying duties including traffic, criminal enforcement, public event safety and educational demonstrations are among the tasks completed on a daily basis. Within the division, highly trained and specialized officers are utilized in many different ways to provide the public with professional and courteous police service.




HPD Motor UnitHPD's Traffic Unit responds to traffic complaints as well as functioning in a proactive effort to make the streets of Harrisonburg safer for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The Traffic Unit has a full time motor carrier inspection vehicle as well as a self contained radar trailer and speed board to help with their efforts. The Harrisonburg Police Traffic Unit works closely with the Virginia State Police in the regulation of commercial vehicle operations and the enforcement of commercial vehicle violations within the city limits.


Animal Care and Control is responsible for enforcing the Virginia Comprehensive Animal Laws, as well as the local ordinances relating to domestic animals. It identifies public safety issues and works directly with the community on animal and pet care issues. The Animal Control Officer acts as a liaison to and with the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA. The Animal Control office handles approximately 800 calls for service, 1000 requests for information and impounds approximately 500 domestic animals annually.

View City Code on Animal Control Section 15-2-1 through 15-2-24

Animal Care and Control in the City of Harrisonburg
Phone: 540-437-2670 or email HACC@harrisonburgva.gov

Animal Control in Rockingham County
Phone: 540-564-3171 or 540-564-3800
Animal Control on the campus of James Madison University
Phone: 540-568-6911

The Harrisonburg Auxiliary Police is a volunteer group of citizens who live or work in the City of Harrisonburg and provide additional assistance to HPD.

The auxiliary is divided into two sections, Patrol and Administrative, and are trained according to the needs in each section.

The Patrol members are trained in a wide variety of basic police functions including the state required firearms proficiency requirements. Once the Auxiliary Patrol Officer has completed training, he or she will serve with a full time police officer and perform a wide variety of police activities and services.

Administrative members provide assistance to the department in all areas other than Patrol.

The Administrative Auxiliary members serve a minimum of 12 hours a month and the Patrol Auxiliary members serve a minimum of 24 hours a month.

Applications for the auxiliary are available in the lobby of the Public Safety Building.

HPD Auxiliary Unit


CHARGE Gang Task Force

Phone: 540-437-2643

The Combined Harrisonburg and Rockingham Gang Enforcement Unit is a multi-jurisdictional task force comprised of members from the Harrisonburg Police Department and the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office.

Their objective is to respond to the proliferation of local gangs and their impact on the Harrisonburg/Rockingham community through:

  1. Intelligence gathering and dissemination with various agencies.
  2. Criminal investigation and prosecution of gangs and gang members.
  3. Providing gang awareness and prevention information to the public and gang training to the local law enforcement community.


Since its inception in 2005, the CHARGE Gang Task Force has identified over 900 gang members, suspected members and associates operating or living in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham area.  These individuals are associated with over a dozen nationally recognized criminal street gangs. 

Over that time, our community has seen gang members commit crimes that range in severity from graffiti and simple assault, to malicious wounding, robbery and homicide.

CHARGE cannot successfully confront the gang problem in our area without help from the community.

To provide any gang related information, report graffiti, or request a gang presentation for a school or civic organization please contact the CHARGE Unit.

If you wish to remain anonymous we will honor your request.

Call the CHARGE Gang Task Force:

Call the Emergency Communication Center (ECC) for an officer or deputy to respond and take a report of gang graffiti or any in progress gang activity.

School Resource Unit - The officers that work in Harrisonburg City Public Schools provide a vital service to the future of the youth in the area.  The strong working relationship between the police and the school administrators provide a safe environment for students to learn, while allowing the officer to offer guidance and classes to benefit the students. Harrisonburg High School, Thomas Harrison Middle School, and Skyline Middle School all have School Resource Officers.

HPD Honor Guard

The HPD Honor Guard is a select group of officers tasked with representing the Police Department at sporting events, funerals, or any other public functions.  The team trains often and works hard to display the history and image of the Police Department.


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