Getting to know your neighborhood cop: Master Police Officer Ben Woodhouse

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Master Police Officer Ben Woodhouse (Courtesy photo/JCC PD)
Master Police Officer Ben Woodhouse (Courtesy photo/JCC PD)

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a five-part question and answer series with James City County’s five Community Services Unit officers. These officers are assigned to certain areas of the county and work directly with citizens to provide business and home inspections, as well as other services.

What zone do you work in and what areas does it cover?

Zone 3, including Williamsburg Crossing, Settlers’ Mill, the Pointe at Jamestown, Jamestown Settlement and the marina.

What do you like about working in that area?

“I love history. And to be honest, I love American history… I enjoy being able to see wht I saw in a history book and actually go to the place it happened… Sometimes during patrols we come across archaeologists at work, and next thing you know, I’m holding a little piece of pottery they dug up.”

What’s your favorite food?

“I really like Italian food. I don’t really know why, but I grew up with it – pizza, spaghetti, chicken parm, things like that.”

What’s your favorite animal and why?

“I really like horses. I feel like horses are a good judge of character. They can tell when you’re scared of them and when you’re not.”

Do you have any pets?

Two dogs and two cats, three of which are rescued from shelters.

Where are you from?

“I’m originally from the Midwest. I moved to upstate New York when I was 10 years old, then moved to Virginia.”

If hadn’t become a police officer, what other career would you be in?

“I have a background in security, so I’d probably run my own security firm.”

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

“I don’t know if there’s any one spot. If I had enough money to travel forever, I would. But I’d like to go anywhere that’s relaxing.”

What do you like to do when you’re off-duty?

“I enjoy woodworking, but haven’t done it for a long time. Hopefully we’ll get to a place where we can start getting tools for it. Woodworking requires big tools.”

What’s a crime prevention tip you want people to know?

“I’d like people to go out and check their credit report. As a victim of identity theft myself, it’s a thing that happens. I was personally affected years ago, so it’s one of the things in the back of my mind…

I especially think about it when I make traffic stops. A lot of times, I see Social Security cards in people’s wallets. I try to take a second to remind them that the only time you need it is if you get a job or open a bank account. My recommendation is to put it in a safe and bolt it to the floor. You give people the keys to the castle if you lose your wallet with your Social Security card in it.”

What’s a program or service that the department offers that you wish more people knew about and/or utilized?

“We offer free house checks. All you have to do is notify us you’re going to be away, and police officers will come by and check on your house. Just call the Police Department and let us know, or go to the county website to request a house check.”

Did you miss our other community cop stories?

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