The primary law enforcement agency for Wythe County is the Wythe County Sheriff’s Department, which has 39 sworn officers and is housed in the Wythe County Law Enforcement and Judicial Center adjacent to the Wythe County Courthouse. In addition, police departments are located in the towns of Wytheville and Rural Retreat. The Town of Wytheville Police Department has 28 sworn officers, and the Town of Rural Retreat has one full-time officer. In addition, Division Four of the Virginia State Police, which is headquartered in Wythe County and houses the Wytheville area office, is staffed with 26 sworn personnel and 25 civilian personnel.
Three rescue squads are strategically located throughout the county and provide service 24 hours a day. The Wythe County Life Saving Crew, composed of paid staff, is based in Wytheville; Rural Retreat Volunteer Emergency Services has facilities in Rural Retreat, and the Lead Mines Rescue Squad, also a volunteer organization, is located in the eastern portion of the county. Together, these units are staffed with 14 fully equipped vehicles and approximately 120 trained personnel. In addition to the Wythe County Life Saving Crew, two other paid rescue squads, Guardian and LifeCare Ambulance, are located in Wythe County.
Wythe County has six fire departments, located in Rural Retreat, Barren Springs, Ivanhoe, Max Meadows, Speedwell, and Wytheville. All but the last are served entirely by volunteers, with approximately 150 volunteer firefighters available for the county. The Wytheville Fire Department employs six full-time firefighters and also utilizes volunteer firefighters. Equipment throughout the county consists of 25 fire trucks and five tank trucks, as well as accessory equipment.