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Posted August 24, 2012 | comments 21 Comments

Shiflett chosen as new Front Royal police chief

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

Front Royal town officials announced the appointment Friday of Major-Chief Deputy Norman A. Shiflett of the Warren County Sheriff's Office as the town's new police chief.

Shiflett, 54, will be taking the place of retiring Chief Richard H. Furr when he begins work on Sept. 10.

In brief remarks before a gathering of friends, family and fellow law enforcement officers, Shiflett thanked Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron "for the opportunities which have paved the road to my success and enabled me to be one of the finalists for this position."

Shiflett said he was committed to "an open-door policy, and I welcome all citizens input."

Shiflett, a town resident, has spent the last four of his 28 years in the department as chief deputy.

In an interview after the press conference, Shiflett said he has been considering applying for police chief for several years if the opportunity came along.

He said he "gave it a lot of thought" three years ago when former Chief Ronald A. Williamson left the department but did not apply then.

"If I had let this opportunity go by this time, I would not have had the opportunity to be police chief," Shiflett said.

Shiflett said he became familiar with the Front Royal police when "he worked the streets with them for years" during the early part of his career. His interactions since becoming chief deputy have been mostly with the department management, he said.

Asked about any changes he may make in the department, Shiflett said he planned to "evaluate the operations of the Front Royal Police Department and make changes as needed."

Furr, who had earlier said he preferred that the new chief be chosen from the department ranks, said he supported Shiflett's hiring. Furr said he had no role in choosing Shiflett, except for reviewing the 30 or so applications received from around the nation before they were turned over for winnowing by Town Manager Steve Burke and Julie Bush, the town's director of human resources.

Furr and Shiflett chatted casually for a few minutes and wished each other well after the press conference.

"It will be a good mesh for our department," Furr said. "Everybody in our department is familiar with Norman. I'm sure they'll do a good job for him."

"We've got a good group of officers in the department," Furr added. "They're dedicated, and they'll continue to move the department forward."

In a press release accompanying the announcement, Burke described Shiflett as someone with "extensive training and experience including supervisory training, crime scene management, neighborhood and community police management, incident management and other pertinent law enforcement operations."

Shiflett said he received his initial training at the Central Shenandoah Criminal Justice Training Academy in Weyers Cave and also graduated from the FBI's National Academy.

Shiflett's duties with the Sheriff's Office have included overseeing the agency's 124 deputies, communications officers and civilian employees.

His resume also lists him as a member of the Red Cross, Front Royal/Warren County Coalition and Fraternal Order of Police.

21 Comments | Leave a comment

    What I get from reading this article is that the Warren County Sheriff's Department is a huge tax burden.
    Henry County, VA has a department consisting of 122 employees and includes the cities of Martinsville & Collinsville.
    Am I missing something?

      If Martinsville and Collinsville are actual cities as opposed to towns, they would have their own sheriff's office, just as Winchester has it's own sheriff's office, completely separate from Frederick County.

      Martinsville does in fact have it's own Sheriffs Office, so there is a whole other group of deputies you need to include in your number of 124, which according to their website is made up of 60 employees...so now we are at 184, since you are including Martinsville in your figure in determining Warren County is a tax burden. Though I still don't see the point in this even being mentioned...

      But back to the actual point in the article...Shiflett was a great choice and will make a great chief.

    I have no clue about Henry County, Va 411!! I've never lived in Henry County. I have lived in Warren county though, and Know that Norman Shifflett is well respected in the community. I have no idea on politics on this stuff. But he seems like a good fit for the job.

    @ 4ur411 .....I've lived in Warren for well over 30 years, 'OUR' county has come a long long way -- the town is moving in a sound direction and as far as I am concerned, could use a little improvement.. I think we should all welcome this with open arms, give this man a chance to help those who want a more progressive police dept.- have what will make them happy to go to work each day-- these people put their lives on the line each day... I am not sure where Henry County would come close to what we have here........we live in a wonderous place.. with many awful things happening -- we need hard working folks to take care of us... Congrats to the new Cheif of Police..... he should proud... God Bless !!!

    I didn't knock the choice as new chief of police.
    I'm just saying with the population and area of Warren County versus that of other counties our Sheriff's Department is huge.
    Get it?
    No derogatory remarks about the new chief of police, just a comparison between Warren County and one in southern Virginia that includes a city much larger than Front Royal.
    Maybe others don't care where their tax money goes but I do.
    Where does the spending end? Why does a county of this size need a sheriff's department of 124 employees?

      It may have something to do with "being able to cover your county". This county also has a jail and Warren County is a bedroom community of Washington, DC. Plus a major interstate runs right through it. You would be amazed if you took a look at Loudoun County and Fairfax County in relationship to Warren.

      Ok you dont live in our town or county. But lets count here about how many are need to make this county run. We have 3 courts. 3 deputy for each one. 2 stand at the door of the courthouse for the medal detectors. And you have to understand that he is over our communication as well that just does not service the WCSO that is also for our Warren county fire as well. Then they also have the dog warden that picks up every animal between town and county. We are also the gateway to skyline drive. And we have deputies in our schools. So unless you are a sheriff or a chief of police and think that you could save our county and town some money you really dont know what goes on up here. Our deputies work hard and they don't need to be out on the road alone.

    I first met Mr. Shiflett several years ago during an interview regarding the investigation of a case in his official capacity as Chief Deputy. Subsequent to that interview I have had multiple occasions to meet and speak with him at various government functions such as public meetings of the Warren County Board of Supervisors where in casual conversation he convincingly demonstrated the depth and breadth of the content of his character that distinguishes him as a unique individual in possession of genuine leadership qualities that surely separated himself from the other applicants during the vetting process.

    I have met many police officers in my lifetime, some occasions under better circumstances than others, and I would like to take this opportunity to say how much I favor his selection as the new Chief of the Front Royal Police Department.

    He will make Front Royal proud he is their Chief of Police.

    I must have missed something here re Henry County.. I am from Pittsylvania County next to Henry County and have never heard his name mentioned.. With all the crime and low employment from Henry County, I'm sure I would have heard his name mentioned in the Danville Register & Bee.. I do wish him well though, and hopefully, he will be a contributing factor.. Reggie Arno Danville VA..

    I welcome Norman to the FRPD. This will be a huge improvement from the past. I have known Norman for many years and he has always shown a professional but friendly disposition. This department needs an overhaul and I think this is the right person for the job. I’m excited that he is now the Chief.

    "Furr, who had earlier said he preferred that the new chief be chosen from the department ranks" Hopefully Chief Shiflett will do away with the "good ole boy" system that has ran the department into the ground. The candidate from within the department must not have been the best selection perhaps. Perhaps the ones who decided saw what was going on and questioned why so many officers left over the last several months. I know a couple of people that work with the department and from what I understand, an outside perspective is long overdue in getting the agency back in order. It's hard enough for these officers to do the job they are tasked with, protecting the public, and I applaud them for their work. God knows they have a hard enough job. But when the turmoil from within the agency creates additional burdens for them, that is when they decide to look elsewhere. I heard that there was a recent promotion within the agency that was not opened to anyone else within the department. What is that all about? I congratulate Norman Shiflett on his selection and ask him to take a long hard look at the agency to see exactly where it needs, shall we say "fixing".

      Unfortunately, Norman is part of the good ol' boy network.....he was/is Danny's right hand man.....now we will have 2 corrupt law enforcement agencies...GOD HELP US!!

        @ Jenna.. of course Norman is Danny's "right hand man" - they've been working together for almost 30 years. What's the problem with them being close, & how does that make either of them corrupt? & in case you can't read or just have no common sense, it's not up to the sheriff to choose the chief of police. Norman was chosen because of his friendly yet professional attitude, leadership qualities, extensive training, & let's not forget DECADES of experience (the same can be said of Danny McEathron). So tell me where exactly the "good ole boy" system comes into play here? I think Danny & Norman are 2 of the best leaders we'll ever have & I think having 1 of them in each department is the perfect scenario.

    I find it curiously odd how there are weekly posts by citizens from the Danville and Martinsburg area, most of which are weak attempts to degrade or question the itegrity of local government here in the Valley. I recall a letter to the editor five or more years ago in reference to a scandal with a local fire department where the Danville -based author referred to valley residents as "inbred hillbillies." Misery loves company I guess.

    Welcome Norman! I think this will be a good fit for the department. Perhaps it will foster & encourage cooperation between the agencies.

    These comments have gotten so out of hand. Be thankful that the Town Fathers have used good judgement in hiring a man who is honest, fair, has strong morals and is a proven leader.

    To those of you who always see the negative and the ugly side of every situation...have a good life...you bring it on yourself.

    Congratulations Norman with you at the helm, we can all look forward to fairness and pride!

    I sometimes read the comments to articles just to see what the local morons have to say.
    One comment refers to size of a department in an area of the state that hosts two NASCAR races a year, encompasses two towns/cities larger than Front Royal neighbors Franklin County (the moonshine capital) but our local voices have to declare their objections. As a city Winchester has it's own sheriff, blah, blah, blah.
    Harrisonburg is the home of JMU and EMU but doesn't have a city sheriff. What's the point.
    Some seem to have missed the comparisons made by 4ur411 but he or she isn't totally accurate either. Good points but half a bubble off dead center.

    sorry to say this jenna but norman is not part of our network (the good ol boys ) because he is honest--fair--proven leader-strong morals and a great family!!!!!!!! He is a great man to be your chief and you are sooooo lucky to even have him apply for the job. Great job Mr. Burke in choosing him---he will work hard for your town. We will miss him being with Danny.

    Kudos to Steve Burke. He exercised sound and indepedent judgment. This was an excellent choice. Steve is turning out to be a terrific town manager - far better than all of his immediate predecessors. Onward Front Royal! There is hope for the old gal afterall.

    I Think Chief Shiflett will do a great job for the citizens of Front Royal. He is a pillar and an outstanding law enforcement officer in the community over the 26 years I have been a resident here and a former neighbor. I have lived in town for 25 years and he and his family have been exceptional people. The Shanks Family personally would like to congratulate Chief Shiflett for his new position and his family in supporting him! God Bless.


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