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Posted September 10, 2012 | comments 1 Comment

Front Royal police chief marks first day on job

Full schedule of meetings greets Norman Shiflett in new position

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

Norman A. Shiflett arrived Monday for his first day as Front Royal's police chief with a full schedule of meetings and events at which he introduced himself to people inside and outside the police department.

Shiflett has promised that he would practice "open door" policies that welcome input from the community and raise his visibility around town. The series of meet and greet activities gave him a start toward making good on his word. He replaces Richard H. Furr who retired as chief in late August.

He began his day with an event at Randolph Macon Academy commemorating the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks. From there, he visited Town Manager Steve Burke for an orientation session and discussion of a few budget items. Interviews with reporters, meetings with some police officers and captains, and a ride around town in a squad car filled out the rest of the morning.

Later in the day, Shiflett filled out paperwork in the Department of Human Resources, met with supervisors of different divisions in town government and appeared at a town council meeting.

Monday was a day for getting acclimated to the new job, but Shiflett also was looking ahead to following through on some plans as he settles in.

"One thing I want to do as police chief, I want to be visible in the community," he said, adding he plans to be walking Main Street and visiting other businesses within the town limits regularly.

He also is planning a department-wide assessment and evaluation.

"I'm going to do that, and after I do my assessment and evaluation, I'm going to see if there are any changes that need to be made, and if any changes need to be made, I will certainly do that," he said.

Shiflett, 53, comes to the department from the Warren County Sheriff's Office where he worked as chief deputy for the last four of his 28 years in the department. Wednesday was his last day of work. Shiflett said he left on "great terms" with Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron and plans to stay in contact with him "on a regular basis, two or three times a week."

He said he knew the Front Royal police well during his years as patrol deputy when he and other deputies backed up the town's officers when they were short handed, and they did the same for the county.

"We had a real good working relationship," he said of town and county law enforcement. "That's one of my goals. I want enhance the working relationship of the police department with the sheriff's office."

He also believes that his administrative experience in the sheriff's office will serve him well in assembling and managing the police department's budget.

"I've gotten to know budget process and procedure and with that knowledge I will be able to fit right in," Shiflett said. "I think it will be a smooth transition as far as the budget process goes."

Shiflett said the town and the county have been "pretty calm" recently as far as violent crime and major property offenses, but he does plan to make fraudulent, illegal money making schemes a high priority.

"I've always been mindful of letting the public know when there might be scams. Scams are big," he said.

Shiflett said he had "a lot on my mind" as he worked his way through the whirlwind schedule but he had no doubt that he was meant to be Front Royal police chief.

"I'm really excited about being chief of police," he said. "I know I have some challenges, and I'm ready to get to work.

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