NVDAILY.COM | Opinion

Posted October 22, 2012 | comments 1 Comment

Letter to the Editor: Sheriff, don't give up the money

Editor:

Local law enforcement can receive money from criminal seizures and forfeitures. These funds can only be used for certain law enforcement purposes. The Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors wants to take this money and give it to the regional jail project.
Why would we give away our money to benefit other counties and not use it here in Shenandoah County? Will the other counties match this money from their law enforcement agencies? The BOS said, "it will reduce our cost of the jail." Are they now admitting they spent too much?

This board has a history of not supporting the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Timothy C. Carter continually asks for things which the BOS denies, saying, "There's no funding."

The sheriff's office employee salaries have no steps or grades. Little or no supplement comes from the county. Many sheriff's offices vehicles should have been dead-lined and taken off the street years ago.

There is inadequate or lacking equipment and training. There is subpar staffing to respond and investigate crimes in Shenandoah County.

The sheriff's office is located in a small, musty basement of the old courthouse house. To help alleviate some of these deficiencies, the sheriff has asked the board to allow the use of the asset forfeitures account. What does the sheriff receive for his efforts to keep Shenandoah County deputies and citizens safe? Disrespect and ridicule from our elected board of supervisors.

In over 35 years of law enforcement, I have worked for five sheriffs and two attorney generals. Sheriff Carter is the most fiscally responsible politician I have known.

My advice to Sheriff Carter is to not give the board of supervisors a dime. Eventually they will all be replaced and hopefully we will get supervisors who support local law enforcement.

Scott Bailey, Woodstock

1 Comment | Leave a comment

    An open letter to my fellow Shenandoah County residents:

    The last thing any driver wants to see is flashing lights in the rearview mirror.

    The first thing you want to see when trouble occurs is a responding uniformed deputy.

    During the last Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors meeting -- as published in the NV Daily -- the board pulled-off an apparent ambush of the Sherriff regarding his budget.

    Specifically, the Board informed the Sherriff then and there that funds from the proceeds of impounded property and other such sources of income would now be diverted toward County obligations incurred by the jail project – rather than toward his reasonable expectation (and the traditional and usual application) for departmental equipment upgrades and labor costs.

    As the uncle and brother-in-law to policemen in NH and MA, I personally find it unconscionable that our county deputies aren’t even equipped with individual ‘emergency call/locator’ capabilities – considered a basic for any department in this day and age.

    As a point of information: My nephew’s life was saved last Summer when a drug-crazed assailant was unresponsive to his attempts of control by Taser. It was quite a struggle.

    Because his emergency call was activated during the fight, other officers on duty were able to locate and assist in a matter of minutes.

    A deputy was ambushed and wounded by gunfire in Toms Brook some fifteen years ago.

    Thankfully, he was near his cruiser and thus capable of calling for help. (He had returned fire, killing the assailant -- but the responders had to insure the scene was safe before rendering assistance.)

    Considering the wide geographical area of responsibility of the Sherriff Department – and the precipitous rise in calls for service over the past fifteen years -- I find the staffing to be less than ideal; the dearth of officer safety equipment -- in face of their relative isolation -- an abomination.

    Past is prologue. Consider an all-too-likely scenario: Why should a lone deputy bleed-out from a gunshot wound before she can be found inside 500 square miles some night?

    Frankly, should I had lost a spouse under such circumstances, I’d sue the Country for misfeasance at least; malfeasance at worse.

    Your question to the BOS regarding the preceding should be twofold:

    Why the skullduggery in dealing with Sherriff Carter and,

    With regard to emergency call/locator equipment and staffing: Does peace officer safety truly matter to the Board of Supervisors?

    The next BOS meeting is 7:00 PM tomorrow at the County offices in Woodstock.

    Why not show up? Admission is free...Your disinterest might be costly.


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