Action, not talk

Published 5:24 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

Concerning Dave Lyons’ latest letter to the editor titled, “Supporting challengers,” several facts mentioned in the letter need to be corrected. Once again, Mr. Lyons has submitted a letter to your paper without checking his facts. He states that in 2012 there were 40 deputies and that today, the Sheriff’s Office currently has a staff of 27. If one were to look at manpower rosters from 2011-12, the Sheriff’s Office had 41 positions. Fourteen were assigned to the patrol division. In 2015, the department is comprised of 45 fulltime and five part-time deputies. Twenty-six deputies are assigned to the patrol division, doubling the coverage provided to the citizens of this county. The Sheriff’s Office averages over 40,000 calls for service and the vast majority of those calls are handled by the patrol division.

He speaks of ballooning salaries, but an independent compensation report recently released showed that salaries for Sheriff’s Office personnel were about 10 percent below those of surrounding agencies. Under Sheriff Marshall, our response times have decreased. Sheriff’s deputies drive an average of 85,000 miles each month patrolling the communities of Isle of Wight County. Coverage is stronger today than it has ever been.

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Mr. Lyons talks about passion for the job, solutions to issues and staying informed. No two people are more compassionate about making Isle of Wight a safer place than Mark Marshall and Georgette Phillips. Mrs. Phillips’ attention to detail is impressive. I have witnessed her interaction with attorneys and seen the respect they have for her. Sheriff Marshall and his ability to network with local, state and federal agencies is second to none.

Yes, Mr. Lyons’ two candidates may talk about prevention and causes of crime, however, Marshall and Phillips do more than talk. They have been actively working to prevent crime.

Anthony W. Hall