Sheriff ask to continue

Published 5:22 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

It is easy for candidates to make promises. If the promise is realistic and grounded in facts, delivering on stated goals more often than not requires hard work and often-tough choices. For the past three and a half years as your Sheriff, we have worked hard to deliver on our pledge to you. The record speaks for itself. From Accreditation for the agency, to strong working partnerships, to our increased visibility at every level in the agency, we have come light years since 2011. The team we have built consists of dedicated professionals committed to providing the highest level of public safety.

Today, we have more patrol districts, more deputies on the street and our investigative team is second to none, with a number of high profile cases that have been successfully adjudicated in the courts. But none of it happened by accident.

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I take our fiduciary responsibility very seriously. In these challenging fiscal times, we are required to maximize our resources and yet ensure that we have sufficient staffing and equipment to fulfill a very big mission. Ensuring that all of our deputies have the right equipment and training is my responsibility. Vehicles, protective gear for all deputies such as ballistic vest, and body-worn cameras are but a few of the improvements made over the past few years. None of it however, is worth anything unless well-trained deputies are there to respond. Last year alone, Isle of Wight deputy sheriffs completed over 6,000 hours of training, including for the first time, deputies attending the prestigious FBI National Academy.

Lastly, the safety of our schools has been and will continue to be of paramount importance to this office on my watch. I have deputies assigned as SRO’s in both high schools and the middle schools. Additionally, every day deputies on patrol stop and spend time at our elementary schools. Providing security and building relationships is part of our core responsibility.

A lot has changed over the past few years. It is a challenging time for law enforcement, but we are poised to move it forward. Let’s continue the progress because the best is yet to come.

Mark A. Marshall