Sheriff’s forum to be Monday

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

The Smithfield Times is hosting a candidate forum for Isle of Wight County Sheriff on Monday, June 25, 7-9 p.m. at the Windsor Ruritan Clubhouse, 14 Community Drive in Windsor. 

Sheriff James Clarke will face off against Lt. James Pope, who currently works in the Sheriff’s Office. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The special election for sheriff is Tuesday, July 24 and was precipitated by the retirement of former Sheriff Mark Marshall, who left the job nearly two years early. 

The forum will provide time for each candidate to discuss his reasons for seeking the job of sheriff as well as allow time for questions from the audience. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Clarke has served in law enforcement since joining the Smithfield Police Department in 1998.

He is a lifelong Isle of Wight County resident, graduating from Smithfield High School and is an associate pastor with Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. He serves on the Luter Family YMCA Strong Communities Advisory Board, coaches youth basketball and is a board member with Smart Beginnings Western Tidewater.

Pope is a 14-year veteran with the Sheriff’ Office, rising to the rank of lieutenant within six years on the job. 

Pope also has several family members who also work in law enforcement in Isle of Wight County. His father-in-law, Stan Clark, is a judge with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court; his brother-in-law, Patrick Clark, is assistant commonwealth’s attorney, and his wife, Ashby Pope, represents clients as a defense attorney in Isle of Wight.   

He is a member of the Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church and Purdie Masonic Lodge #170 A.F. and A.M.

Law enforcement credentials

James Clarke

•Served 24 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and was deployed in 2003 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his military career, Clarke earned numerous medals and awards, including the Navy Commendation Medal. 

•Began his law enforcement career with the Smithfield Police Department in 1998, rising to the position of patrol commander

•Named Top Cop in 2009

•Came to the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office in 2012 and rose to the level of chief deputy, overseeing all operations and direct supervision of division commanders

•Attended the FBI National Academy, which offered advanced investigative, management and fitness training

•Attended the Professional Executive Leadership School through Virginia Tech

•Earned an associate degree in police science and an associate in arts and science in general studies from Paul D. Camp Community College

•Is in the process of obtaining a bachelor of science in criminal justice from St. Leo University

•Earned a certificate of achievement from the University of Virginia for criminal justice

•Is a Virginia law enforcement accreditation assessor

James Pope

•Was a member of the Suffolk Police Departments explorer unit, a cadet-style program

•Managed the Smithfield Subway store before joining the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s office in 2004

•Rose to the level of lieutenant with the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office

•Named Top Cop in 2014

•Holds a certification for basis law enforcement with the Department of Criminal Justice Services

•Earned a MADD award for DUI enforcement and a DMV highway safety officer leadership award

•Attended the FBI first line supervisor’s school

•Is pursuing a degree in criminal justice from Liberty University

•Serves in several additional leadership positions related to law enforcement, including the Crime Line and the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

•Serves in several additional leadership positions related to law enforcement, including the Crime Line and the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

• Vice chairman of regional Crime Line

• Vice chairman of Virginia Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

•Certified general instructor, field training officer, radar operator, basic crime prevention and SWAT operator  {/mprestriction}