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When Tim Davis became a deputy with the New Kent Sheriff’s Office in 2010, he said he anticipated he would find the rural, “relaxed” environment that would lead him to retirement.
Instead, he said, the job kept him busy and gave him the chance to work alongside F.W. Howard Jr., the man who would become his role model for the next job he would seek – sheriff for Williamsburg-James City County.
“He had so much respect in the community and also from the county government. He tried to work with everybody,” Davis said. “I think I can bring new training, new vision, and, overall, lift the spirits and get people working together.”
Davis, 55, worked as a deputy in the York County Sheriff’s Office for three years before joining the City of Williamsburg Police Department in 1995. He earned the rank of a lieutenant before seeking a change of pace in New Kent.
He said he decided to run for sheriff last August after consulting his family and meeting with a group of Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse employees and community members who encouraged him to run.
Current sheriff Bob Deeds announced his bid for re-election in February and Davis made his announcement in June.
This will be the first contested race for Deeds since he first assumed the office in 2000.
As sheriff, Davis said he would focus on building a progressive working relationship with Williamsburg and James City County public safety agencies.
He said he wants to ensure deputies are prepared to respond to an emergency if they are out in the community because, in addition to their service to the courthouse, it is their responsibility to uphold the laws of the commonwealth.
“I know there’s a lot of things we could do in the community as a true combined law enforcement and emergency management system that would help the citizens and help both departments grow to become a very effective member of the county,” Davis said.
He emphasized the need for expanded training opportunities for deputies. As a certified instructor in constitutional law, drug identification, active shooter training and more, Davis said he could provide in-house training for deputies but he would also seek grants to fund additional opportunities.
Davis said he would also suggest security enhancements to the lobby, such as building a wall in the lobby to separate people who have and have not been approved to enter, and recommend a protocol for determining if an inmate would be a danger to the public if he or she is in the courthouse for a trial.
From knocking on doors, Davis said he found many residents did not know there was an elected sheriff or even a sheriff’s office in Williamsburg and James City County. Davis said he would try to correct that if he is elected by hosting community events, such as a veterans appreciation event.
“The citizens ought to know there is a sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s office has so much to do with the community, from levying taxes to evictions to supporting the needs,” Davis said.
In a leadership role, Davis said he would train alongside the deputies, encourage them to ask questions and communicate in a “straight forward, straight ahead” manner. While he said he respects Deeds for his service, Davis said it is time for change.
“I like leading from the front. I like being involved in the community. I’d like to be a part of that ingredient that gets emergency management working together on the same track to make it a very viable area to visit, to live and to educate yourself, and I think I can do that,” Davis said.