WJCC Sheriff Q&A: Bob Deeds

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Bob Deeds
Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff Robert “Bob” Deeds (Courtesy WJCC Sheriff’s Office)

WYDaily sent an identical questionnaire to each candidate running for Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff.

Bob Deeds is the incumbent for the position, and he faces newcomer Tim Davis. Deeds’s answers are unedited and presented here.

The election takes place Nov. 3.

Read a completed questionnaire from Davis here.

1. What are your three top priorities for the Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office right now? How would you address those issues?

A. Courthouse security is easily one of my highest priorities. My staff continually meets State mandates and regularly searches new ways to enhance our already effective physical, electronic and human intelligence capabilities. Tightening security in staff access areas, courtrooms, prisoner retention and transportation are at the core of our security measures.

B. Maintaining our accreditation as a professional law enforcement agency, through compliance with standards promulgated by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC) is incredibly important. Only 1 in 4 Sheriff’s offices and police departments have accomplished the accreditation in the State of Virginia. We maintain our high level of performance through “TTP” or training, tactics and procedures. In order to maintain VLEPSC accreditation we implement specific training for staff and staff development courses related to building/area security and general public safety, and constantly evaluate performance levels and adopt new procedures when necessary.

C. Courthouse security and personnel performance are high priorities, however I am always focused on examining practices within the Sheriff’s Office to identify greater efficiencies and effectiveness, and alternative practices to reduce Office dependence on taxpayer monies. My policy is to monitor our resources and correct any deficiencies and inefficiencies before they become a financial burden to the taxpayers.

2. What do you believe to be the role of the Sheriff?

As Sheriff of Williamsburg-James City County I am responsible for being the leader of the Office; to develop staff to be professionals; represent the Office in our community; foster excellent community relations; ensure compliance with mandated responsibilities and adherence to the mission of the Office. I am charged with defending the Constitution of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia; deliver court security; service of civil process and the execution of lawful orders of the court. As Sheriff I enforce best practices, procedures and research law enforcement corrections and court security.

3. What do you believe to be the role of the Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office in the community?

The role of the Sheriff’s Office is to be an active, contributing partner with County and City departments, primarily the police departments, in serving and protecting our citizens. We must meet our mandated responsibilities and make every effort, consistent with available resources, to assist our law enforcement partners so the very best service is provided to our citizens. I believe the Sheriff’s Office must set the example of what it is to be a community partner in safety practices as well as assisting with the wellbeing of our citizens. Our Sheriff’s Office partners in training and education practices and we stand prepared and ready to assist our neighbors with any emergency situation should they request our help. I am also proud to say the WilliamsburgJames City County Sheriff’s Office is one of the more active in the Commonwealth when working with community organizations and the betterment and education of our citizens. We participate in numerous community outreach activities, for example; Chickahominy Day by facilitating bike donations; the Greater Williamsburg United Way Annual Campaign; Operation Share, a program that offers a Thanksgiving meal to those alone for the holiday; participate in four Red Cross Blood Drives annually for the last ten years; provide free notary services; free gun locks as part of Project Child Safe and free fingerprints just to name the regular community activities. When possible we try to be responsive to new community activities and initiatives.

4. How would you characterize the level of security at the courthouse currently? What changes, if any would you make?

Our level of security at the Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse is excellent. We meet all security mandates and have additional technology and practices that are above and beyond mandated expectations. I believe our staff does an outstanding job of making our Courthouse safe and secure, while maximizing public access. Tightening access to staff areas and bolstering security in our sally-port and judges’ parking areas are ongoing projects that are dependent on the availability of funding. The courthouse has state of the art metal detectors, ballistic panels and extraordinary human intelligence. In addition we thoroughly screen all visitors to include visiting judges, attorneys and staff. Those in custody have a separate, well-monitored and secure entry and exit area and are searched at entry and exit. Security is a high priority. I want our courthouse to be the safest in the Commonwealth which is why I continually research new and improved best practices. There are other security measures that are in-place, however, for operational security (OPSEC) reasons I am not able to discuss those with non-law enforcement personnel.

5. What particular assets would you bring to the position, if elected?

I bring a spirit of cooperation with Williamsburg – James City County, and surrounding area’s appointed and elected officials. Whether it’s the Williamsburg City Council, James City County Board of Supervisors, Williamsburg City Manager, or James City County Administrator, I have worked closely with all these officials gaining their trust and support on all matters to ensure the successful operation of your Sheriff’s Office. Trust is gained, and over my tenure as Sheriff of Williamsburg – James City County I feel strongly that this attribute is an honored one that I will strive continuously to maintain with all citizens of Williamsburg – James City County and all those with whom the Sheriff’s Office does business with. Most importantly, I deeply appreciate the trust and endorsement of present and retired Williamsburg – James City County, and surrounding county and state most senior law enforcement officials. I believe my 30 plus years in law enforcement is one of my greatest assets with almost all of those 30 plus years being in the Williamsburg-James City County community. I have a strong commitment to and understanding of our community. And finally, I have the work ethic of a Marine and believe integrity, transparency, and service to the community are traits that every Sheriff must practice in order to be successful.