WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
WYDaily sent an identical questionnaire to each candidate running for Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff.
Tim Davis is the challenger for the position, and he faces incumbent Bob Deeds. Davis’ answers are unedited and presented here.
The election takes place Nov. 3.
Read a completed questionnaire from Deeds here.
1. What are your three top priorities for the Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Department right now? How would you address those issues?
As Sheriff, my first priority would involve bringing improvements and enhancements to the safety and security of our courthouse. Second, our Sheriff’s Office must become more involved in the community. We can achieve this by providing additional law enforcement services to our area in addition to providing assistance to those in need. Finally, we have to do a better job of training our deputies. Right now, our deputies maintain their annual training requirements mandated by the state and not much more. This is not fair to the deputies nor is it fair to the community they serve. I have been an instructor and a teacher for most of my adult life. I can ensure our voters that we will have a better trained agency should I become Sheriff.
2. What do you believe to be the role of the sheriff?
The role of the Sheriff in the Williamsburg/James City County area is unique. Generally, the sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer of a county, however James City County has an established police department which fills that role. The City of Williamsburg also has their own police department. Our Sheriff’s Office is responsible for our area’s courthouse security and civil process. What many do not realize is that our Sheriff’s Office has the authority to enforce laws in Williamsburg/James City County to include both criminal and traffic statutes.
3. What do you believe to be the role of the Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office in the community?
While James City Police and Williamsburg Police do an outstanding job, I believe we have talented and dedicated law enforcement officers who should be more involved with assisting those agencies. While my opponent may cite workload as a reason for not providing further assistance, I believe our taxpayers want our law enforcement agencies to do more with less. I have faith that our deputies can and should be more involved with their community by having more officers with law enforcement certifications. This would allow us to respond to emergency calls while we our out serving civil papers. Examples include providing backup to officers in distress, enforcing traffic laws, providing assistance with missing persons, and conducting foot patrols in our schools. While we wouldn’t take a lead role with enforcement actions, we certainly can do more to assist our fantastic police departments.
4. How would you characterize the level of security at the courthouse currently? What changes, if any, would you make?
Right now, our Sheriff’s Office lacks protocols and policies regarding dangerous inmates being brought to our courthouse for trials and hearings. We should be taking advantage of available data and technology to ensure the public, court officers, and our deputies are as safe as possible. In addition, we must find security measures to separate those who have been approved to enter the courthouse from those who have not. A simple architectural design could easily assist with this measure in the form of a wall or barrier. Tax payers should know that most of this can be accomplished without additional costs. Other funding can be obtained through grants. I have the experience and ability to improve security while being fiscally responsible to our community.
5. What particular assets would you bring to the position, if elected?
First and foremost, I will bring a sense of community that our Sheriff’s Office currently lacks. That is not to take away from the accomplishments of my opponent. I am thankful for all his years of service. The fact is we can do more with less and this agency is in need of a fresh perspective. Not only do I want our deputies to be highly trained and more proactive as law enforcement officers, but I want them to actually be ingrained in the community. I want to establish a scholarship fund for high school students in our area. We can achieve this by having community fundraising events such as an annual golf tournament while taking advantage of the abundant businesses in our area. Having reached out to many of our stores and restaurants, I am confident we can obtain the donations and sponsorships needed to create a successful scholarship fund. In addition, our Sheriff’s Office would host an annual community event to honor our local veterans. The Williamsburg area is a hot spot for retired veterans and the least we can do is express our thanks as a community. While some may have the “We can’t do that” attitude, I can ensure you we can. I will also bring a renewed sense of duty and commitment to this agency. I have enough experience as an instructor and educator to ensure our jurisdiction has a highly trained and effective sheriff’s office. For nearly (16) years, our Sheriff’s Office has maintained the status quo. My hope is that voters will recognize the need to maximize our resources at the Sheriff’s Office. If Williamsburg/James City County is interested in seeing more community involvement, a better trained Sheriff’s Office, a safer courthouse, and an increase in services for our hard working taxpayers, then I ask for their vote on November 3rd.