Sunday, January 23, 2022

Questionnaire: David J. Hardin, candidate for WJCC sheriff

David Hardin is one of three candidates running for Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff. (WYDaily/Courtesy David Hardin)
David Hardin is one of three candidates running for Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff. (WYDaily/Courtesy David Hardin)

Ahead of this November’s election, WYDaily is sending out questionnaires to some candidates in contested races across the Historic Triangle.

This week is the election for the Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff.

WJCC voters will see three names on the ballot for sheriff on Nov. 5: Gerald Mitchell, Sean P. Gormus and David J. Hardin. WYDaily is publishing questionnaires filled out by each candidate Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All questionnaires were sent at the same time, and all were given exactly three days to fill out their answers.

Candidates were required to keep their answers to 100 words each. The returned questionnaires have not been edited by WYDaily staff.

Publication is determined by the order in which questionnaires were returned

Here are David J. Hardin’s answers.

Why do you want to become sheriff?

I have worked for the office since it became known at the Williamsburg – James City County Sheriff’s Office. I still feel that this office has a lot more to do. I feel that there are some things that we can improve. We have made great strides to make this office better for the community and employees. I feel our office needs to continuing forward incorporating improving technologies into our everyday operations. I feel that I am the right candidate to lead that charge being that I am the only candidate with the historical knowledge of this office.

What is your plan for community outreach?

I plan to get our Deputies to get more involved in community services by including a category within our yearly evaluations requiring so many documented hours yearly of their own choosing. I plan on organizing opportunities for deputies to volunteer for community projects and clean ups that they choose.

How will you increase the amount of community involvement and engagement with the department’s law enforcement?

Our office will continue to work closely with both Williamsburg Police Department and James City County Police Department to ensure that we have a presence during their community events. We will also look for ways to add some community outreach project that will not impact on our operations and our budget. We will continue to do our outreach projects that we already have in place.

What are you going to do to improve the relationship between law enforcement and minorities in James City County?

I will start a citizen survey.  I will start a Citizens Sheriff’s Academy that will educate the public about what the Sheriff’s Office’s responsibilities actually are.  Also look for opportunities to work with organizations and communities to establish and build relationships with the citizens.

Do you think there is room for improvement in the Williamsburg – James City County Sheriff’s Office when it comes to transparency as an elected official and publicly-funded department?

There are always room for improvement. You should never stop looking internally to find ways to make your ways to make your office more transparent.

If there is room for improvement, what will you do to make it better?

I believe initiating a citizen survey and possibly an annual report added to our website along with citizen survey results posted will make our office more transparent to the communities that we serve.

What are you doing to retain the “best of the best” employees and deputies with the sheriff’s office?

Ensure that employees and deputies have the right tools that they need to complete their jobs efficiently.  Also work with county staff to ensure that we are offering benefits and salaries that are comparable with surrounding jurisdictions.  But, most importantly ensure that all employees are treated equally and treat each one as if they were a family.  Try to do things together as a group when off duty.  Implement a nomination process for an employee recognition program.

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Alexa Doironhttp://wydaily.com
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at alexa@localvoicemedia.com.

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