Sheriff Darrell Warren, facing a challenge from Clarence Bowser, answered three questions we posed to him on the upcoming Tuesday election.
Daily Press: What is the message you are taking to voters on why they should vote for you heading into the election?
- Proudly serving the citizens of Gloucester County for 21 years.
- Graduate of F. B. I. National Academy in Quantico VA and the Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond.
- 17 years of supervisory experience with the last 12 at the Command/Senior Management level.
- Degree in Administration of Justice.
- Extensive experience preparing and managing the office’s multi-million dollar budget.
I believe I have demonstrated over the past eight months as Sheriff that I am a very capable leader who will be open and honest during good and bad times.
Daily Press: What is the direction you are taking the Sheriff’s Office since you have become sheriff?
When I ran in the Primary Election, my platform consisted of: Aggressive suppression of narcotics dealers, build and maintain strong connection to residents and business owners, fiscal responsibility, school safety and crime prevention initiatives, and maximizing the use of technology.
Over the last eight months I believe I have shown the citizens that I followed through with the goals and objectives that I initially set in February of this year when I took over the Office of Sheriff.
Drugs: Drug arrests have nearly quadrupled this year, we have been involved in seizures of 142,000 in cash and 156,000 worth of illegal drugs, we initiated a prescription drug investigation which led to 100 felony charges on multiple offenders from various jurisdictions buying and selling pills in Gloucester, we shut down a meth lab, and we seized a vehicle which is now being used for undercover purposes;
Connection: We launched a survey on our website encouraging residents and business owners (our customers) to provide feedback on our services, on October 30th we (held) a graduation of nearly twenty participants of our Citizens Academy, I conducted two Town Hall meetings, and we joined the Chamber of Commerce to partner with our businesses;
Fiscal Responsibility: Trimmed our budget request for FY 2013 by $673,000, we are using funds brought in from Precious Metal Permits to pay for a software program that ties directly into our Pawn Shops to monitor known thieves and stolen property being sold, and we are purchasing used cars for administrative vehicles to save money. We have been awarded two grants recently to assist with traffic safety and investigating internet predators.
School Safety: We are initiating a life skills program at GHS to assist “at risk youth” hear from individuals who have made mistakes in life but have now become productive members of society, we will follow this program up with assigning mentors to teach kids how to prepare a resume, prepare for a job interview, balance a checkbook, etc.. We are also utilizing our bike patrols on school campuses, and increasing our narcotics searches with drug dogs at Gloucester schools.
Technology: As mentioned above, we are utilizing a software program to assist investigators with monitoring known thieves and stolen property and we launched a Facebook page to keep our residents better informed of incidents and events occurring in our community.
Daily Press: Looking at your campaign finance records, you have received a lot of support from contributors. What does that say to you?
This has been a very humbling experience for me. I have said since day one when my fundraising started, that my family and I have been truly blessed and overwhelmed with the support that people have provided.
I have always been honest and treated people with respect over my 21 years here and this support, to me, is a sign of their appreciation for that. The support from the members of the Sheriff’s Office has also been incredible. I have always been a hard worker and done the things that I said that I would do. I believe that these qualities have earned their respect and most importantly their trust in me to lead this office well into the future.
As the support has continued to come, I often hear from complete strangers that they like what we are doing and to keep up the good work in the county. We all are aware that it takes money to run an election campaign but to hear the words “Great Job” from a stranger, is priceless.
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