Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) has announced he will not support creating a countywide police force in Loudoun--an option Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) has said the county should consider.

In a Jan. 21 letter to York, Black said he has been pleased with the work of the Loudoun Sheriff's Office as the county's primary law enforcement agency and would oppose the state legislation needed to establish a county police force.

"I support our existing Sheriff's Department, and wish to assure those courageous men, women and their families that their lives and careers will not be disrupted by a needless reorganization," Black wrote. "For that reason, the Board should be advised that among the daunting obstacles facing the establishment of a new police force include the unlikelihood of securing legislative approval to implement such a plan."

At the start of his term, York said he plans to create a committee to study whether a county police force--headed by a chief who reports to the Board of Supervisors rather than an elected sheriff--should be created because Loudoun is growing so quickly. York noted that many local jurisdictions have switched to police forces during times of quick growth.

Umstattd to Seek Third Term

Kristen C. Umstattd announced Monday that she will run in the May 2 town elections for a third four-year term on the Leesburg Town Council. Umstattd, a lawyer who has been a Leesburg resident since 1987, has served on the council's finance, administration and public works committees and chaired the Planning and Zoning Committee. She is also the council liaison to the Leesburg Planning Commission.

Umstattd said her priorities include "keeping Leesburg's tax rate low, preserving our small-town atmosphere, maintaining a strong business climate and continuing to foster a government that is responsive to the needs of our citizens."

State GOP Sets Primary Terms

On Feb. 29, Virginians will have the opportunity to participate in the Republican presidential primary.

The Republican Party of Virginia requested that method of political nomination. Virginia's delegates to the Republican National Convention are bound, on the first ballot, to cast their votes for the candidate receiving the most votes in the primary.

To assure that the delegation to the national convention is eligible to participate in selecting the party's nominee for president, voters will be required to sign a pledge before casting ballots in the presidential primary.

The pledge reads: I, the undersigned, state that I do not intend to participate in the nomination process of any party other than the Republican Party.

A voter refusing to sign the pledge cannot vote in the presidential primary.

For more information, call Betsy Mayr, secretary of the Loudoun Electoral Board, or Judy Brown, Loudoun County registrar, at 703-777-0548 or 703-777-0382.