Support for Sheriff

Some elected officials are talking once again about establishing a police department in Loudoun County, in lieu of a sheriff's department. This issue seems to be politically charged on the surface, and when you think about the statements made in public, one wonders: What is the real motivation here?

The people in favor of wanting a police department claim that a police force would be accountable every day, not every four years. But nine local supervisors could potentially have their own agendas that could influence how a police department would operate.

Currently, the sheriff is elected by county voters every four years. He runs on a campaign platform and on his record of accomplishments. Our current sheriff was reelected to a second term in November 2003. He has been supported in his requests for manpower resources and salary increases to boost the morale of his staff and to enhance the capability of safety and security of the county.

What is most impressive is that the Sheriff's Office has received state accreditation, which is the best measure of a department's compliance with professional law enforcement standards, as determined by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. Thus, the Loudoun Sheriff's Office has paved that avenue for demonstrating that it meets commonly accepted standards for the efficient and effective operation of its organization. It means that the department was carefully measured against an established set of standards and has met or exceeded accepted practices in the field of law enforcement.

With Loudoun's explosion of population growth, I believe that Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson (R) has done a good job in adjusting to the needs of the people that elected him. I think that reviewing his needs for manpower resources in conjunction with this county's growth on a regular basis could be easily justified and warranted in order to make safety and security a top priority for our citizens.

Mary Jane Spence