I retired from Roanoke City Sheriff's Office after a 30-year career. I worked under four sheriffs during my time there. All came up through the ranks except one sheriff. To maintain the integrity of that person I will not mention names.
I feel that because of the lack of experience and knowledge, the deputies during that sheriff's tenure paid a price for that to a certain extent. One example: There was a multiplier offered to ALL the sheriffs' offices throughout Virginia which meant that when a deputy retired the multiplier would give them an additional $200-$300 per month for their retirement. There was a deadline on the paperwork and this particular Sheriff did not sign the paperwork within the time frame, therefore the deputies that work at Roanoke City Sheriff's Office then and now will never get this. However, all sheriff's in the state automatically got the multiplier including this particular sheriff.
Lack of understanding and knowledge of what it takes to run the sheriff's office is and can be a detriment to that office and the deputies. I want to publicly say I have the utmost respect for both candidates for Roanoke City Sheriff and I feel to run the department it will take someone with knowledge, understanding and the ability to take on the daily tasks of running that office. Being a sheriff is more than a title. There are so many other concerns like maintaining a multi-million dollar budget, making sure the sheriff's office is fully accredited, staffing concerns, maintaining the welfare of the inmates, making sure deputies are well trained to name a few. Although being a part of the community is important, it is equally important if not MORE important, to have a sheriff that will staff the department with qualified deputies, and increase their pay.
With all that being said, ask yourself who is the better candidate. This is not a job that you can "learn as you go." There is too much at stake for that. My support is for Lee Hill because I feel he has the skill set, knowledge, ability, character and integrity to run this office.
Donna StClair, Roanoke