Governor Terry McAuliffe welcomed Virginia’s newly-elected sheriffs at the close of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute’s “New Sheriff School” today. On January 1, 2016, 25 new sheriffs will be sworn into office. They will join 98 other sheriffs and nearly 8,500 deputy sheriffs across the Commonwealth in keeping our communities safe.
“Sheriffs play an essential role in keeping Virginia families and communities safe and building the new Virginia economy. As Governor, I have stood up with Sheriffs on key issues like pay increases and getting sheriffs the tools and resources they need to do the job. I intend to continue that commitment as we enter another legislative session,” said Governor McAuliffe.
Sheriffs are the primary law enforcement agency in 86 counties in Virginia and made almost 69,0000 Group A and Group B arrests last year. In addition, they are responsible for running all local jails and several of the regional jails in Virginia. The local inmate average daily population is around 28,000 inmates.
“I look forward to working with our new sheriffs as we engage the Governor and General Assembly members to make sure public safety takes center stage in state budget negotiations next month,” said Richard Vaughan, Grayson County Sheriff and President of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association.
The Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute, a 501(c)3 organization focused on education and training, holds the “New Sheriff School” in December every year to help prepare newly-elected sheriffs for the critical law enforcement role each will play in their community.
“Every citizen in Virginia has a sheriff,” said C.O. Balderson, Westmoreland County Sheriff and President of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute. “As a result, we are committed to the highest level of professionalism and ensuring that all sheriffs and deputy sheriffs are on the cutting edge of community policing.”
The three-day training session held in Richmond included a panel discussion with senior sheriffs around Virginia as well as several comprehensive information sessions on topics including: accounting practices, the Conflict of Interests Act, employment matters, the Freedom of Information Act, training and record-keeping requirements, and the Department of Forensic Science.
The Institute offers a number of programs throughout the year, including a spring management and training conference for sheriffs and deputies, lawful employment training for sheriffs, and scholarships for students entering into the criminal justice field. The organization also sponsors the Virginia State Police Association Emergency Relief Fund, the Virginia Network for Victims and Witnesses of Crime, Inc., Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc., Virginia Coalition for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, Inc., the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund to honor Virginia officers killed in the line of duty, and the National Sheriffs’ Institute educational program.