Policy Issues

The Office of the Sheriff is serving Monongalia County in an exemplary manner. While there are challenges associated with the prosperity of our County, the Sheriff’s Office is well known for exemplary professionalism, competence, and integrity. It is a well-functioning department and the reputation of the office is beyond reproach.

As Sheriff I continue to look outward – to the community and the citizens we serve. The Office of the Sheriff is the critical front-line of crime fighting, community safety, and peace of mind.

As in every professional situation goals must be identified; these are mine:

  • I will continue to fight the increasing drug problem seen in counties and cities across our nation.
    • We need to recognize in America that there is a drug epidemic. As Sheriff I will work with every agency and use every resource I have to keep drugs out of our community and away from our kids. Period.
    • We have seen some good successes and we have been fairly effective – but our work is far from done. We will continue to work this area with increased vigor and intensity. I will lead this effort and it is among my highest priorities.
  • I will continue to insure that Monongalia is a preferred place and safe community to live, work, and raise families.
    • As Sheriff I promise to continue to keep Monongalia County safe for EVERY citizen.
    • No one ever expects to hear their window rattle at night and worry if someone is trying to get in.
    • No family ever wants to hear that a loved one has been in an accident.
    • No family wants to be harassed or feel unsafe as they go about their daily lives.
    • No mom or dad wants their child to be afraid to go to school because of bullies or being introduced to drugs.
    • I want all of these people – my neighbors – to feel safe and know the deputies and professionals in their Sheriff’s Office are working every day to make their community a safe one.
    • As Monongalia County grows, petty crimes, vehicle larcenies and similar offenses are increasing. I am pleased to report our arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of these criminals are increasing as well. But we must, and I will continue to, increase the efforts in this critical area.
    • As an example, my opponent mentions a street crimes unit. That is exactly who is responsible for solving the crimes I note directly above. With a focus on making a greater impact, we have increased the Mon Metro Drug Task Force to 11 professionals, with one of their focuses being street level drug deals. 
    • I am an active law enforcement professional in EVERY aspect of the job. During my time in the Sheriff’s office I wish to note the following positions – all on the front lines of crime fighting:
    • Member of the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team for 20 years
      • Commander of the SWAT Team – 6 years
      • Tactical trainer for the SWAT Team – 5 years
      • Instrumental in creating the Deputy Reserve Program
      • Supervised the Deputy Reserves for 18 years
    • One additional fact about the Deputy Reserve Program. I would be remiss if I didn’t note Sheriff Bartolo trusted me to devise and be the primary creator of that Program. He let me lead the development of that program and in many ways – that early work inspired and ignited the spark about administration and the work I do today.
    • In every one of these examples – we are working each and every day to help to create and maintain the community our citizens deserve and have come to expect.
  • I will continue the professionalism, competence, and responsiveness the Sheriff’s Department is well-known for.
    • As you hear the news from around the country, it is essential that our law enforcement professionals have the tools and necessary training to remain at the forefront of crime fighting technics while balancing the rights of citizens.
    • I must be vigilant and continue the training and professional preparation which is essential for law enforcement professionals in today’s society.
    • I will also continue to listen to our citizens – particularly in areas of increasing crime, vandalism, and neighborhood nuisances. Particularly in areas where there has been a pattern of increasing crime – the best way to learn more and to solve the crimes is to meet and listen to the residents in the community.
    • Chief Deputy Al Kisner and I, along with our department, have effectively used this approach to help folks around the county – particularly on the Summer School Road and Kingwood Pike areas to solve some breaking and entering crimes, as well as thefts for the community.
    • Often I meet and consult with citizens from all over the county. Listening helps in many ways and it will be something that is a hallmark of my administration.
  • I will continue to insure that the transparency, accountability, and reliability of the Office of the Sheriff, including the Sheriff’s Tax office, is maintained and that the office continues to respond to the needs of the County Commission and other elected officials.
    • I will continue the tradition of the Office of the Sheriff. It is a tradition of integrity and effectiveness – from the deputies fighting crime on the streets to the Sheriff’s Tax Office – there are over 100 employees working each and every day for our citizens.
    • I currently supervise the daily operations of the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office, in addition to the preparation and administration of budgets in excess of $7 million for the six divisions within the Sheriff’s office.
    • In West Virginia, the Sheriff of a county serves as the Treasurer of that county as well. I will continue to fulfill the civil responsibilities of the Office of Sheriff, including, but not limited to, estates, conservatorships, and writs of execution, administrator’s duties and civil process.

Personal Statement

My Motivation

People have asked, why do you want to continue as Sheriff?

  • I have been part of the solution to keep Monongalia County safe for nearly 30 years.
  • I stayed in my community and tried to contribute in every manner appropriate.
  • Denise and I chose to live here, work here, and raise our family here. Monongalia County is, and will remain our home.
  • I am a proud graduate from the WV State Police Academy.
  • I have been a leader in the Monongalia Sheriff’s Department since I began my career in 1991.
  • I have held the ranks of Deputy, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Chief Deputy, before being elected as Sheriff in 2016.
  • I am an experienced and tested law enforcement professional who can be trusted to keep our community safe and to continue the tradition of excellence built by those who have come before me.
  • I don’t sit on the sidelines – I get in and DO the work.

The Work

The work of the Sheriff is getting harder and more critical every day.

We work on the front lines to keep our community safe.

Safe from who?

  • Safe from the gangs and groups who want to fill our community with heroin;
  • Safe from those who want to harm and prey on our children, our elderly, and citizens going about their daily business;
  • Safe from those petty criminals who try to rob our houses and our businesses;
  • Safe from folks who drink too much and think they can drive; and
  • Safe from folks who seek to disrupt our communities, neighborhoods, and schools.

Our county is growing and prospering. With that comes increased crime.

The Sheriff and the Sheriff’s Office is the first line of defense to make sure Monongalia remains a safe community for us.

I want to do everything in my power to make sure Monongalia County remains a place that MY family — and ALL of our families can live with a great sense of safety and security.

The job of the Sheriff is to keep all of these folks safe and to provide a community that is crime-free.

My Decision

I have been blessed to work for sheriffs who have been great leaders and guiding forces in Monongalia County.

I am proud to lead a Sheriff’s Office that is well respected, effective, efficient and performs with as sense of integrity and has earned the public’s trust.

I am excited to continue to work every day to make sure that my colleagues and I are making Monongalia County a safe community and are helping to solve our citizen’s problems.

So… It is time for me to continue my commitment to the citizens of Monongalia County for another term as Sheriff.

I want to continue the fine tradition of our office and the sheriffs who preceded me.