Gloucester sheriff candidates discuss drug enforcement issues, accreditation

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Sep 28, 2011 - 04:13 PM

Photo: Sheriff’s candidates Steve Gentry, Ted Koehl, Larry Rilee and Clarence Bowser, from left, had an opportunity to address the audience during Monday night’s forum at T.C. Walker Elementary School. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Sheriff’s candidates Steve Gentry, Ted Koehl, Larry Rilee and Clarence Bowser, from left, had an opportunity to address the audience during Monday night’s forum at T.C. Walker Elementary School. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

Candidates for Gloucester sheriff, Commonwealth Attorney and school board had an opportunity to share their platforms with citizens and answer questions from the community during a Middle Peninsula League of Voters/Gloucester Chamber of Commerce forum at T.C. Walker Elementary School Monday night.

Julie Silverbrook, moderator of the Constitutional Conversations in Williamsburg and a frequent guest of HearSay with Cathy Lewis on WHRV, led the discussion. Candidates faced tough questions Monday night, especially those who are in contested races.

The most heated discussion came between the candidates running for sheriff. Four candidates, incumbent Steve Gentry, Ted Koehl and Clarence Bowser, all independents, and Larry Rilee, a Republican, were asked their take on why there haven’t been as many drug busts in Gloucester High School as there were five years ago.

"The schools are doing a great job at keeping drugs out of the school," Gentry said. Koehl came back and said, "If you don’t look for drugs, you’re not going to find them there." He said canine units should be reinstated, to go through the school from time to time for more vigorous visible enforcement.