Letter: Gentry for Sheriff
Once again, it’s election time and each resident of Gloucester County needs to decide how we want to shape our county’s future.
I would like to add that I fully support our current sheriff, Steve Gentry, who has done an admirable job. Sheriff Gentry’s office has operated with 10 percent fewer personnel while maintaining a higher degree of quality services ranging from 911 dispatchers to being a major player in emergency services. Even their presence throughout the county has increased.
During my travels through Gloucester, I have seen more representation during the past four years. In addition, it has been my pleasure to meet many of these officers, and I have found them to be professional, well spoken, and each displaying a positive attitude. These men and women seldom get thanked for all they do. I feel they are underappreciated and underpaid.
Much can be said about statistics and how they are interpreted; however, actual dollars have been saved since Sheriff Gentry was elected. As one small example, he and his team have saved the county money by purchasing a portable x-ray machine for the jail instead of transporting inmates to the hospital when the need arises. The State of Virginia Crime Statistics show that Gloucester County’s overall crime rates are down to 10-year lows, 43 percent below the State of Virginia’s benchmark.
The new uniforms, worn by the staff members of the sheriff’s department, did not cost county residents any additional money. And, the sheriff’s department’s patrol cars that were purchased not only cost less to buy, but the gas mileage is better. Another cost savings is eliminating the $1,000 light across the top of each car. Make no mistake, Sheriff Gentry and the department are actively looking for any and all savings for Gloucester County’s tax dollars, while maintaining the same service we have grown accustomed to and deserve.
Again, it is my opinion that the sheriff’s department is being led by a no-nonsense leader who cares deeply about the oath he took four years ago. I hope that you will join me in supporting Sheriff Gentry on Tuesday, Nov. 8. He has proven he has what it takes to do the job and deserves to be re-elected.
Jeffrey H. Smith