Constitutional Corner

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Sheriff O'Sullivan portrait

Jim O’Sullivan, Chesapeake Sheriff

My name is Jim O’Sullivan and on October 1, 2012, I was sworn in as the Sheriff of Chesapeake to complete the term of office for Sheriff John R. Newhart. I give my heartfelt thanks to Sheriff Newhart for his over 42 years of dedicated service as the Sheriff of Chesapeake and for serving as my mentor. Additionally, I must take the time to thank you – the Citizens of Chesapeake, for your many words of encouragement and support that I have received over the past few weeks. I will obviously have some big shoes to fill having the opportunity to follow Sheriff Newhart, however I feel that I am fully prepared for this challenge. I am excited for the opportunity to serve you (the Citizens of Chesapeake) and to lead the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office into the future.The primary functions of the sheriff’s office are: the operation of the local correctional center, security of the courts, and the service of civil process. It is my intention and commitment to provide these services in the most effective and efficient manner possible. This has proven to be a challenging endeavor due to the reduction in funding that the sheriff’s office has seen in the past few years. Over the past four years, the sheriff’s office budget has been reduced by over 2.3 million dollars. This reduction has led to the elimination of staff as well as less funds for general operating expenses. While we have seen a reduction in funds, we have seen an increase in the number of individuals incarcerated, more court hours, and an increase in the number of court documents that we have served. We truly are in a time where we must do more with less. The members of the sheriff’s office and I will continue to look for ways to improve our operation while remaining fiscally responsible with your money.

2012 Oct Sheriff and Constitutional Officers

City of Chesapeake Constitutional Officers, Left to Right: Commissioner of the Revenue Ray Connor, Clerk of Court Faye Mitchell, Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan, Commonwealth Attorney Nancy Parr and Treasurer Barbara Carraway.

In addition to the statutory duties of the sheriff, I believe that service to our community is of the utmost importance. As Sheriff Newhart said, “if you can’t help people, what good are you”? As I serve as your Sheriff, I will continue to support and enhance the programs Sheriff Newhart developed for our senior citizens. Our senior citizens are the cornerstone of our City and deserve our time and attention. Likewise, we must invest in our youth. In 2009, I established the “Children Today Leaders Tomorrow” program. This program focuses on developing effective leadership in our children so that they may successfully lead our City in the future. I am committed to our community and making positive impacts within our community.

As we go forward into the future, I must take the time to thank each of the staff members within the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office. The office is made up of dedicated and professional individuals that perform the day-to-day tasks and truly make this office operate. These individuals understand that they are positive role models in the community, are committed to taking the time to volunteer within their communities, and really what to makeChesapeakea better place. This includes so many activities such as: helping with the programs I have talked about, involvement in civic organization, and coaching youth sports.

I am truly humbled to serve and do not take this position for granted. I am dedicated to you – the Citizens of Chesapeake and the sheriff’s office staff to make this office the best it can be. I look forward to serving as – your Sheriff and continuing to makeChesapeakesuch as wonderful place to live and work.

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