Constitutional Corner

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constitutional_corner_march_13By Sheriff JIM O’SULLIVAN

Here we are in the middle of summer, and I hope that this article finds everyone in good health. As I said in my previous article, I am, along with the staff of the Sheriff’s Office, dedicated to the citizens of Chesapeake and to making our community strong and safe. I do not take my position lightly, and we have been working diligently to move this office into the future. As I plan for the future I want to thank the staff members of the Sheriff’s Office for the work they perform on a daily basis to make this office the best of the best. I would like to take this time to provide the following updates relating to the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office.

First, the auxiliary housing units that will be used to help ease the overcrowding of the Chesapeake Correctional Center. When my last article was printed we were facing the last step of obtaining final approval from the Virginia Board of Corrections.  I am happy to say that this approval was obtained, and inmates will be moving into the units during these summer months. In addition, we have worked closely with the City of Chesapeake to make sure that all statutory requirements have been met as we continue to look for a permanent solution to the overcrowding situation. At the July 17th Board of Corrections meeting the City’s Community Based Corrections Plan was unanimously approved by the Board. We are now focusing our efforts for the August meeting of the Board so that the submitted Planning Study can be approved.

As your sheriff, I am dedicated to making sure that my office operates in a highly professional manner. One way of ensuring that we are accomplishing this is through accreditation processes. One such accreditation is offered through the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). This accreditation process is totally voluntary and only 87 of the over 300+ Virginia law enforcement agencies are currently accredited.

In April of this year, three VLEPSC assessors came to our office in order to conduct the accreditation inspection. The inspection consisted of a thorough tour of the office, interviews with a variety of staff, and a detailed review of documentation. Upon completion of the inspection, a report was submitted to the VLEPSC Board for approval. On June 6, 2013, the Board unanimously approved the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office for accreditation. On July 23, 2013, Sheriff Brian Roberts of Brunswick County presented the Certificate of Accreditation at the Chesapeake City Council meeting. Again, I must thank the staff of this office for their dedication, and I would like to personally thank Deputy Barbara Barrett, our VLEPSC accreditation manager.

Finally, I would like to inform you of two upcoming events that directly benefit Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office Charities, Inc. As you may be aware Charities Inc., assists elderly and indigent victims of crime as well as various other charitable causes. We will be hosting two major events – the 9.11 Freedom Run and the 34th Annual Great American Food Fest.

On Saturday, September 14, 2013, the 9.11 Freedom Run will be held at the Great Dismal Swamp Trail. The run will measure 9.11 miles and is being held as a tribute to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, to those individuals in the military and public service that have made the supreme sacrifice, and those who currently serve. Proceeds from the event directly benefit Charities Inc. and will also go to support the Fisher House.

On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, the 34th Annual Great American Food Fest will be held at Chesapeake City Park. This annual event is co-hosted with the South Norfolk Ruritans and benefits Charities Inc. and Ruritan projects in the community. The event will feature over 60 various food items. Anyone needing more information on either of the events may contact us at 757-382-6159.

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