NOVA TownHall is conducting interviews with the candidates for the office of Loudoun County Sheriff in the 2011 elections. The first interviews are with the Republican candidates. NOVA TownHall will offer the same opportunity to any Democratic candidates for sheriff who may enter the race, and also extends an open invitation to Sheriff Steve Simpson to be interviewed and to rebut any criticisms which may be leveled against him on these pages.
Ron Speakman is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff. He will face off against two other candidates in the July 23 convention to represent the Republican Party in the November, 2011 elections.
NVTH: Why do you want to be Sheriff?
Ron Speakman: In my campaign literature I express my mission of protecting our safety, community, and values. That really sums up why I want to be Sheriff in Loudoun County.
I believe in our country, our constitution and in the rule of law.
When I take office I want to impact the spike in violent crime in our county and provide the Sheriff’s department with the leadership it has been missing.
Most importantly, I want to take this position to help Loudoun’s citizens and their families live in safety.
I began my law enforcement career in California and then moved to Virginia to serve in the Army’s Military Police Force. Through these two initial career experiences, I came to understand the impact I could make through public service. After many years in police work, I started my own company. I built a very successful private sector business. Then as I watched violent crime in Loudoun County skyrocket I came to realize that this was the time to step back into public service.
Violent crime went up by 46% between 2006 – 2008 while the population only increased by 8%, according to the FBI. This is a crisis of leadership in the Sheriff’s Office. As a citizen of Loudoun, a husband, a father and business owner I felt compelled to act. After all, the Sheriff’s Office is the primary law enforcement agency in the county – and it’s not fulfilling its core mission of public safety.
NVTH: How long have you lived in Loudoun County?
Ron Speakman: I moved my family from Alexandria to Loudoun County in 1985 for a job at the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. My sons Jeremy and Daniel grew up in Loudoun County, and I served here as a Sheriff’s Deputy and then as highly decorated member of the Leesburg Police Force. I have maintained my residence and business holdings here since the move – over 25 years.
NVTH: Why are you more qualified than the other Republican candidates?
Ron Speakman: I bring the best of both worlds to the position of Sheriff in Loudoun. I am a proven business leader and executive, and a decorated law enforcement professional. Twice, in two separate years, I was Leesburg Police Officer of the Year. In addition I received other awards for lifesaving and “The Valor Award.” When I left law enforcement after 13 years, I started my own company and created a team of over 300 employees. It was one of the largest and most successful financial services companies in the state. This combination of business leadership success and law enforcement leadership success is not something that any of the other candidates can offer.
I am the only candidate who has provided in-depth policy solutions, including a unique plan for dealing with criminal activity by illegal aliens.
NVTH: Why are you a Republican?
Ron Speakman: The Republican party is where I belong. Like most Virginians I believe in strong communities and strong values, I believe in limited government that is accountable to the citizens who pay taxes. Finally, I believe in life (for all), liberty and property, and I believe that the Republican Party best represents those constitutional values. I cast my first vote for Ronald Reagan, and I have always supported Republicans.
NVTH: Why do you think Steve Simpson should be replaced as Sheriff?
Ron Speakman: Steve Simpson has been in the Sheriff’s Office for over 16 years. I am not satisfied with his results. He has not done everything possible to combat the increase in violent crime. He is not the leader that the deputies need to do their job. While the crime rate is increasing, Sheriff Simpson is serving as an executive in a private sector company at the same time, and has taken large sums of money from sources that raise strong ethical questions about his judgment – at the very least.
Whether the crime increase has been 1% or 46% – this behavior is not acceptable. I feel that Sheriff Simpson is not the right person in this position – when he does not put the safety of Loudoun County’s citizens above his personal interests. He has failed the leadership test. He has failed the competency test. I pledge to bring leadership and competency back to the Sheriff’s Office.
NVTH: If elected, what are your top priorities?
Ron Speakman: Protecting our safety, our community and our values by arresting the alarming increase in violent crime in Loudoun County. I plan on addressing the crisis in leadership in the Sheriff’s Office, implementing proactive policing policies, combating issues related to crimes committed by illegal aliens and working with other elected officials to influence legislation that will enhance the safety of the citizens in Loudoun County.