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.
Mike Chapman 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?
Mike Chapman: With young children at home and with plans to spend the rest of my life here with my wife Ann, I want to protect families and make Loudoun the safest county in the nation. I will be tough on traditional crime; drugs, gangs, and illegal immigration, but will also attack emerging crime issues like cybercrime, human trafficking, financial crimes, and crimes against the elderly.
I feel I am the only candidate who can effectively produce results. With 32 years of continuous experience, I have had successful careers in local, federal, and private sector law enforcement. I can tie technology together with local and federal partnerships to provide high performance, efficient service and best value to our residents.
As a resident of the fastest growing county in VA and one of the fastest growing and wealthiest counties in the nation, I feel we deserve better. That is why I am in the race and why, early on, I introduced my Step Up plan to improve service, technology, efficiency and professionalism. Step Up has vision, goals, and a pathway to success.
I encourage our readers to visit my website to learn about my background – my work as a private sector expert consultant; my local experience that afforded me opportunities to serve in the functions of patrol, SWAT, and criminal investigations; and my federal experience as a DEA Special Agent that allowed me to partner with local counterparts to successfully disrupt the MS-13 gang, direct hundreds of agency employees and multi-million dollar budgets, and to arrest some of the most notorious drug traffickers who have ruined the lives of so many throughout the United States. Please visit: www.MikeChapmanforSheriff.com. Also, please take a moment to look at the endorsements I received.
NVTH: How long have you lived in Loudoun County?
Mike Chapman: I have been a resident in Loudoun County for two years; was born in Washington, DC; and spent the majority of my life in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. I lived in Stafford, VA from 2000 to 2003, and maintained a permanent residence in Virginia until 2006. I lived in Maryland until age 28 when I began my national and international service to our Country with the DEA. My goal, once completing my service with the DEA, was to return to this area – specifically, Loudoun County. My wife and I consider Loudoun County our home.
NVTH: Why are you a Republican?
Mike Chapman: I have conservative values that align well for me with my family and religious beliefs. I believe in freedom, family, limited government, and that hard work is the key to success. A strong work ethic, I feel, enabled me to achieve an outstanding law enforcement career, an undergraduate degree and a Masters in Public Administration (all while working full time and raising a family). Freedom to pursue goals and achieve success is what makes the Republican Party appeal to me.
NVTH: Why do you think Steve Simpson should be replaced as Sheriff?
Mike Chapman: When I look at the growth of this county, changing diversity, and the lack of involvement the current sheriff has with other law enforcement partners, it is apparent to me that Simpson’s ability to remain effective has long passed. This county needs vision, fresh leadership and someone who knows how to tie the private sector, federal sector and local government together to bring about positive outcomes. It is time to break a pattern of behavior that does nothing to move this county forward and pursues agendas for reasons other than what is best for citizens of this county. We need fresh, innovative thinking and a Sheriff’s Office that is responsive to the needs of the community it serves.
NVTH: If elected, what are your top priorities?
Mike Chapman: My priority is to make Loudoun safer for families, and to have the most efficient Sheriff’s Office in the nation. Deputies serving one of the wealthiest counties in the nation should not be at the lowest end of the retirement spectrum, paid less than surrounding counties, or be in constant fear of losing their jobs. That type of environment inhibits success, facilitates turnover and costs Loudoun County residents more in the long run.
I would restructure the department for efficiency and apply the savings to our most important assets, our human resources. I would encourage, through incentives, continued education and training (mostly through cost effective on-line training) to further professionalize the Sheriff’s Office. Simply put, we need to take care of those who take care of us.
Next, we attack crime. We do it methodically, through research, partnerships and smart policing. We determine crime impact, danger, and frequency – we merge our findings with citizen concerns and we apply our resources appropriately. We also engage our community in highly interactive neighborhood “real time” watch programs so that they become part of the solution.
Crime and safety issues constantly evolve, require regular evaluation, and flexible strategies. Look at how much policing has changed since 9/11! I have spent eight months listening to the community and will continue to do so through weekly coffees our town hall meetings. I have talked with many deputies and I thoroughly reviewed the ICMA (independent consulting firm) study to determine what concerns the Board of Supervisors had regarding the performance of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. I will continue to reach out to our community, review crime statistics, and studies – and will channel our resources appropriately.