Former assistant Fairfax Police commander running for sheriff

Published 11:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2011

DREWRYVILLE—A retired assistant commander for the Fairfax Police Department has announced his candidacy for Southampton County Sheriff.

Democrat David Holland, 56, of Drewryville is the third to announce his intention to run for the seat, which pays $85,000 annually. He will run as an Independent for the four-year term, which means his name will not appear on the ballot until the Nov. 8 General Election.

“Really no reason, other than I thought it would be easier for us running head-to-head,” Holland said about running as an Independent.

He was referring to Democrat Jack Stutts, the chief deputy for Southampton County Sheriff’s Office. Three days after Sheriff Vernie Francis Jr. indicated he would not seek an eighth term, Stutts announced his candidacy. Stutts’ name will be on the ballot for Aug. 23 primary.

Franklin police officer Brian Marvel of Drewryville is also running as an Independent

Holland has served as director of Southside Community Corrections and Pretrial Services in Emporia since May 2002. He administers the Community Corrections and Pretrial Services programs for three counties and one city.

Holland has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience, including 21 years in management. He is a former U.S. Air Force Security Police Officer who worked for Fairfax Police for 21 years.

“I’ve been blessed with a lot of positions,” Holland said Wednesday. “I’ve had a good career.”

In his current job, he’s had success in applying for grants for his department.

“I understand the way the economy is and state budget cuts,” Holland said. “You need someone in office who can go outside the box and write grants so you don’t have to go back to the county for money for equipment and training.”

While with Fairfax police, one of Holland’s most profound accomplishments included his appointment to the Organized Crime Division, where as a team, more than 184 pounds of narcotics carrying a street value of $1.9 million was seized.

“Crime affects all of us whether we have been directly victimized or not,” he said. “In order to prevent and reduce crime in today’s society, a multifaceted approach is mandatory; however, no such approach can be successful without teamwork. The best efforts are rendered useless without accountability and responsibility.”

“As sheriff of Southampton County, I will do everything in my power to establish and maintain a good working relationship with other government officials,” Holland continued. “I plan to work effortlessly with the Commonwealth Attorney offices and the Judiciary to see that our goals and objective can be met.

Holland and his wife have a 15-year-old son, Ashton, a freshman at Southampton High School.