Sheriff announces re-election plan

Published 1:07 pm Saturday, March 14, 2015

Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall announced this week that he will be seeking re-election. Marshall is the former police chief of Smithfield. -- FILE

Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall announced this week that he will be seeking re-election. Marshall is the former police chief of Smithfield. — FILE

Mark A. Marshall of Isle of Wight County has declared his intention this week to remain sheriff, and he will put his name on the ballot for election in November.

“I endeavor to continue the progress made in this office and would be tremendously honored to serve as your sheriff for another term,” he stated in a press release that formally announced his plan.

Before his election in 2011, Marshall had been chief of police in Smithfield since 1992, but decided to challenge incumbent Charlie Phelps and another challenger, Jim Crotts, for the sheriff’s office. Marshall won with more than 7,300 votes, or 66 percent of the vote; Phelps had 3,028 votes, or about 27 percent.

The sheriff also wrote that soon after taking office in 2012, he initiated several changes to create and maintain “a high performing team. Commitment to partnerships, professionalism and integrity served as our foundation as we moved forward during the term. A dedicated tea

m of professionals was created and together they have worked hard to deliver on that promise.”

He listed a number of achievements in his four-year term:

• Establishing working partnerships with all law enforcement agencies, such as the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office;

• Setting up community outreach partnerships, which have included regularly scheduled town hall interactive meetings, use of social media outlets and other communications;

• Receiving the “Open Door” award from The Daily Press, which recognizes a public official or organization for transparency, accountability and public access in government;

• Creating and implementing comprehensive policies, procedures and protocols to guide all operational components of the office;

• Completing successfully in 2014 all requirements for accreditation, and being awarded distinction as a fully accredited agency;

• Instituting a comprehensive operational needs assessment using fiscally austere budgetary practices;

• Increasing commitment to training and succession planning. “Last year we completed over 3,000 hours of training,” he wrote. “In 2014, Major James Clarke became the first-ever deputy with the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy. Additional deputies are slated to attend future sessions;”

• Taking over as chairman for the Emergency Communications Center. Many initiatives are underway including needs assessment of the public safety radio system; and

• Chairing the TRIAD Committee for the county. The panel offers numerous outreach and educational programs for senior citizens and law enforcement.

“I am proud of the work and programs that we have initiated since 2012. The men and women who constitute this office are committed professionals who strive to ensure the safety and betterment of this community,” Marshall said. “We believe in the power of partnerships at every level. It is a true honor to represent them.

“While much has been accomplished, I would like to continue to institutionalize those contemporary best practices. I believe your sheriff should possess the requisite professional credentials, skills and network to successfully navigate the challenges faced by those in public safety. Of course, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and the record should reflect that.

“Respectfully, I ask for your vote this November and the honor of serving our county as sheriff for another term.”

In addition to working in the Smithfield department, Marshall’s law enforcement experience includes the Virginia Marine Police. He was the 96th president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2010-2011. Education background includes a master’s degree in public administration from Old Dominion University, and he’s a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He also served as a policy advisor to the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Marshall and his high school sweetheart, Deborah, have been married for 36 years; they have two children, Joshua and Rachel.