Tommy Potter for sheriff

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Most of my long career with the Newport News Police Department was spent investigating major crimes. In 2011, I retired as sergeant in charge of the homicide unit. In 2012, I was hired as captain of the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Investigations Unit. The newly elected Sheriff tasked me with upgrading, modernizing and earning state accreditation. Fortunately for me, I was privileged with the partnership of a highly talented (then, investigator) Tommy Potter.

Potter introduced me to the contrasting world of policing a largely rural versus purely urban environment. I was immediately impressed with his outstanding knowledge of the law, technical ability, leadership skills and his comprehensive grasp of the department’s budget. Importantly, I noted his supreme people skills.

Still new to the county, I was a little amazed to realize the magnitude of violence, drugs and criminal mindsets spreading from the larger cities into our counties. I quickly understood the same-ole system of popular, well meaning, but largely untried law enforcement leaders are a thing of the past. Potter was different. Through him, I saw we can maintain a friendly, country temperament. And we can have a modern, technical, highly skilled capability. In short order, he earned my recommendation for promotion.

Lieutenant Tommy Potter offers the best of both worlds. His calming, friendly, home-town personality is melded with expert capability, tenacity, energy and leadership skill. I saw him partner with local, state and federal agencies, when necessary, to fully utilize every resource our tax dollars fund. He has expertly investigated everything from larceny, to drugs, to the most conscious-shocking crimes imaginable. I am confident Tommy Potter is fully equipped to efficiently and safely administer the Sheriff’s office and successfully handle any criminal incursion.

As it was in Isle of Wight in 2012, I politely tender it is time for Southampton to modernize and update the very organization that provides the most basic governmental duties — security and fiscal responsibility. Therein I submit: Tommy Potter for sheriff.

Captain Richard H. Gaddis, retired

Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office