Mike Chapman

Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman (R) at the new firearms training facility groundbreaking in February 2019.

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman (R) says a suggestion to create a county police department is merely a way to “change the law enforcement agenda” following his re-election on Tuesday.

A day after the General Election, the newly re-elected county chair Phyllis Randall (D) raised the idea for a county police department during a joint media session with incoming supervisors and members of the School Board.

The first step is to convince the new board -- now dominated by her fellow Democrats -- to move forward with a police department. The final decision would be made by county voters through a referendum.

Chapman (R) has long been opposed to the idea.

“I know [it] wouldn’t be better with a police chief, and I think it’s disingenuous to try and propagate that message when we have such a successful sheriff’s office,” Chapman said on The Larry O’Conner Show.

Concerned with deputies' job security -- previous Loudoun deputies have been fired for supporting Chapman's political rivals -- and the sheriff’s office's transparency, Randall said it’s time to begin the process of forming a county police department that operates under county administration.

Randall said deputies' jobs shouldn't be at risk depending on their politics and whom they support during elections.

“A sheriff of the county is not 'answer loyal' to anyone except every four years to the citizens. But even then, the sheriff can tell the citizens what he wants to tell the citizens—so the citizens only know what the sheriff chooses to tell them. There may be other things that they don’t know,” Randall said on Wednesday.

Fairfax County has both a sheriff’s office and a county police department. The police department essentially handles all the law enforcement tasks of a sheriff’s office except for oversight of the county courthouse and jail.

Chapman did not provide any immediate actions he would be taking following Randall's statement, but he said the proposal would have challenges. He called it “cumbersome” and said it's something that over 400,000 county residents need to know more about.

“I think the citizens need to know what this is exactly about and taking their right way to select their chief law enforcement officer and basically having an entire bureaucracy between them and the chief law enforcement officer who is actually going to be making the decisions,” Chapman said on 105.9 FM. “ ... On our Board of Supervisors, we have one person that has law enforcement experience, and what you are going to have is eight other board members—none of which have a shred of law enforcement experience—trying to tell a law enforcement agency what to do and how to do it.”

The sheriff’s office has a nearly 90% public approval rating, and the agency saw the rate of serious crime drop 32% since the sheriff began his first term in 2012, according to a sheriff’s office release following Chapman’s interview. The agency touted its awards and accolades with school resource officers, crisis training services and drug prevention and enforcement. Under Chapman’s term, the county has also experienced a 10% drop in recidivism due to the re-entry community programs he established in the county’s adult detention center.

Chapman said, “I know it was a ‘Blue Wave’ last night, and fortunately I survived that, but I think that reason is because the citizens see that we are doing an excellent job. They are happy with the service they are getting, and it’s almost like, 'Why is there going to be a move to try and fix something that’s not broken?' it just seems to me to be a matter of just exercising power and control.”

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Related: New elected officials take the stage in Loudoun County; Randall expects new board to discuss county police department

(31) comments

LoudounPulse

We don't need a Police Department that is only accountable to the Chairman/Chairwoman. We need a Sheriff who is accountable to THE PEOPLE. The whole idea of a Police Department with a Chief that is appointed by the Chair is simply a power grab. Loudoun is doing just fine with a Sheriff and I see no reason to upset the apple cart.

amerigirl

But what if the sheriff is not accountable? What about when he choose politics over the welfare of the department as in MARK F. MCCAFFREY, V. MICHAEL L. CHAPMAN, in his personal capacity and in his official capacity as

Sheriff of Loudoun County; BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF LOUDOUN

COUNTY, VIRGINIA, ?

SkoaldudeVA

Absolutely right

Lemmy Motorhead

So only one day after the election, Randall feels the need to politically posture and attack Sheriff Chapman. How very statesmanlike of her...

This is all about a power grab by certain members of the county board. A police chief is only accountable to the board; our Sheriff is held accountable by every voter. Maybe if the local Democrats had gotten behind Harmison's campaign in the primaries, Loudoun would have elected him instead of Chapman to his third term.

Let's call it like it is; Randall is an open borders liberal who ultimately wants to make Loudoun county a "sanctuary county" like Fairfax and Montgomery. Sheriff Chapman is a no nonsense lawman and is not going to ignore our laws for the sake of political correctness...

amerigirl

If you really want to call it what it is then you should check out Chapman's background. Is it right that officers lose their jobs for supporting his opponent?

Ray Farrell

A strong constitutional Sheriff's Department providing law enforcement county wide is vital to our system of checks-and-balances.

Ray Farrell

If the Sheriff was a Democrat...Randall would be silent.

AFF

Ray, try and keep up. The Democratic candidate for Sheriff ran on the idea transitioning a county police force.

amerigirl

If the republican sheriff hadn't gotten rid of a highly distinguished democratic deputy sheriff because he supported a democratic running for Chapman's position, then she would be quiet.

chrisnich

This is payback for not genuflecting to Phyllis during her re-election campaign, plain and simple--and definitely an example of a solution in search of a problem.

amerigirl

So was there not a problem when Chapman didn't re-appoint the deputy sheriff because he was a democrat?

BobOhneiserEsq

Under either plan:

Who approves/influences hiring?

Can we get state cops out of Loudoun since all they do is raise money by looking for traffic violations?

Can we require every deputized employee lives in Loudoun?

Can we require every deputy with a vehicle stops at local schools instead of donut shops when they take a break?

Can we get a commitment in terms of response time whenever a school panic button is pushed regardless of where in the county that school is?

Can the deputy be automatically fired if he/she gets three profiling complaints or police brutality complaints? (no paid leave options when they harm a resident)

Can we get more transparency like why wasn't anyone ever charged with that little girls murder near Waxpool Road or the shooting of the little lady at Costco?

My vote is yes to anything we can prove can be done BETTER!

mopar19

Wow I actually voted for bob. After seeing this post I can see how out of touch he is with law enforcement. Maybe your account was hacked. Stick with your tax index and airport parking lot posts.

Wecare

since Bob is an expert on all things law enforcement, let’s respond to a few of these;

Under either plan:

Who approves/influences hiring? The elected board with input from the community.

Can we get state cops out of Loudoun since all they do is raise money by looking for traffic violations? And handle traffic accidents, backup and assist deputies and police officers, primary agency for airplane accidents (happens every few years), but yea, let’s focus on the revenue only there.

Can we require every deputized employee lives in Loudoun? Sure, let’s double the Sheriffs budget so the deputies get a livable wage. I mean, they only make on average $10k less than a teacher so a residency requirement is perfect, of course we will then require teachers and all other employees to live in LOCO right?

Can we require every deputy with a vehicle stops at local schools instead of donut shops when they take a break? Sure, just make sure the schools will actually let them in, especially at 3 am, guess we will need to hire more school staff to staff the schools 24/7/365.

Can we get a commitment in terms of response time whenever a school panic button is pushed regardless of where in the county that school is? Sure, disregard all other residents in LOCO, better yet, let’s create a whole new LCSO unit that doesn’t respond to any other calls for service beyond the public school system. No domestic violence response, no fatal accidents, nothing, but 10 or 12 deputies waiting for a school to hit the button! Great idea!

Can the deputy be automatically fired if he/she gets three profiling complaints or police brutality complaints? (no paid leave options when they harm a resident) And exactly how many of these occur? Haven’t read about these in the paper, but great idea, no protection, don’t like a deputy because they gave you a ticket? Fine, get 3 friends to file bogus complaint, deputy is out of a job, but that’s to Bobs plan, Atleast they live in the county!

Can we get more transparency like why wasn't anyone ever charged with that little girls murder near Waxpool Road or the shooting of the little lady at Costco? Have you read the paper over the past 10-15 years or are you just shooting from the hip to make brownie points here?

Pac1010

If the number quoted in this article is correct that "the rate of serious crime dropped 32% " then why change things ? Isn't that what the sheriff's office is supposed to do reduce crime and protect citizens? I tend to agree with the earlier comment someone made about this board wanting to put their own chief in place so that Loudoun can become another liberal sanctuary city. If that happens good luck keeping the crime stats down.

It is a shame, we moved to VA and to Loudoun County some 35 yrs ago and love the sate of VA and Loudoun county and have seen a tremendous amount of change over the years, for a long time it was good change but lately not so much. I fear that this beautiful state and county that we have called home for over 3 decades is about to become another liberal cesspool like CA, Chicago and NYC have become. Retirement to a more conservative state is sounding better every day.

amerigirl

Where are you getting this "sanctuary" stuff?

amerigirl

And here I as worried that we were becoming a fascist right wing overdeveloped cesspool from the republicans and their sprawl.

marv

You have seen a change in 30? I have been here for over 60 and have witnessed a disgusting degeneration of morals and respect.

Qwerty17

Seems Chapman is threatened more than anything. He totes his 40 some years in LE but none of it is actually court or corrections based. Surely it would be a pay cut to him if a police force were to be developed. A slap to his face not to be police chief in the field of work he actually knows. Treat your deputies better and don't threatened their career futures with your personal agendas. Rather than say that's a horrible idea maybe research the advantages/disadvantages in favor of the County that voted you their Sheriff. Chapman showed his hand to quickly on this one.

Qwerty17

Seems Chapman is threatened more than anything. He totes his 40 some years in LE but none of it is actually court or corrections based. Surely it would be a pay cut to him if a police force were to be developed. A slap to his face not to be police chief in the field of work he actually knows. Treat your deputies better and don't threatened their career futures with your personal agendas. Rather than say that's a horrible idea maybe research the advantages/disadvantages in favor of the County that voted you their Sheriff. Chapman showed his hand to quickly on this one.

LeesburgD

"The final decision would be made by county voters through a referendum." I'm glad to see this was pointed out in the article. I hope that Loudoun County voters are wise enough not to vote in another bureaucracy in a county that is already over-taxed. Bottom line: We don't need two agencies and the Sheriff's office is doing a fine job.

Catoctin

Loudoun County is no longer mostly rural (sadly), it is transforming just like Fairfax County did before; create a police department and let the sheriff run the jail and protect the courthouse as is done in Fairfax County. But I agree with you on this; let the voters decide. Your last point I disagree with you.

bav1908

Is Chapman the pot or the kettle?

Catoctin

All for a county police department less hindered by politics, as I suspect most Loudouners would be now. Maybe then the sheriff wouldn’t make law enforcement and investigation decisions based on who supports him monetarily and where his fundraisers are held.

Segeny

Are you seriously saying that Randall's Board would not "hinder" a selected 'chief' with her OWN politics, like instituting a sanctuary county??? Seriously??????? I'd rather have a sheriff who is answerable to the voters rather than a 'chief' who is answerable only to Randall, the diversity-queen.

EvilHomer

"Exercising power and control". Yes, like when you fire someone who disagrees with you politically.

What a disingenuous load.

Segeny

Randall seems to have in mind a move to make Loudoun County a "sanctuary county", something with which our Sheriff is NOT in accord. However, a 'chief' - who would be selected by the "diversity queen" most likely WOULD be. Her alleged concern for our deputies is a transparent cover for her REAL agenda - "sanctuary" for criminal illegal aliens.

amerigirl

Where is that coming from? The only mention I can find is from people posting opinions, no facts or comments from Randall at all. Can you say where you got that info?

Lemmy Motorhead

Any voter with a pulse knows that Randall wants a "yes man" sanctuary for all illegals supporting police chief like the one Fairfax county has...

LoudounSucks

Of course they're opposed to it. They don't want to lose their power and tactical goodies.

amerigirl

And the conspiracy theories have begun

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