Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sheriff candidate Bryan Hutcheson at First Friday: "Policing for the People"

Bryan Hutcheson, candidate for Sheriff of Harrisonburg-Rockingham, addressed citizens at Wood Grille for First Friday on September 2.

Luis Padilla, wearing a "Hutcheson for Sheriff" shirt, stopped by during his lunch break from work.

The packed room had well-known faces like Barb Tillett, Donna & Tommy Moser, Ray Schneider, Sen. Mark Obenshain, Luis Padilla, Suzanne Obenshain, and Tony Wilt as well as some less-known faces.

Bryan Hutcheson, 39, was all smiles and stories Friday as he spoke at First Friday in Harrisonburg. The former Virginia state trooper spent 16 years stationed throughout the Commonwealth and, in 2010, was appointed as Police Chief of the Woodstock (Shenandoah County) police force.

Winning the Republican nomination in a summer firehouse primary with a huge turnout of his supporters, Hutcheson good-naturedly recalled the dozens of lawn parties and fairs he had attended throughout the area as he works toward the November election where he will face an Independent and a Democrat. Animated and personable with his military-style haircut and ready smile, he had the entire room roaring with laughter as he told of a madcap adventure when he helped deputies inadvertently chase down and capture a suspect with outstanding warrants, all while attending a townwide yard sale in Shenandoah County.

From his website, Hutcheson laid out his vision for being the county sheriff:
I believe law enforcement has traditionally been far too reactive in nature, where the officers merely respond to calls for service as they come in or solve problems after they have occurred. This is very important of course, but all it really amounts to is policing OF the people. That is simply not enough.

There are times when things are "quiet," for example when there are no calls for service pending that can be put to efficient use in serving the public. I believe the primary goal of the Sheriff's Office is to provide public safety through public service.

The proactive approach to law enforcement that I would implement as your Sheriff would ensure that your Sheriff's Department is truly providing the highest quality of service to the citizens in the courts, in the jails, and on patrol. This will provide policing FOR the people, where law enforcement takes a lead role in making sure our community is safe.
To implement the plan, he suggests visibility, accessibility, and accountability. Read more at his website.

His three "Es" -- Education, Experience, and Ethics -- define what has made him who he is at this point in his life, and I was most especially interested in his Ethics Statement:
I possess strong values and high moral character in both my personal and professional life. I am completely dedicated to the mission of law enforcement and I take pride in being a very hard worker.
Husband and father of two young sons, Bryan Hutcheson told the crowd on Friday that he's a political novice and that he would humbly accept help on his campaign. He will be campaigning until November 8th, looking straight ahead toward the goal and not looking back....


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