Name: David J. Hardin
Race: Williamsburg Sheriff
Biography: I have lived on the Peninsula since 1986. I graduated from Ferguson High School in Newport News in 1989. I have been a resident of James City County for over 20 years with my wife Dawn and my 13-year-old son Joseph.
I started my 29-year career as a deputy sheriff in November 1990. I’ve spent the last 24 years as a deputy sheriff for the Williamsburg – James City County Sheriff’s Office. While working for the Williamsburg – James City County Sheriff’s Office I have served in many different functions, from working as a jailer in the former Williamsburg Jail to the position I now occupy of chief deputy.
I have served as the chief deputy since 2008. I am a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy, in Quantico. I have successfully worked with the city and county administration and staff when our office needed additional staffing. I served as a Judicial Security Assessor for the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI), operating under the direction of the Supreme Court of Virginia and I have assisted many other jurisdictions develop courthouse security standards and procedures.
I have managed the efforts of the office to become accredited and re-accredited with the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission (VLEPSC). I have established trust within our community, and I have the historical and operational knowledge to lead our Sheriff’s Office into the future. I am currently a Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) certified General Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Firearms Instructor. I am also a certified Taser instructor by Axon Inc.
I will continue building onto what Sheriff Deeds has accomplished. As your Sheriff I will strive to provide excellent service to all citizens. I will continue to maintain our VLEPSC accreditation and provide the professional services our community has come to expect. I will commit to expanding our deputy’s community service into our neighborhoods. I will ensure our deputies continue to receive the best training and information available.
The Sheriff’s Office will look to employ the latest technologies to improve our effectiveness and provide the highest qualities of service to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, employees, and inmates that come to our courthouse.The Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office needs a Sheriff with the experience and historical knowledge of this unique professional agency, a Sheriff that knows the core functions and mandated responsibilities of this important constitutional office.
Why should residents elect you to be Sheriff?
I have worked for the Williamsburg – James City County Sheriff’s Office for last 24 years. For the last 11 years I have had the job of chief deputy. While serving in that position I have had the opportunity to work with both city and county staff on developing and preparing budgets.
I have overseen the installation of improved technology into our courthouse and courtrooms. I was intimately involved with the improved security advances within the courthouse. I have conducted many courthouse security assessments throughout Virginia in conjunction with the Supreme Court of Virginia, Virginia Courtroom Safety Council, under direction of (VCPI) Virginia Center for Policing Innovation and the Virginia Sheriff’s Association.
I have been training to lead our office into the future for the last 11 years. I have been given the opportunity to learn from a great leader, Sheriff Robert J. Deeds. I have attended and completed numerous leadership courses to include the FBI National Academy in 2012. I am currently a DCJS General Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, and Firearms Instructor.
What are three major challenges the sheriff’s department is facing?
Three major challenges that our office faces along with law enforcement throughout our area are:
In the past when we advertised for positions it was not uncommon to have 300 to 400 applicants, with at least 100 of those qualified applicants for one positions. Now, when positions are advertised you will be lucky to receive 10-20 qualified applicants out of 100.
Another major challenge that our office faces is the lack of funding. We understand that the majority of the budget for our office is received from James City County and the City of Williamsburg. The state mandates that certain things be done, but does not fund them Take for instance the the deputies that work the security screening station as you come into the courthouse or the deputies that work in the holding area within the courthouse. The state does not take these positions into account when calculating the positions that are funded. The state feels that the size, design, the building, and staffing is the responsibility of the City of Williamsburg and James City County.
The third challenge is that the public does not realize the role and responsibilities of the Williamsburg – James City County Sheriff’s Office. Our office is very unique. The average citizen does not realize that the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for ensuring that the courthouse and courtrooms are free from and acts of violence, serving all civil process throughout the city and county, and is responsible for transferring mental patients to an additional hospital after they have been under a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) and have been adjudicated to need further treatment. Our office will assist both the Williamsburg and James City County Police Departments when available.
What will you do to address these challenges if elected?
If elected, I will reach out to different types media to ensure that our ads for employment are advertised in areas that we are currently missing.
If elected, I will continue to work with the Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the General Assembly to include some or all of these positions into their funding therefore reducing the burden from the city and county. Also use new technology to reduce need for man power in areas where appropriate.
If elected, I will attempt to run a Citizen Sheriff’s Academy to train and inform the public on the importance of the Williamsburg – James City County Sheriff’s Office.