Name: G.L. Mitchell
Race: Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office
Bio: Gerald Mitchell is a U.S. Navy veteran, a certified investigator and owner of a small business specializing in compliance and investigations. His work experience includes service in the US Navy, there he served in; Expeditionary Warfare, Conventional & Afloat duty assignments, IA duty and with the Military Police/Master-At-Arms Corps. He served multiple tours of duty enforcing laws, conducting investigations, managing law enforcement, security and command administrative justice programs.
Gerald has successfully worked alongside personnel from all branches of the Armed Forces, Foreign Military and various governmental and administrative agencies. His training and experience, of which he continues to build, includes tactical team deployments, as well as, enlisted staff and management duties. Upon his retirement, Gerald completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, focusing on business and government administration. Gerald holds a training certificate in Emergency Medical Services. He also holds a national certification as a Certified Fraud Examiner and credentials as a Commonwealth of Virginia Compliance Agent and an Investigator.
He is an avid community veterans advocate, in which he participates in mentorship and performs outreach to local veterans. He belongs to both the American Legion Post 1776 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4639. Gerald also belongs to a host of other community groups in James City County where he and his wife are raising two children.
Why should residents elect you to be Sheriff?
With every mass shooting and incident of gun violence, people grow more and more concerned about safety and security. Our law enforcement community can and needs to do more. I will use my military training and security certifications to lead efforts in developing new and innovative protection plans for employees, staff and visitors to the courthouse and municipal buildings. I will make sure our deputies receive all possible training and certifications necessary to maximize our preparedness. Our department will work cooperatively with surrounding law enforcement and partner with local government, so that together we will become a force multiplier for regional public safety initiatives.
Understanding budgetary constraints, I will seek funding sources from state and federal programs, as well as corporate alliances whose focus is centered on enriching safety within our communities. That being said, we need to do more to reach out to our community and explain what we do, and how our funds are spent, so that everyone knows and trusts the Williamsburg-James City Sheriff’s Office.
What are three major challenges the sheriff’s department is facing?
Three major challenges the Sheriff’s Department is facing:
- Inclusion and awareness of the Sheriff’s Office’s roll among all communities within Williamsburg and James City County. This includes streamlining current programs in order to make them more efficient and develop new programs whose aim will increase overall community protection, safety and value. Our vision will center around how the Sheriff’s Office can maximize the personal safety and security of all.
- Greater emphasis on the deputy with regards to (1) training and certification opportunities and the implementation and use of adaptive technology – all of which ensure the effectiveness of security protocols and safety for stakeholders and continual updates to improve security at our courthouse, county and city offices and other public buildings; (2) morale and welfare of the work place environment -while the WJCC Sheriff’s Office is limited in size and scope, it is important that a feeling of mutual respect flows both ways within the Sheriff’s Office. Also, understanding and acting with regards to the complications that may affect the guardians who we ask to go out into our communities and serve is a critical factor in achieving mission success.
- Creation of a greater community presence for the Sheriff’s Office. The media is riddled with not-so-great examples of law enforcement and community relations. The Sheriff’s Office is supposed to be a representation of the community that it serves. I will strive to enhance the relationship between the citizens of our county and city, all while meeting and or exceeding the current standards.
What will you do to address these challenges if elected?
I will study and improve security standards for the courthouse and extend my expertise in cross-community efforts among the police, local governments and the sheriff’s office to improve security in schools and municipal buildings. I will strive to maintain a competent network of government and non-government affiliations, with the goal of supporting our public safety network through innovative and effective measures implemented from within the Sheriff’s Office.
I know how important training is as it applies to public safety. As sheriff, I will put the highest priority on training and advanced certifications that keep the department at peak preparedness. In order to acquire greater citizen and community involvement, I will actively explore how we can synergize efforts throughout the diverse communities of the county with the common goal of leading the WJCC Sheriff’s Office to a higher plane of service and dedication.