Candidate Profile: Sean Gormus, Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office


Sean Gormus is running for the Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office.

Name: Sean Gormus

Race: Williamsburg-James City County Sheriff’s Office


Biography: Sean Gormus retired from the James City County Police Department with 30-plus years of service. Sean’s assignments included School Resource Officer (SRO), Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) Operator/Lead Less Lethal Operator, Instructor, Marine Patrol Officer, Investigator, Bike Patrol Officer and Patrol Officer.

Sean served in leadership roles for the School Resource Unit, Community Services Unit, Marine Patrol Unit, SWAT Team, and Patrol Operations.

Sean was instrumental in developing Active Shooter Training both for patrol officers and tactical operators. As an SRO, Sean had extensive experience with the Williamsburg/James City County School Division developing and implementing crisis plans, drills, and staff training.

Sean has served as a contract instructor for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services for the A.L.E.R.R.T. (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Responder) Programs. Sean has worked as an Active Shooter Response and Planning Consultant for the Law Enforcement and School Division with Howlett and Associates Consulting Firm. Sean has served as a contract guard with the U.S. Marshal Service and had previous employment with the Norfolk Southern Railway Police. Sean collaborated with the James City County Fire Department to develop Stop the Bleed/CRASE (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Environments), which is an awareness program available to citizens in our community.

Sean is an A.L.E.R.R.T. Instructor for Terrorism Response Tactics, Active Shooter Level I (Basic), Level II (Combat Medicine), Exterior Response to Active Shooter Environments (E.R.A.S.E.), Civilian Response to Active Shooter Environments (C.R.A.S.E.) and Low Light, certified through Texas State University.

Sean is a Firearms Instructor, SWAT Training Officer, Ballistic Shield Instructor, Marine Patrol Instructor and a Less Lethal/Chemical Agent Instructor. In addition to being a classroom instructor Sean has been responsible for developing training lesson plans and policy to coincide with training.

Sean has completed the following law enforcement schools:

  • Field Training Officer
  • First Line Supervisor
  • Basic Investigations
  • Bomb and Arson Investigations
  • Basic Leadership
  • Advanced Leadership
  • General Instructor
  • Firearms Instructor
  • Tactical Raid Planning
  • F.B.I. Basic SWAT
  • F.B.I. Advanced SWAT
  • RADAR Operator
  • Intoxilyzer Operator
  • SRO Basic
  • CTS (Combined Tactical Systems) Less Lethal Instructor
  • Def-Tec (Defense Technology) Less Lethal Instructor
  • FBI Chemical Agent Instructor
  • VCIN Limited Access
  • Critical Incident Team (CIT)
  • John Maxwell Leadership Training

Sean was a vital member of the following committees:

  • Hampton Roads Firearms Instructors
  • Hampton Roads Firearms Instructors
  • Field Training Officer Program Re-Structure
  • Handgun Transition
  • Use of Force Policy Planning
  • SWAT Training
  • School Safety and Security
  • School Discipline and Crisis Planning

Sean served six years in the Virginia Army National Guard.

Sean is currently working in a leadership role as a Security Captain for Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Why should residents elect you to be Sheriff?

I feel that the question is less about me and more about what residents of the City of Williamsburg and the County of James City deserve. I am running as a Constitutional Independent. I do not think that national politics has a place in our Sheriff’s Office. I believe that the sheriff should protect the rights of all citizens, regardless of political affiliation.

I am from the community, for the community, and I want to put our Sheriff’s Office back into the community. Over the years our Sheriff’s Office has focused more on courthouse security and civil process; and less on the community that it serves. I am dedicated to changing that. While I understand the importance of safeguarding our judicial system for our citizens who conduct business at the courthouse and the service of court documentation, I am determined to see the Sheriff’s Office involved in serving the needs of our community in other ways.

There are many needs that can be filled without line items on a budget, such as delivering food for Erase the Need, which is an organization that feeds homeless children in our own community. There are so many programs that would benefit from community partnerships with the Sheriff’s Office, such as the Colonial Re-Entry Council. In addition, I will seek grant funding and funding by other means to start a Community Response Unit to respond to other community needs, from assisting with community events, to assisting the police as needed during times of crisis.

In addition, I wish to start or enhance some programs and services for the community, such as youth mentoring, civilian response to active shooter events, inmate re-entry into society (Colonial Re-Entry Council) and a program for regularly checking on older citizens with special needs by phone.

I also believe that accessibility and partnerships are vital to serving the community well. As Sheriff I would host “Town Hall” meetings, open to the public, and invited partners.

These meetings would allow me to hear ideas from the members of the community I serve.

I am prepared to hit the ground running on day one. I have been contact with community partners, community leadership and citizen groups to get ready. Some of the events I have attended have been for campaigning and some have been strictly to determine the needs of our community

What are three major challenges the sheriff’s department is facing?

1) Training – To meet the needs of the community deputies will need additional training.

2) Budget – Funding will be needed for training and new community based programs.

3) Personnel – Deputies will be needed to continue current courthouse security operations, civil process and to develop new community based programs.

What will you do to address these challenges if elected?

1) Training – I will begin with training for sheriff’s deputies in the areas of Basic Law Enforcement, School Resource Officer, Community Services, Active Shooter, Advanced First Aid, and Critical Incident Stress Management — all areas in which I have extensive experience.

2) Budget – Although my term will start in the current budget cycle, I will seek grant funding for community programs as soon as possible. I have previously received grant funding for training from the Virginia Center of School and Campus Safety. In addition I will develop self-funded programs, for which I already have experience.

3) Personnel – In addition to what is included in the “Budget “section I, am looking at the possibility of restructuring the sheriff’s office to better utilize deputies when the courts are closed and during non-court operations hours. In addition to possible grant funding, I will work diligently with my community partners, the City of Williamsburg and James City County to fund additional positions with the understanding that the positions will supplement the police departments and enhance the safety of our community.

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