Wells the strongest candidate

Bedford County residents will soon have a chance to elect a new sheriff, and on Tuesday, they will select the Republican nominee to run in November.

In considering candidates on Tuesday, look at the qualifications and experience of each — and you will likely conclude that the strongest of the field is David Wells. A few points to consider:

» Wells has over 30 years of experience: patrol, investigator, clerk of court for one of the largest J&D courts in the state, and led special teams dealing with narcotics, undercover, homicide, investigations and white-collar crime.

» Of his 30-plus years of experience, more than 20 of those years were in leadership and management. He has the most experience in leading and managing law enforcement professionals. With more 80 employees, Bedford County Sheriff’s office needs someone with experience in administration, budgeting, a financial background and the ability to best align resources. Wells has extensive and successful experience in each of these areas.

» Formal higher education in law enforcement: His education includes an undergrad degree from VCU in police planning and management, and a masters from Virginia Tech in public administration.

» Wells is a Bedford County native and resident and is the son of a former sheriff. But his primary experiences are outside of Bedford County which bring a fresh perspective from larger departments and not simply represent a continuation of the present. He is best suited to optimize department’s resources to increase patrols, put more officers on the road and deal head-on with the increasing gang and drug issues in Bedford County.

Wells has law enforcement in his DNA. His father was sheriff, David’s wife and children are all in law enforcement or the U.S. military and his career and dedication to public service stands head and shoulders above the rest.

We have several strong candidates, but if you look hard at what a growing Bedford County needs — David Wells is the clear choice for the Republican ticket, and the clear choice for our next sheriff.

BILL STAFFORD

Lynchburg

Robey has the experience

With all the political data, I feel the need to express an opinion on the election of a new sheriff for Bedford County. The current candidates all have some fine qualities but do they have the qualities of a sheriff?

The candidates espouse the fact that they have been in law enforcement for many years. In fact, one candidate states he has been working at the Bedford County sheriff’s office for 30-plus years. Obviously good knowledge. Does this qualify one to be the top law enforcement officer? Not necessarily.

Let me be a bit more specific. A good, in fact superior, law enforcement officer must be knowledgeable, reliable and trustworthy, have integrity and be responsible. Just because a candidate smiles and makes promises does not qualify him to be the top law enforcement person. Look at the qualifications, real life experience — is it broad or local only, their management experience, producing a budget, working ability with county, state and federal officials, education, reliability, character, support of fellow officers. (A lot of road-side signs does not a top sheriff make.)

I can relate to all the above as a business owner, U.S. Air Force commander, 40 years of experience as a Bedford County Medical Examiner, deputy and on the Tact Team.

All require in-depth management and interpersonal relations.

There is one candidate that I will trust all the way, whom I have known for almost 20 years. I have followed and been aware of his activities as an Air Marshall. That person is Kent Robey. His experience is unmatched starting with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, master’s degree in criminal justice and public administration, U.S. Army military police corp service, Army combat veteran, the federal Department of Homeland Security, federal air marshal service, international federal law enforcement service, FBI Counter-Terrorism, special agent, Federal Security Directors of Law Enforcement National coordinator, 24 Years of senior law enforcement service, 34 years of diverse law enforcement experience, years of service in the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and more. He is a proud native and resident of Bedford County. He is definitely qualified to be Bedford County’s sheriff.

Please, vote for Kent Robey on Tuesday.

PAUL H. LILLY

Bedford

Miller ‘the obvious choice’

As a resident of Bedford County, I am closely watching the events surrounding the election for sheriff. It has been over two decades since the county has had a new sheriff and with Sheriff Mike Brown’s retirement, that is exactly what we are about to get.

Although the official election is in November, an important date concerning this election is quickly approaching on Tuesday. On this date the Republican nominee will be determined, which will set the stage for the election in November.

There are three candidates vying for this nomination, and I think it is important to note that only one of them has longstanding service to this community. Mike Miller has been an integral part of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office for more than 30 years and has served in nearly every aspect of the organization. His experience has helped him to establish solid connections with local businesses and organizations as well as knowledge and familiarization of the problems that face Bedford. He has developed personal connections with members of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies as well as departments within Bedford County that work together to address local issues — even those beyond law enforcement.

Some candidates have made grandiose campaign promises like a large cut to the budget or the elimination of “specialty units” while not even knowing what that would entail. The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office provides top-notch services to the citizens of the county. The elimination of services, by cutting the budget or personnel assignments, would reduce the effective services that the honorable men and women of our Sheriff’s Office provide. In a profession that works with people in crisis, there will never be a situation where everyone involved is happy and satisfied with the outcome and there are always some who think it could or should be handled differently. However, these opinions usually come from individuals who do not have intimate knowledge of the whole situation or the training and experience needed to make such decisions.

The reality of the situation is, if you are satisfied and appreciate the service the Sheriff’s Office has and continues to provide and are eager to see what it can do with the right leadership, then the obvious choice is Mike Miller for sheriff.

HAROLD JONES

Forest

Robey best candidate for sheriff

In 2004, I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know and working with Kent Robey. At the time, I was in a position with the Virginia State Police that put me in direct contact with Robey, who was then a federal air marshal assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, working out of the FBI Richmond Field Office.

It was apparent to me and anyone working with Kent that he possessed a unique skill-set to manage and effectively operate through some of the most challenging times in law enforcement post-9/11. He was and remains to this day, an extraordinary combination of high emotional intelligence coupled with diverse investigative skills that were needed for the unprecedented and rapidly evolving law enforcement environment at that time. He was a respected team member of a rather elite unit focusing on the investigations most consequential to the United States and the commonwealth. During those years, it was obvious that he had a heart laser-focused on the mission at hand and willing to mold and adapt to the investigative and public safety challenges facing our country.

Since that time, I have been pleased to follow his impressive career and list of accomplishments as he has retired from federal service and returned to his beloved Bedford County to run for sheriff. I have heard his strategic plan for the county and the Sheriff’s Office and remain most confident that he once again will effectively address the public safety challenges of our time. He would lead our Sheriff’s Office exceptionally well and bring impeccable teamwork credentials to our county leadership. Finally, he is a fine man, husband and father of character whose professional life mirrors his personal life.

Therefore, I urge all Bedford residents to not miss this opportunity to capitalize on having such a qualified candidate for sheriff.

STEVEN W. LAMBERT

Forest

Miller backed for sheriff

On Tuesday, I’ll be voting in the Republican primary. With the well-deserved retirement of Mike Brown, we find ourselves with three Republican candidates for Bedford County sheriff (two independent candidates will also run in the General Election in November).

As a conservative-leaning independent, I will be voting for Capt. Mike Miller. Unlike the other two candidates, Miller has lived his entire life in Bedford County. Having been in the Sheriff’s Office for almost 35 years, his experience and integrity is unquestioned. He knows the department and the citizens of Bedford County better than any of the candidates.

Please join me Tuesday and vote for the candidate who can best serve Bedford County without question — Mike Miller.

JUNE LEFFKE

Lynchburg

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