Sheriff says farewell

Published 8:29 pm Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dear Isle of Wight County residents and local media,

I have served as your Sheriff since January of 2012. Much was accomplished during the first term. I sought re-election in 2015 for a second term and took office for that term in 2016. I wanted to ensure that we had institutionalized processes that centered on contemporary professional standards to include accreditation. Additionally, there were several projects underway that I had helped spearhead to include an overhaul of the radio system platform and the 911 center. The radio system is being built out as I type, and it is estimated that it will become operationalized in late spring of this year.

Additionally, I have worked hard to ensure that the deputies hired by this office subscribe to the highest standards of conduct and are well trained. I am proud of the organization as built to this date. Further, I sponsored and sent the first deputy from the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office ever, to attend the FBI National Academy. My chief deputy, a longtime resident of Isle of Wight, Major James Clarke, graduated in 2013. I have sent another deputy, Lt. Julian Evans, through the FBI National Academy and have most of the command staff in the queue to attend at a future date. Having a cadre of well-trained individuals within an organization is essential for any succession planning.

All organizations are measured by the quality of those who do the day-to-day work. Fortunately, we have a high performing team of committed folks who give it their all, day in and day out. They do the “heavy lifting,” and their sincere desire to help the community never ceases to amaze me. They are the true heroes of this story and my professional success has been built around their work. They will forever have my personal gratitude for a job well done and they should be thanked by all!

Recently, I have personally become involved with a family business project on the Eastern Shore. With most of my family living there, I have increasingly felt the “tug” to come home. The business has matured into another phase and the time has come to now “pass the torch.” Thus, I will resign from my office effective March 1, 2018.

By statute, the chief deputy if qualified, would serve as Sheriff until a special election is called. As indicated, my chief deputy, Major James Clarke, is a longtime resident of the county and is certainly qualified to occupy that post. He was selected and has retained the position of chief deputy because of his qualifications and more importantly, his commitment to quality public safety for this county. He has my unequivocal support as Sheriff for Isle of Wight county.

Smithfield and Isle of Wight has been my home and my post for 32 years of public safety service. It is where we raised our family and our lives have been so much richer because of it. Deborah and I have many blessings and dear friends in this wonderful community. I am truly humbled by this community’s support throughout the years. It truly makes this part of the world so unique…and appealing. We will not be strangers here and will stay in touch. Godspeed and, as the saying goes, I believe the best is yet to come.

Sheriff Mark Marshall

Isle of Wight County