Letter to the Editor: Why I support Sheriff Epps

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Dear Editor,

Prince Edward County needs and deserves the continued effective and highly competent leadership of L.A. “Tony” Epps, who is running for a second term as an independent candidate in the November 7, 2023 election. Having had 28 years experience in law enforcement, he has a proven track record of “promises made/promises kept” since assuming his duties as sheriff on Jan. 1, 2020.

Sheriff Epps will work for the common good of all his constituents, regardless of their political affiliations. The very strong work ethic instilled in him as a young boy remains evident in his deliberation to keep our county safe, as well as a pleasant place to live, with this mission based on honesty, trust and respect for all citizens and his fellow employees.

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Tony possesses the admirable qualities of integrity, humility, high moral character, temperance, kindness and compassion, all of which I have witnessed as his neighbor and friend. He is a loving and devoted dad to his three sons, who have grown to be fine young men. The COVID-19 pandemic during his tenure in office neither curtailed nor prevented Sheriff Epps from keeping promises he made prior to his election in 2019. These include:

Formation of “School Safe” program in which deputies are on school grounds daily to assist resource officers to provide safety for students and staff.

Implementation of the narcotic K-9 unit, K-9 handler and highly trained narcotics agent (now a member of the DEA Task Force) with over $95,000 in illegal narcotics seized in our county in 2022.

Regularly attending and supporting various community positivity programs to increase trust, positively and transparency between deputies and citizens (includes National Night Out and the DEA Drug Take-Back program), plus active collaboration of the sheriff’s office with our neighboring fire/rescue organizations and law enforcement agencies.

Recognition and initiation of needed changes of law enforcement accreditation files with full accreditation expected in the near future.

Addition of mobile data terminals in patrol cars with all field deputies wearing body cams, provided improved time management, transparency and increase surveillance time for field deputies.

Addition of crisis intervention training courses for deputies, with numerous deputies certified to teach I.T. courses.

Coordinating with our county board of supervisors and county administrator to provide raises in starting salaries for deputies and dispatchers and to lower the cost of family plan health care for law enforcement to nearly half the amount it was when Sheriff Epps assumed office in 2020.

Having remained loyal to the solemn oath of office, Sheriff Epps’ steadfast dedication and commitment to public service are evident in his proven ability to provide law enforcement leadership we need. Please join me in voting to re-elect L.A. “Tony” Epps as sheriff of Prince Edward County.

Rita Booker Oakes