Whitbeck, Chapman Call to Put Deputies in Every Elementary School

Republican candidate for Loudoun’s Chairman At Large, John Whitbeck, and Sheriff Mike Chapman have called to put deputies in every Loudoun elementary school.

Currently, the Sheriff’s Office assigns specialized deputies, school resource officers, to every Loudoun middle school and high school, except Leesburg schools, which are staffed by the Leesburg Police Department.

Loudoun’s School Resource Office program began in 1996 with one deputy serving three high schools. Last year, the program received the National Association of School Resource Officers Model Agency of the Year Award.

“We’re fortunate to have one of the best SRO programs in the nation thanks to the great work of Sheriff Chapman and his outstanding team,” Whitbeck stated. “Now it’s time to complete the program by expanding it to all of our elementary schools.”

Chapman, who announced the measure jointly with fellow Republican and challenger to incumbent County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), and referred to it in a press release as “the plan he and Whitbeck will implement,” called the proposal “a non-partisan issue and one that I think we should prioritize immediately.”

“Putting an SRO in every elementary school along with other school safety measures initiated by LCPS, local law enforcement and fire and rescue, will clearly demonstrate that Loudoun intends to have the safest schools in the nation,” Chapman stated.

Chapman said the plan calls for hiring 13 new school resource officers each year for four years, for a total of 58—one for every Loudoun elementary school. He said the program could be funded with $10.5 million in start-up costs and through vacancy savings in the department, as open positions for deputies have gone unfilled. Chapman said he does not expect hiring those officers to impede his ability to hire and fund other necessary positions, and said the sheriff’s office has a lower vacancy rate than the count government as a whole.

According to the press release, the plan would make Loudoun the first major jurisdiction in Virginia to put a school resource officer in every school.

Supervisors will begin this year’s budget deliberations with a presentation of a proposed budget by County Administrator Tim Hemstreet on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

20 thoughts on “Whitbeck, Chapman Call to Put Deputies in Every Elementary School

  • 2019-01-23 at 3:25 pm
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    These are the sad times we live in when we need armed officers in every school. Sad, but necessary.

  • 2019-01-23 at 3:52 pm
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    So, let me get this straight — we Loudoun taxpayers get to either pay an extra $10MM to the Schools/Sheriffs, or do without some number of needed (unneeded???) police officers (cause the article is sort fo vague here) so that some other number of Loudoun residents can feel free to have their guns? So the price is becoming clearer her for all of us — there’s ~30% of US residents who own guns and they want the other 70% of us to pay with either lives or tax money for their freedom. Yeah, makes sense to me.

  • 2019-01-23 at 3:58 pm
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    Allowing – not forcing – teachers, who have concealed carry permits, to protect themselves and kids is an even cheaper safety measure that should be taken.

    • 2019-01-24 at 7:19 am
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      The more appropriate question is – What was Chapman waiting for? The answer is – election year!

  • 2019-01-23 at 5:23 pm
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    We can start by removing the deputy at education court, and posting them at the nearest elementary school. Should have been done years ago. Make it happen Sheriff.

  • 2019-01-23 at 6:57 pm
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    How does Chapman expect to hire people to fill these positions when he can’t even hire people now to work?. Ask chappy now how many short they are. I was just told they are 60 deputies short. He likes to fudge numbers so the public thinks he’s doing great versus the truth that he had screwed up the department. Vote for anyone other than Chapman and whitbeck. LOUDOUN deserves better and can do better than these 2 clowns

  • 2019-01-23 at 7:29 pm
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    I think this is overkill. Virtually no elementary schools have been attacked. The chances are slim to none. The risk doesn’t warrant the cost IMO.

  • 2019-01-23 at 7:50 pm
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    The Sheriff’s Office in down somewhere between 70-80 patrol positions. The Detective Division is down 11. They turn out somewhere between 10-15 deputies (sometimes less) during the evening shift. If you need help, you will wait a long time. How about start fixing that first. Deputies can’t get time off and are stretched dangerously thin.

    Chapman waits until 10 months before the election to come out with this plan? He mentioned funding through vacancy savings. Remember when he went over budget 2 million dollars during his first term? All he did was rail about how bad that vacancy practice was, and yet he still has it in place. In other words…THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR SCAM. He can not pull that off ( a deputy in every elementary school)but it makes for a headline. As for the statement that this was “non-partisan” , what nonsense. He came up with this plan with Whitbeck, who just happened to announce his run for the BOS!!!???Folks, you are way smarter than this. Please wise up next election. Don’t automatically vote just on party lines. Look past the smoke and mirrors; the hype and spin. Chapman is a scheming back office bureaucrat.

  • 2019-01-24 at 1:39 pm
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    This is why Loudoun County needs a police department, like Fairfax County, and strip away Sheriff Chapman’s authority. Clearly, this is political. Election year, you know! So, where was Sheriff Chapman for years on this? Why no budget requests before? Why do a press release alongside the political opponent of Chair Randall? Why is public safety for Sheriff Chapman only something to roll out when he is playing politics? Just another example why we need a police department in Loudoun County.

  • 2019-01-24 at 2:30 pm
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    It takes one and a half cent to come up with 10 million dollars to fund this idea in total. Tell me what risk is acceptable, Virginia_sgp? Until there is a better solution get with the program.

    • 2019-01-26 at 12:09 pm
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      I would say when the risk to elementary schools exceeds the risk of a kid dying on a school bus, then maybe.

      I am all for providing funds for deputy body cameras, increased compensation so they can staff their current positions, and more ICE cooperation/anti-gang efforts.

      I just believe we should base decisions on data. That would never happen with a police dept but we can hope/expect that to happen with an accountable sheriff.

  • 2019-01-24 at 4:37 pm
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    Sorry Lawgh ole buddy.. Law Enforcement is to important to be left in the hands of the BOS. This is the People’s decision, and it always should be.

    Stripping away the People’s right to choose and disenfranchising them all on one fell swoop… Very progressive.

    • 2019-01-24 at 5:51 pm
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      Chris – With all due respect, in theory, you are absolutely correct, however in the practical application of this noble idea, things get blurred. There are some interesting articles about the almost unchecked power of a constitutional officer such as a sheriff, and the long list of abuses that often occur as a result. Keep in mind that approx. 30,000 people voted for him.(215,599 registered voters in Loudoun County and only 69,575 actually voted in the 2015 election). That’s not exactly representative of the people.

  • 2019-01-25 at 9:19 am
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    Oh, Chris, there you go again. A sheriff should be non-partisan since the actions of a sheriff should be above suspicion. But Sheriff Chapman fails terribly in that regard. He is always appearing in ads for republican candidates, and here, he is working hand in hand with a republican candidate for Chair of the Board of Supervisors. AND, on a matter that Sheriff Chapman had not spoken out about during his entire two terms as sheriff. So, one should be very suspicious of the motives of Sheriff Chapman. That needs to be removed from law enforcement, and the best way to do that is with a police department.

  • 2019-01-25 at 9:56 am
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    representing the mambo, I fully agree with you. I speak to deputies and supervisors from the sheriffs office on a regular basis. They are all fed up with him and are all hoping for a new and QUALIFIED sheriff. I believe that most have a vote of no confidence in him, but due to him leading with fear and intimidation, we will never be able to let the people of Loudoun see the real truth. Republicans need to dump chapman and Whitbeck.

  • 2019-01-25 at 12:42 pm
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    Mambo, Thank you for the reasonable discourse. The constitutional positions are there for a reason — to keep the people at large, in control of the day to day affairs of the County. We couldn’t be more lucky to have such a system. It is the individual citizens duty to be aware of the actions of their government servants help, and vote accordingly.
    I’m glad you brought up the unfairness to the voters by Virginia lacking a requirement for a clear 50 plus .1 plurality in determining the winners of elections: For example, Chair Randall won election with a paltry 37% of the votes cast. Is that fair to the voters of Loudoun? Former Gov. Terry Mac, won election with 47% of the vote. According to the Board of Elections, he received 1,069,789 votes out of 5.2 million eligible voters. Check my math, but that works out to roughly 20% of all voters. Again, is that representative of the voters? I think you’d agree it’s not in both cases. People who fail to vote — a deep civic problem — have no right to complain about sub-par officials.
    Ever wonder why any effort to create run-off election system in Virginia goes nowhere? It’s the best bi-partisan secret on Richmond. Join with me Mambo, in pushing for a run-off system, or at least a second choice on the ballot and bring fairness and a clear expression of the will of the people to reality.

    Lawgh, I’m always disappointed that you, of all people, support the disenfranchisement of the People, from what is the most important elected official in Loudoun. Riddle me this; would you be willing to wrap up all the elected positions on Loudoun , soil and conservation folks, clerk, CA, school board, etc, and have the BOS appoint these people as they see fit? Would you really take power away from the People in making these choices and turn it over to political hackery? Come ‘On Man! You’re better than that.
    If folks don’t like the Sheriff, then run against him. But don’t you steal my right, or anyone else’s right to select our top LE.

  • 2019-01-28 at 3:05 pm
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    Hi, my very good friend Chris. Been away, just got back, and saw you post. Easy answer: Sheriff Chapman lost any mantle of respectability when he takes a law enforcement position, and uses it to boost the partisan election chances of his fellow republicans. All that does, it makes one wonder if law enforcement in Loudoun County runs on who is what political party. Sheriff Chapman never once asked for money for police in elementary schools – until he wants to boost the election chances of a republican candidate for chair of the Board of Supervisors. So, when Sheriff Chapman does this, it destroys the respect one should have for a law enforcement officer. Maybe everyone should start putting on their cars re-elect Sheriff Chapman, and they won’t get any tickets.

  • 2019-01-28 at 4:10 pm
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    Maybe Chapman floated this idea past Randall and there was no traction?

    Someone explain the poor job Chapman has done for the life of me I see no problem.

    Political beefs need to be defeated at the ballot box.

    Lawgh, I didn’t miss you!

  • 2019-01-29 at 10:44 am
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    It’s not about the current Sheriff Lawgh Ole’ buddy. It’s about your expression of no choice, and thus, the disenfranchisement of Loudoun’s voters that’s concerning.

    I’ll repeat — if you don’t like the Sheriff, then step up and run against him. Or at least support a candidate. But do not ever ever support a regressive move such as putting day to day law enforcement in the hands of the BOS. I trust the people-at-large far more than anyone on the BOS when making such a decision. It’s 2019. It’s long past time for the people to have more say, not less, in our lives.

    As a matter of fact, I’m urging you to run: “Lawgh for Sheriff.” Has a ring to it, don’t you think?

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