Incumbent Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner faces a challenge from two candidates for the office in the Nov. 3 election.
Gardner, a Republican, faces opposition from two Independent challengers, Shannon Goad and Chris Toney. The three candidates for the position of Carroll County Sheriff were asked two questions. The first was “If elected, what goals do you have for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and how would accomplish them?” Candidates were asked to limit the answer to 500 words. The second question asked for biographical information in 150 words or less. The answers follow:
John B. “J.B.” Gardner:
1. My goal for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is to continue to provide the best possible law enforcement services to the citizens of Carroll County, as cheap and efficiently as possible. I was challenged by the Board of Supervisors when I took office to help in any way we could to save the citizens money. We took the challenge head on to provide our own:
* Cars; * Radio’s; * Equipment; * Body armor; * Weapons; * Tuition costs for mandated training; * Mandated personnel to cover courtroom security costs; * An additional SRO for St. Paul School; * An additional investigator assigned to work child sex cases; * Two state approved but unfunded road deputy positions.
All of these things were accomplished from our Highway Safety Fund, at no additional cost to the taxpayers! That means if we didn’t provide these things, we could do without them or the county taxpayers would have to pay for the services.
Yes my budget did increase, but so did the money taken in from fines and fees. You cannot provide additional services without a budget increase. But we did provide these services and others and paid for them ourselves! Show me any other local or state agency that provides these services themselves! It is not bad that we are striving to become self-sufficient, there is no way to make it bad that we save taxpayer dollars by buying our own equipment.
We went a step further to provide $13,000 in scholarships so far to Carroll County High and Galax High students who one day strive to become our first responders.
Our deputy-initiated methamphetamine seizures have increased by 300% in the last four years, this information comes directly from our Incident Based Reporting system. Our search warrants have increased from 25 in the four years previous to my taking office, to 74 in the last four years since I took office. This number can be validated by checking the Circuit Court search warrant file.
The crime statistics quoted at the forum were inaccurate. Additional reading of that same report clearly states that the information given is not clearance rates or accurate because it shows arrests only and not the number of arrests if an offender commits and is charged with more than one crime.
When the Board of Supervisors were in a bind on how to purchase a fire truck that was desperately needed in the county, they approached our office and asked for help, we stepped up and gave them $220,000 towards the purchase of that firetruck. Our help saved a possible tax increase on the citizens of this county. If possible we will do it again next time.
The Board of Supervisors needed help when Cana Fire and Cana Rescue needed emergency money to repair their radio system, we were able to help with more than $20,000.
Our office stepped up to the challenge to help on a regular basis. We love this county and the people we serve.
2. Biographical information:
* Served 4 years in the United States Marine Corps 1977-81; * Started at Galax PD in 1982 as a patrol officer; * Came to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office in 1985, served 3 years as a patrol deputy and 10 years as an Investigator; * Served on both the Twin Co. Drug Task Force and the DEA Federal Drug Task Force; * Served 14 years as a SRO at CCHS; * Recognized by the Virginia Department of Education with the “Creating Excellence Award” for his crime scene investigation class, my crime scene investigation class has been adopted as part of the criminal justice curriculum throughout other criminal justice programs across the state.
* While serving as a School Resource Officer, taught a Dual Credit Criminal Justice class working in conjunction with Wytheville Community College; * Married to Mary Walker Gardner for 37 years; * He has two children and one grandson.
Shannon Dale Goad
I am a lifelong resident of Carroll County, a graduate of Carroll County High School and a graduate of Wytheville Community College with a degree in police science. I worked for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years and the last 2 1/2 years, I have been employed as an officer with Hillsville Police Department. During my law enforcement career I have served as dispatcher, jailor, road deputy and investigator. I am a Mason, Shriner, Moose member, NRA member and a member of Pine Grove Baptist Church. I enjoy service to others and often volunteer at events such as the Fiddlers Convention and Houston Fest.
I want to take this opportunity to explain to you what my goals and objectives are for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. I want to make Carroll County the safest place to work, play and live. I have a vision and plan of action to achieve this. It comes down to vision. My vision is to assess and understand the impact crime is having on families and communities and the future. My department will be involved with community intervention and community interaction programs. A presence of deputies interacting with you reduces crime. I believe the Sheriff’s Office belongs to the people and it’s time we started dong our job of protecting the citizens and their property. I will assign a deputy to each community of the county and this will allow for a quicker response time to calls for services.
We must have a Sheriff’s Department that has its priorities straight. Our priority under the current Sheriff is running radar on I-77. I am not against running radar. My department will run radar to slow traffic down to save lives, not mandated like it is now for deputies to write two tickets an hour for wasteful spending. I will work with county officials like some other counties do to give back to the county a percentage of highway safety funds to assist the financial burden of tax payers.
The current Sheriff’s budget has increased from 2 million dollars per year to well over 3.2 million in three years. I have conservative values and will not allow wasteful spending. For example: $648,643.79 has been spent on new vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office in the last three years. I have no problem with providing my deputies a patrol car to perform their job, but I feel that this amount is excessive in a three-year period.
My department will actively obtain search warrants and be thorough in our investigations. My department will crack down hard on fighting the drug problems. A drug ruins the user’s life and destroys his/her family.
I will command you a Sheriff’s Department that will make Carroll County proud. I feel that it’s time for new leadership to turn this department in the right direction. This election is about you, our safety and your future in Carroll County. I grew up locally and was raised by a family who believes in strong community ties and Christian values. I feel that I am the right candidate for Sheriff of Carroll County and I humbly ask for your vote on November 3.
C.L. “Chris” Toney
1. If elected, I will work to steer the department back to its primary mission of being a law enforcement agency rather than a revenue generating agency. I will do this by reestablishing and maintaining an open presence, accountability and communication with our community. It is also my priority to work diligently toward the goal of state accreditation for the department to ensure that the people of Carroll County are receiving the best possible service.
The sheriff and his deputies should provide a leadership role within the community. Law enforcement is one of the primary responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office, and it is in the best interest of the citizens and the department to promote compliance with the law, and to apply the law fairly and equally to everyone. Active participation in community activities is also necessary in order to maintain the department’s goal of community integration.
Further, it is of utmost importance for the department to operate at the most current level of technology possible; providing services to those who rely on technology and for purposes of keeping up with advancements in criminal justice activities. To further this goal, the “Text 911” system will be a technological priority within the department’s established budget.
Under my administration, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office budget will be managed with care, reservation and diligence to the taxpayers. The standards set forth in the Virginia Sheriff’s Accounting Manual will be implemented and maintained, and periodic independent audits will be conducted and published for public review to ensure adequate fiscal transparency. All financial decisions, as with all decisions made within the Sheriff’s Office, will be made specifically for the benefit of the citizens. Every effort will be made to recover funds from law violators through collection of fees, and by aggressively applying asset forfeiture laws.
Law enforcement efforts in our community must serve to better our community. Traffic enforcement must promote and achieve traffic safety goals; drug enforcement operations must disrupt the illicit drug trade; community policing functions must improve communications between communities and their police. In order to maintain new standards set by enforcement efforts, however, proactive steps such as public education and victim support, as well as open involvement in recovery programs are necessary. Effective crime suppression requires continual on-going support to maintain progress.
No employee should have to be concerned about his/her employment simply for doing their job or civic duty, or because he/she has a disagreeing opinion. The sheriff must earn the support of those in his employ just as he must do so with the general public.
If elected, all department policies and standard operating procedures will be reviewed and updated to ensure relevance, legality and integrity. There will be no “unwritten rules” or arbitrary understandings under my administration. To provide the citizens of Carroll County the best possible service, every effort will be made to provide as many training opportunities as possible at all times as it is the life’s blood of modern policing.
2. Background info:
I have dedicated my life and career to public service, first in the United States Coast Guard during Operation Desert Storm and then in emergency medical services, private security, and law enforcement. I hold numerous certifications and commendations for my service as well. Previously a Political Science Major at Troy University, I am currently completing a Criminal Justice degree through Liberty University. My family and I are involved with our community through Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, the Carroll County Soccer Association, National Night Out projects, and the Galax Fire Department.