A few recent articles in our local publications gave me a raised eyebrow when I began to lump the situations together.
The first was an article in the LoudounNow dated September 29, 2016 entitled, “’We’re Hiring’: Law Enforcement Agencies Ramp Up Recruiting Efforts” written by Danielle Nadler and Renss Greene. The article describes the troubling number of vacancies at the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, currently at 48, as well as the number at Leesburg Police Department, which stands at 18.
The second article came the next day in the Loudoun Times Mirror: “A new day in Leesburg: Brown sworn in as police chief.” Brown, a former Captain at the Sheriff’s office, has big shoes to fill with the departure of long time Chief Joe Price.
Now, we’ve all read online grumblings in postings from Deputies within the Sheriff’s Office about their dissatisfaction with the current administration. After being reelected, Mike Chapman has issued at least five memos shifting deputies around the department, in large numbers, often with no notice to those reassigned. Typically issued late on a Friday, this practice mirrors the way federal agencies take actions and make announcements they don’t want reported.
So, with one of the most important orders of business being the filling of vacancies, The Crystal Ball of the Bull Elephant is predicting an exodus from the Sheriff’s Office to the Leesburg Police Department over the next 3-5 months. Leesburg PD pays better, and with many in the Sheriff’s Office already having served with the new Chief, the working environment appears more stable in Leesburg. The result will be the Sheriff’s Office struggling to find enough deputies to fully protect the public while Leesburg can be selective of the deputies fleeing the Sheriff’s Office.