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Shirley says he stands on his record and programs as Jefferson County sheriff

October 14, 2012|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley
Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley said his No. 1 priority, if he is elected to a second term, is protecting the public’s safety.

Shirley, 61, of Earle Road, a 26-year department veteran, said all he needs to do to accomplish that goal is be re-elected to continue the policies he put in place since he came to the job four years ago.

Shirley’s annual salary, set by state law, is $44,800 plus 2 percent, not to exceed $15,000, of delinquent taxes collected each year.

Early voting runs from Oct. 24 through Nov. 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

“The first thing I did when I became sheriff was to restructure the department and bring back the chief deputy’s position,” Shirley said.

He said he has put more deputies on the road, including the department’s sergeants and lieutenants, and increased the number of investigators from one to three.

He also began an open-door policy to his office.

“Two years ago, I started inviting the public to monthly meetings in the sheriff’s department,” he said. “It’s a way for me to find out what’s on the minds of citizens, listen to their complaints and let them know what their sheriff’s department is doing on a regular basis.”

He said his most rewarding achievement is the working relationship his department has with the area’s law enforcement community, including federal, state and local officers.

A department deputy is permanently attached to the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, and two serve part time on the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and U.S. marshal’s task forces, he said.

“I want to continue to serve the people of Jefferson County by running this professional department for the next four years,” Shirley said.

Much of Shirley’s future rests on the outcome of his legal problems.

Shirley was indicted in June by a federal grand jury on charges that he used unreasonable force in arresting a bank robbery suspect in 2010 and then falsified a report to obstruct a federal investigation of the alleged assault, according to federal court records.

He said his attorney has advised him not to talk about the indictment.

Shirley’s trial is set for January in federal court in Martinsburg, W.Va.

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