Monday, March 23, 2009

Joe Bush Officially Announces for Sheriff

Joe Bush

Joe Bush

Joe Bush with two of his young girls hanging onto his leg and pulling his coat tails announced for the Democratic nomination for Roanoke City Sheriff. Don Caldwell, Commonwealth Attorney was in attendance and Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea who is Bush’s superior in the Department of Corrections Parole Division introduced Bush.

Bush said he would contribute 10% of his salary toward the expense of garnering department accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA). The program is designed to improve the delivery of public safety services and to recognize professional excellence. This accreditation according to Bush would make the department eligible for more grants and provide for additional deputy training opportunities.Bush said he would eliminate the public relations position held by Sheriff Octavia Johnson’s sister in an effort to save money. He would address “deputy retention and morale” issues in the department.

In a prepared statement Bush said: “I admit I’m new to the political scene—but I have worked my entire life in law enforcement, to keep our children and neighborhoods safe. I am a fifteen year veteran of law enforcement, starting as a security officer when I was in college, and now working as a Probation and Parole Officer working in Roanoke City. I am the proud father of two daughters, and this is my first time running for public office. I believe I can bring some new ideas to the sheriff’s office that will help this city save a lot of money—and put money back in all of our pockets as taxpayers.

First, let me tell you a bit more about my history. I was born in Salem. Both of my parents are from the Roanoke Valley. I was 15 years old when we moved to Prince Edward County. I received my undergraduate degree from Hampden Sydney College. It was in college, very early, that I began working with the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office as a security officer. I continued working with the Sheriff’s office throughout college, and I was deputized by Prince Edward’s sheriff’s office before I even graduated. I worked directly for the Sheriff’s office—assisting with office administration, investigating crimes, and any other activities that would help the department. It is there that I came to appreciate how critical the Sheriff’s role is in terms of keeping all of us safe, and effectively administering the department.

Two years later, I joined probation and parole and then I moved to Roanoke and have served in the probation and parole department here for ten years. This was a continuation of my calling to be a public servant. It was clear to me as a deputy that public service, and helping to keep our families safe and sound, is what I wanted to do with my life. When the opportunity came to personally supervise offenders and keep them from returning to lives of crime, I jumped at the chance and have been working in this capacity in Roanoke City for over ten years. I currently supervise over one hundred offenders, and am responsible for helping to keep our city safe.

My job has always been to help keep our neighborhoods safe. From being a security officer and a Sheriff’s deputy to a probation and parole officer, public service has been my passion, and I believe I have a lot to contribute as Sheriff of this City.

The sheriff is a law enforcement officer who is an administrator—both of which carry great responsibility. I have worked within the Sheriff’s Office, and in the community in Probation and Parole and this has given me a unique understanding of how the functions of the Sheriff’s office affect not only our safety, but also our city’s budget, and thus how our entire city operates. In these tough economic times it is difficult for our country, our state, and our cities to make ends meet and unfortunately this means things get brought to the chopping block. Two schools in this city are just the first items on the list. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want us to have to face the threat of cuts to our local law enforcement. Our city needs to save money wherever it can—and a GREAT deal of money can be saved in our jail.
The first thing I will do as Roanoke City Sheriff is to get this jail accredited. This is a major deal—our jail can be eligible for grants—MONEY—and possible cuts to liability insurance expenses. Having an unaccredited jail is leaving all of our money on the table!! There is a considerable cost for the jail to be accredited, and I am here today to pledge 10% of my salary in my first year as sheriff, and in subsequent years if necessary, to get the jail accredited. I will pay for it Roanoke—because I know that our city can’t afford it.

I believe our city can’t afford not to—with the prospect of securing grant money that can save even more money that we can put back into law enforcement, and other areas—like our roads, and our schools. Why leave money setting on the table?

If I am elected sheriff, I will get our jail accredited!

This is just one way our jail can contribute to the financial well being of out city and our wallets. But there are countless others.

Let us take a lead from the new Regional Jail. They are implementing new ways of saving money immediately, and in the long run. For instance, the regional jail is creating cost effective ways of preparing meals and innovative new ways of recycling.

There is NO reason we don’t apply these principles in the city jail.

There are things we can change in all aspects of running the jail and the sheriff’s office-from serving petitions, to transporting inmates, to washing garments and preparing meals—and I will make it my responsibility to find areas where we can save money and operate in a more green manner.

The major priority of the city sheriff needs to be keeping all of our families safe and secure, while administering the jail and other services as cost effectively as possible so that the city can function. I will partner with other law enforcement agencies to make Roanoke a safer place to live. These will be my two chief priorities as sheriff.

My name is Joe Bush—and I humbly ask for your vote to be the Democratic Nominee for Sheriff. These are just some of my ideas and I look forward to meeting and talking with all the voters in this city to get your thoughts on what the Sheriff’s Office can do to make your life better.

Bush’s website is

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

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