11/3/2011 - Candidates for Sheriff Part2

The candidates were also asked about relations with the Hispanic Community with Godwin citing the language barrier as a hurdle as well as their reluctance to call police. He said his goal is to treat them like anyone else in Accomack County. Marks suggested that local ministers be utilized in getting the message to the Hispanics that the police are there to help and are not their enemy. He also noted that Spanish classes for deputies were an option. Rogers meanwhile called for the hiring of a bi-lingual officer for the department.
The issue of turnover in the sheriffs department was raised by an audience question. In response Godwin said, Im not here to debate Sheriffs Goddens policies but he noted that he did have two employees return to the department when he took over. He also said some towns had been actively recruiting some of his officers but none applied for the positions. Marks contended there has been turnover in the department. He said three former deputies were now working for him in Onley. Rogers commented that he is one of the turnover officers. He went on to say that the workload in the department was affecting all parts of his life and management was not doing anything to relieve that strain.

When asked if there had been a passing of the torch from Giddens to Godwin, the new sheriff stated that he had no control over Sheriff Giddens retirement. He noted that he had started at the bottom and worked his way up to Chief Deputy, the position which the code calls for to be appointed to fill unexpired terms. Rogers had a different take on the situation, saying at the beginning of Sheriff Giddens term he said he was going to serve the full eight years. But, said Rogers, he was later told to sit back and wait that his turn would come. Rogers said he was told in 12 years I would get my chance to run the county. We prayed, we cried, he said, we did all we couldbut the torch was passed.

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