Sheriff of the Year
2017 Ferris E. Lucas Sheriff of the Year
Sheriff Mike Brown
Bedford County, Virginia
Protect the Protectors
After learning there are over 200,000 law enforcement personnel (Rand Corporation and DOJ survey) that do not have funding to secure ballistic vest protection for themselves, this Sheriff organized donors from across the country and as of this past October his efforts have provided 636 new Level IIIA vests to law enforcement officers across the country.
Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
Under the leadership of Sheriff Brown, this Department of Justice task force, the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, SOVA ICAC for short, established in 1998, still maintains a 100% conviction rate in the arrest and prosecution of the sexual predators.
The Safe Surfin’ Foundation
Founded by the Sheriff, it continues to lead the nation in supplying Internet safety educational materials throughout the country at no cost to the user. Thousands of age-appropriate lesson plans have been supplied to schools, home schools, church groups, scout troops, libraries and concerned parents, to educate our youth beginning in kindergarten through the twelfth grade.
After experiencing two suicides by local youths in Virginia last year and later learning of the suicide of a friend’s son on the West coast, this Sheriff secured funding ($35,000) from private donors, to produce an educational DVD raising the awareness of the dangers of Cyberbullying and how to best recognize the signs that a child is being bullied and how best for parents act in response. This DVD is being offered to SROs throughout the country for training in their respective schools and communities.
Rural Bike Patrol
In response to numerous break-ins in some of the more densely populated areas of the county, Corporal
Jeremy Gardner suggested to the Sheriff that perhaps a Bike Patrol could be useful in better patrolling these subdivision neighborhoods. No county funds were requested nor needed to form this five person patrol unit. Local business owners were happy to donate the funds need for uniforms and equipment. The biggest payoff has been an enormous enhancement of community policing throughout the county and a drop in the break-ins in these neighborhoods and businesses.
The National Sheriffs’ Association recognized Sheriff Mike Brown with the NSA Innovation Award in 2015 for this highly innovative idea and the creating a replicable national model.
Another first in Virginia happened in Bedford County under the supervision of Sheriff Brown. When the Board of Supervisors denied the Sheriff’s request for more School Resource Officers to help protect the vulnerable primary schools, he quickly began searching and researching for a plan ’B’. Bedford County was first in the state of VA to establish COPsync throughout the school system. COPsync is real-time, in-car information sharing communications system. Should a threat occur in any of the schools, any teacher or administrator can send a silent alarm which automatically alerts the five closest officers in that area.
Cyber S.W.A.T. Team
In an effort to deliver Internet safety education to as many young people as possible, Sheriff Brown has introduced the Cyber S.W.A.T. (Safety While Accessing Technology) Team in Bedford County high schools. The idea is to train the older students on how to present Internet safety presentations and have them go into the lower grade schools. Bedford County is the pilot program to work out the kinks then Cyber S.W.A.T. will be replicated across the country beginning with the Los Angeles school system, where a team is already in place for a roll out.
Boys with a Dream
Sheriff Brown has taken ‘community policing’ to a level that has been recognized by the NAACP, NSA, and Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee. Boys with a Dream evolved from a group of young men playing basketball in the afternoon and decided to start a group to stop violence in the community and work with law enforcement for a solution. The Sheriff recognized the importance of this effort by these young men and immediately began helping organize their organization by convincing a local attorney to handle all of their legal work needed to formally register as an I.R.S. 501 (c) (3) entity.
1995 Bob E. Rice - Polk County, WI
1996 Charles A. Fuselier - St. Matin Parish, LA
1997 John R. Newhart - City of Chesapeake, VA
1998 Tim Hutchison - Knox County, TN
1999 Bill Hutson - Cobb County, GA
2000 Stanley Glanz - Tulsa County, OK
2001 Patrick Sullivan, Jr. - rapahoe County, CO
2002 Bob Garvey - North Hampton, MA
2003 Kevin Beary - Orange County, FL
2004 Dave Reichert - King County, WA
2005 Patrick McGowan - Hennepin County, MN
2006 Joseph W. Oxley - Monmouth County, NJ
2007 Edmund M. "Ted" Sexton, Sr. - Tuscaloosa County, AL
2008 John Cary Bittick - Monroe County, GA
2009 Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. - Shelby County, TN
2010 Jerry "Peanuts" Gaines - Warren County, KY
2011 Paul Babeu - Pinal County, AZ
2012 Paul D. Laney - Cass County, ND
2013 Leroy Baca - Los Angeles County, CA
2014 Doug Gillespie - Clark County, NV
2015 John Lenhart - Shelby County, OH
2016 Michael J. Bouchard - Oakland County, MI
2017 - Mike Brown - Bedford County, VA