I was a mental health prescreener for a Community Services Board (CSB) emergency services section, and in that role, I assessed persons under Emergency Custody Orders (ECO) for appropriateness of involuntary inpatient mental health treatment.  Mark was a police officer at the University of Virginia.  It was obvious to me that Mark went above and beyond to treat the needs of citizens.  Mark is Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certified, trained in the skills needed to de-escalate people in crisis and respond effectively and appropriately.  It is important to remember that this was in a time when persons presenting with mental illness and law enforcement did not always coincide well, and prior to recent tragedies involving mental illness in the Commonwealth.

Additionally, Mark Belew has held a variety of positions within the same law enforcement agency and geographical area, and has shown a clear path of professional development in scope and development.  Mark has absolutely no shortage of front line trench work history to include police officer, forensic crime scene technician, police academy instructor, firearms instructor, SWAT operator, and detective.  While working full time, Mark tenaciously pursued his B.A.  Mark demonstrates a history of transforming his hands-on experience into effective administrative initiatives and goals, to include achieving state accreditation, and he would like to take the Fluvanna Sheriff’s Office in a new direction.  Speaking from direct professional experience, Mark Belew is a person whom you want on your team — and speaking as a lifelong, exceedingly proud Flying Fluco, he is the person I would like leading the team.  Nikki Sheridan, Kents Store

(The Fluvanna Review experienced technical problems this week and it may have caused us to lose this letter to the editor which should have run in this week’s newspaper – the last before the Nov. 4 election. For that reason we are posting this letter on our website and on the Fluvanna Review’s Facebook page. )– Carlos Santos/Editor

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