“Fluvanna County needs a strong, experienced leader in place to continue to make it a safe place to live,” Hess said.  “The Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office has successfully and continuously reduced crime in the county, and will make every effort to continue this trend.”

Hess pointed to his community policing approach as an accomplishment of his time in office.  “We’re getting more out into the community with our community policing.  Deputies are getting out and engaging businesses,” he said.  “Some of them have gone into some of the churches during the services.  I will continue going to all the functions in the community, representing the office.”

One of the goals of community policing is to establish a positive relationship between deputies and citizens before a law enforcement situation arises.  Plus, residents can often provide valuable assistance, Hess said.  “When community members and law enforcement work together to identify crime-related problems, determine their causes and apply solutions to address them, it helps to permanently reduce or eliminate the problems,” he said.

Hess plans to start bike patrols in which deputies ride bicycles around recreational events, establishing relationships, maintaining visibility, and keeping an eye on potential problems.  “It’ll be a more personal thing,” he said.

Candidates have until June 9 to file their papers to run for election.  So far no one is running against Hess, who was appointed sheriff in May 2014 to fill the unexpired term of former Sheriff Ryant Washington, who left to take a position under Gov. Terry McAuliffee in alcoholic beverage control.  Last November Hess defeated challenger Mark Belew in a special election.  Now he must run again to be elected to a regular four-year term.  The election is Nov. 3.

“I think we’ve probably got the best team we’ve ever had here at the sheriff’s office in the nine years that I’ve been here,” Hess said, “and I look forward to working with each and every one of these deputies in the future.”

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