By CATE STACKHOUSE
Last Monday, University of Mary Washington Police Lieutenant Bill Gill announced his candidacy for Spotsylvania County Sheriff. This fall, Gill will run against Republican incumbent Roger Harris for the four-year position.
According to Gill, running for sheriff has been a long-term goal since beginning his law enforcement career in 1995, and he has spent much of his career preparing for the eventual election
Gill said that his career in law enforcement has always been about school safety.
“I consider myself an expert in law enforcement, and I consider myself an expert in school safety,” said Gill. “I spent a long time in training in that area, so I am going to try to bring my expertise to [Spotsylvania County] with some new ideas and some things that are not being done by the current sheriff, so I can help make the area a safer place.”
In addition to school safety, Gill plans to emphasize a greater focus on drug enforcement, leadership and fiscal management.
“This region is being hit hard with a heroin epidemic and other hardcore drugs,” said Gill. “The current sheriff has done nothing to expand the investigation of illegal drugs in the county, and I have some ideas of how we can do those investigations and get some more people in there.”
While the Spotsylvania area faces various criminal problems, Gill believes the solutions are all interconnected.
“With the drug issue, I’m going to tie it back to school safety. I want to get drug investigators back into schools and meeting with administration, teachers and staff to educate them on what is going on, what the trends are and what to look for in their classrooms,” said Gill.
According to Gill, a decisive presence in classes and throughout the county will be a cornerstone of his platform.
“Leadership is another thing that is key. It starts at the top and trickles down. Leadership is missing [in Spotsylvania County] now,” said Gill.
He also indicated the importance of fiscal and organizational management, something that Gill said he believes is currently missing in management.
“There is overspending, and they’re creating positions for family and friends,” said Gill.
Gill said his time at UMW has made an impact not only on his career, but also on his future plans as sheriff.
“[UMW has] given me the opportunity to see some problems at the university that I can take back to the high schools to educate kids that are getting ready to go off to college,” said Gill.
Gill will be seeking the Republican nomination against Harris, who received 48.9 percent of the vote along with GOP support in the 2011 election.
“Lieutenant Gill will make a great sheriff of Spotsylvania County and is a great representative of UMW,” said Nicole Tardif, chairman of the UMW College Republicans. “Although the UMW CRs do not support a specific candidate until after the primary has concluded, it is great to see one of our own from the Mary Washington family throwing his hat into the ring.”