- Last Updated on 07:56 AM 02/14/11
- BY Staff
Fred. S. Clark of Nathalie announced Friday he will challenge incumbent Sheriff Stanley Noblin for the job as the county’s chief law enforcement officer in November.
He picked up his packet from the county registrar’s office on Friday.
The 47-year-old Liberty Mini-Mart owner, who is running as an Independent, pointed to his prior employment from 1987 to 1996 as a deputy sheriff and jail officer and as a magistrate combined with his volunteer firefighting service that has prepared him to seek the office of sheriff.
Clark said working as a deputy sheriff under three previous administrations has provided insight into the day-to-day management of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office that will uniquely qualify him to hold the sheriff’s position.
“My years as a magistrate (from 2002 to 2008) afforded me the opportunity to learn more about the judicial system and provided opportunities to work closely with local judges, the commonwealth’s attorney’s office, mental health and social services, as well as representatives of both state and local law enforcement agencies,” he said.
In addition to his experience in law enforcement, Clark said three decades serving as a volunteer firefighter has taught him to be considerate of people in times of crisis and helped him to better handle emergency situations.
A 1982 graduate of Halifax County High School, Danville Community College and the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy, Clark said he is eager to continue serving the citizens of Halifax County as their sheriff “bringing a new perspective to local law enforcement.
“As sheriff I want to make the sheriff’s office more responsive to the needs of the citizens we are sworn to serve and protect,” he continued.
According to the challenger, accessibility to the public is the cornerstone of any sheriff’s administration, and if elected, he said he will have an “open door policy towards anyone who feels it is necessary to talk with me individually.”
Clark said he is running with the goal of making the sheriff’s office “a more professional law enforcement agency.”
In his opinion, meeting the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services certification standards “is an achievable first step towards meeting that goal.”
Clark said he believes deputies should conduct themselves as law enforcement professionals, honoring the community they serve through exemplary service but in a kind and courteous manner.
“Deputy sheriffs must be good role models to both young and old alike,” Clark added.
If elected sheriff in November, Clark said he would restructure the sheriff’s office in an effort to encourage a balanced approach to daily operations that include court security, civil process, transportation and drug and criminal investigations.
“Through better management of personnel and staff, I hope to provide special services to the community including restoring the Class Action-Gang Prevention Program in the elementary schools,” he said.
He also plans to work to procure state and federal grants that will be used to provide supplemental equipment and educational resources not provided within the current budget.
Also if he is elected in November, Clark said he wants to return to the basic ideals of law enforcement, focusing on “being proactive, not reactive.”
Community policing will be an integral aspect of his administration, Clark said.
“Deputies will be encouraged to become members of their respective communities, developing relationships with the people they serve. Fostering those personal relationships will restore public confidence in the sheriff’s office,” he added.
He believes successful law enforcement agencies work as a team, and Clark said he plans for his team to include the citizens of Halifax County.
Clark is married to Beverly Conner Clark, and they have three sons, Cullen, Samuel and Isaac.
He is a member of Catawba Baptist Church, a 30-year member of Liberty Volunteer Fire Department where he served as treasurer for 15 years and is currently a board of trustees member, a past master of French and Hurt Masonic Lodge and past District Deputy Grand Master of the 37th Masonic District.
Anyone wishing to contact Clark for more information about his campaign plans can call him at 434-349-2177.