Letter: Why I support Pat Coffey for sheriff

I want to encourage Culpeper County voters to research the candidates in this yearâ??s election for sheriff. I am confident they will decide to vote for Patrick Coffey. Here is why:

Patrick is the absolute best as a law-enforcement professional. He was my supervisor for seven years at the Culpeper Police Department. He was a true mentor, great leader and strongest supporter of my own long, successful law-enforcement career. Patrick strives for excellence and expects the same from those around him. He was a leader in every duty he took on â?? Police Lieutenant, Tactical Team Leader, Accident Reconstruction Team Leader, Range Master/ Advance Firearms Instructor, along with numerous other instructor certifications. He climbed the ranks quickly a few years later at the Fauquier County Sheriffâ??s Office â?? Patrol Captain, Tactical Team Commander â?? the list goes on and on. He constantly seeks to improve himself as a law enforcement expert and leader, and, in each endeavor, he succeeds.

Patrick has worked outside of Culpeper County and has relationships and experience that will be an asset to the community. In addition to his experience as a sworn law enforcement leader in a much larger jurisdiction, Patrick has served his country as a police leader in Iraq â?? as a trainer and as an investigator. In the training capacity, I worked alongside him at the Baghdad Police College-the largest facility of its kind in the world. Patrickâ??s management skills were quickly recognized by the U.S. military commander and Patrick became the director of operations there. In another role in Iraq, Patrick was contracted to help eliminate the IED threat to the brave men and women of our military by using police investigative techniques to identify insurgent networks and refine targeting. When our military needed specific expertise, Patrick was selected from thousands of applicants to fill the void! and stand alongside the worldâ??s greatest military to accomplish its mission.

Patrick is a great man and a great friend. My career has taken me around the world. Patrick has been there for me in times of need, as he has been for many others. He is unselfish and caring. After long days of work he helped me add a bedroom as my family grew; he helped replace my well pump (twice) when it went bad; when I was deployed to North Africa, he took my son hunting and the boy harvested a 10-point buck. Why does this matter to Culpeper? It is the measure of the man. A man who can be trusted to care just as much about the community as he does about family, friends and others in need.

I mistakenly supported the incumbent last election. He knew what was important to me- fair hiring practices, fair promotion processes, a physical fitness program, improved policies, national accreditation- and promised that he would deliver. He did not fulfill a single election promise. Jenkins turned out to be just another politician playing lip service to gain support. Greed, selfishness and ego have kept the Sheriffâ??s office from moving forward for the 15 years I have lived in this county. The Culpeper Police Department has been nationally accredited for 10 years. Why not the Sheriffâ??s Office?

Fortunately for Culpeper, a candidate is running that I know will make an institutional and cultural change in the Sheriffâ??s Office. A candidate I know will not be a politician and will stick to what he does best â?? law enforcement. A candidate that I trust morally and Culpeper can too. Not because I work for him, not because he named a building after me, not because I will ever ask for or receive anything in return, but because he is the best candidate by far- Coffey for Sheriff.

Daniel Art
Culpeper