Sheriff Scott Jenkins has a long career in law enforcement. A Culpeper native, he started as a Deputy Sheriff at the age of 18. He has been credited with transforming the sheriff’s office into a modern day law enforcement agency utilizing the latest training, education and technology. He’s one to try and stay ahead of the newest developments and encourage his deputies to be the best and brightest. Since 2012, he has served as sheriff.
On June 20, at a gathering of the Founding Fathers Republican Women, Jenkins was the guest speaker.
He was given a grand welcome. Gene Foret pulled out his guitar playing the Battle Hymn of the Republic as a prelude to his presentation and member Carol Duncan praised Jenkins for his support and adherence to local sovereignty.
“We’re blessed to have him as sheriff,” she said.
Jenkins addressed a number of issues that he’s constantly asked about.
Jenkins said that some physicians in the area have been run out or charged for their reckless behavior in over prescribing drugs.
“We’re seeing more and more addiction to prescription drugs…it’s a money making venture,” said Jenkins, “which can then lead to heroin use.”
“Bottom line, we need to address the pain…people get hooked on prescription drugs and it’s a segue toward heroin which is cheap and easy to get.”
“We’re a small town with no ties to borders but [drugs] do come through our borders…kilos of heroin are coming from Mexico to suppliers…it’s quite deadly.”
As far as 30-day programs, Jenkins has little regard.
“They don’t cut it for heroin addiction,” said Jenkins who told of incidences where addicts will pull up in parking lots and end of dying in their cars after they’ve just robbed a pharmacy in broad daylight for drugs.
“It’s a big problem…we’re fighting this horrible addiction…we are law enforcement, we’ll do what we can but it’s a costly endeavor.”
“We need more money put into the budget…the system is overwhelmed.”
In the FY 2017 town budget, the purchase of body cameras was approved. Following several surrounding jurisdictions as well as a nationwide initiative, police departments are adopting the use of body cameras aimed to protect the officer and citizens.
Jenkins has no objection to body cameras but it’s not a high priority for him at this time. He has other items that top his want list.
“It’s great to protect the officer and citizens who could fall victim to a bad officer…but we’re triple the size of the town…I’ve nothing against but it’s not a budgetary item that we can afford right now.”
“There are a lot of things facing our country…let’s focus on first things first…public safety is first and foremost.”
Jenkins felt that Governor McAuliffe did a disservice by restoring voter’s rights and ease of getting a gun to some felons.
Assault on the AR15 – let me tell you how strongly I feel
Jenkins is a staunch gun rights advocate and supporter of the Second Amendment which grants Americans the right to bear arms.
“Restricting one gun – an AR 15 – is the first step in restricting guns,” said Jenkins who strongly believes that if the country went that way he would have a plan.
“When it crosses the line of a constitutional issue, there are ways that we can fight back,” said Jenkins. “There’s an easier approach.”
“Let me think outside the box….if they were to ban these assault weapons…what if the local sheriff in Culpeper was looking for auxiliary deputies to keep their AR 15s…we could add some 1-2,000 auxiliary deputies.”
“Every auxiliary deputy would be required to help the sheriff’s office 8 hours…I can’t find any restriction that would keep me from doing that…oh the bleeding hearts would cry…but I don’t think we need to be too fearful of that [ban on assault weapons]…there are solutions.”
Still thinking outside the box, Jenkins mused…what if there were one sheriff in every state…50 states…everyone gets to keep their AR15s…that’s how strongly I feel on taking certain stands.”
Jenkins is an NRA member. For more than 12 years, he has instructed citizens in “Concealed Carry of Handguns.” He continues to instruct federal and local officers in tactical firearms training. He is a charter member of the Virginia Homicide Investigators Association and is a member of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the National Sheriff’s Association.
In May of 2015, the state of Oklahoma passed legislation which has been discussed in some Virginia localities – arming teachers in public schools.
According to a Breitbart report, on May 12, 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) signed House Bill 2014, legalizing armed teachers and staff on Oklahoma public school campuses.
HB 2014 “[authorizes] the carrying of a handgun onto school property by school personnel specifically designated by the board of education,” provided that person has undergone the training requirement and received the certification requisite to it.
Proponents argued that a gun-free zone was a target zone and protecting children was their paramount reasoning for passing the legislation.
Jenkins has similar views. Eliminating guns doesn’t eliminate the bad guy who is out to do evil.
Jenkins further noted that it wouldn’t necessarily take an AR15 to do damage in a classroom.
“Armed with the right weapon and cartridges, it wouldn’t take much,” said Jenkins sadly, “with a few sweeps to take a lot of lives.”
“People don’t realize how easy it is…a 10 round magazine or 30…can do a lot of destruction…if they have the intent to kill, they will do it one way or the other.”
Jenkins told the group that he had approached previous school superintendents about arming teachers on a selected basis…particularly those with prior military service.
“I didn’t get anywhere,” said Jenkins who is hopeful that the current superintendent, Dr. Tony Brads, might be more receptive to the idea.
Jenkins also told of the frustration that his deputies have had in the past in just entering into a school.
“We just want to get to the bad guy,” said Jenkins, “it’s amazing the roadblocks you’ll encounter to just get into some of the schools.”
“We had one incident,” said Jenkins, “of a teacher who quickly went to her car when she knew deputies were coming to remove drug paraphenalia of a student who played with her child on a sports team to keep that student from getting in trouble…it’s unbelievable.”
As an issue, arming teachers, would no doubt be controversial but Jenkins’ position on owning guns, in general, is straightforward.
“I’d rather that you have a fighting chance…that you be able to arm yourself and defend yourself when we aren’t there or can’t get there in time.”
Jenkins, who took heat several years ago when he brought in former FBI agent John Guandolo to take about Muslim extremists, in a training session held for his deputies and and others, sees this threat as very real.
“They are willing to die to terrorize our citizens,” said Jenkins, “they’ve already done a lot of what their goal is…I don’t know why Orlando surprised us.”
“We need to take them at their word…they aren’t shy about their goals…they’ve turned their attention to the United States and Europe.”
Jenkins, who is serving in his second term, will most likely run for a third.
“It’s key to remember how important elections are at the local level,” stressed Jenkins who has enjoyed the support of the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors.
“They are strong constitutional people,” said Jenkins, “I’m very fortunate…they are a great board to work with.”
“We’re very blessed to have the leaders we do.”
Jenkins grew up in Culpeper and has seen a lot of changes not only in the county but nationwide.
“We’ve got to wake up…can’t allow political correctness to take over…too many are being silenced.”
Supporting law enforcement, Jenkins said, “let these people do what they are trained to do.”
Anita Sherman may be reached at email@example.com