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Lynn Phillips said he believes being sheriff takes a combination of management ability, business experience, people skills and local knowledge. He said he filed to run for Randolph County sheriff because he brings to the table all of this things, along with a proven track record of public service.
Phillips has received endorsement from the West Virginia Sheriff's Association.
"Receiving support from the top law enforcement officers around West Virginia is humbling, and I truly appreciate it," Phillips said. "These are the folks who know what it takes to run a sheriff's department, and I am honored that they chose me as the best candidate for Randolph County."
Phillips, a former chairman of the Randolph County Democratic Executive Committee, also is an avid farmer and resident of Valley Bend. He said another reason he filed for sheriff is to expand on his tradition of caring for the county.
"I've spent my life trying to help people, and this provides a wonderful opportunity to do that in public office," Phillips said. "I appreciate everything the people of this county have done for me and look forward to working with them as their sheriff."
Phillips said his platform will focus on three things: protection, involvement and prevention.
"It's vital our residents feel safe, and my law enforcement understanding and management experience make me the best person to ensure that peace of mind," Phillips said. "To make sure our outlying residents are protected, I plan to open a satellite office and increase the hours of deputy coverage so response times are lower. The goal is 24-hour county coverage."
Another key component of Phillips' platform revolves around getting more people involved in county activities.
"We will institute a 'Senior Academy' to improve our older residents' level of knowledge when it comes to issues such as consumer fraud and the services the sheriff's department provides," Phillips said. "I also plan a 'Reserve Deputy' corps that will assist with department services and maximize the amount of time law enforcement officers are available to protect our community. I already understand how these programs work and know that state code allows just such assistance."
The third pillar for Phillips will be prevention, particularly when it comes to drugs and juvenile crime.
"I know the young people in Randolph County from being involved in community activities, and I can relate to them," Phillips said. "If we reach out to our youth early in their lives, we can head off many potential problems down the road. I also will work with local and state officials to prevent drug use and arrest those who insist on breaking the law."
Phillips said people consistently mention those concerns.
"As I travel around our county and talk to residents and voters, those are the issues I hear them talking about," Phillips said. "I think my experience as a businessman, administrator and in public service give me a unique background and qualifications for Randolph County sheriff."
Phillips noted that owning Lynn's Self Serve, an Elkins gas station and convenience store, has given him an in-depth understanding of the finance and budgeting aspects that are critical to successfully running the Randolph County Sheriff's Department.
Phillips also worked in constituent service fro the West Virginia Governor's Office for the past decade.
"I know how to work with people, and I understand the process for securing grant funding that is critical to offering expanded services without putting additional burdens on taxpayers," he said. "We can improve outreach efforts and prevent crime while also quickly and professionally responding when called upon."
Phillips is a veteran of the United States Army and an active member of the Randolph County community. Among his activities are the Elkins Rotary Club, Izaak Walton League, AF & AM Lodge 55 and American Legion Post 29. He also belongs to the National Rifle Association, North American Hunting Club and West Virginia Farm Bureau.
Carol Pizzino is treasurer of the Committee to Elect Lynn Phillips, and Crystal Warner Gibson is the campaign's finance chairperson. More information is available online at www.lynnforsheriff.com.