What Wanda’s Fighting For
Our Sheriff’s Office is the chief steward of both our jail and courthouse, but it also serves as the secondary law enforcement agency in Arlington. As Sheriff, Wanda will implement commonsense policies to increase efficiency and safety in those operations. To accomplish this, Wanda will:
1.) Enhance community safety by working in collaboration with the Arlington County Police Department and embracing community policing.
2.) Prioritize addressing our current staffing crisis to include conducting exit interviews so that our Office has and can maintain the human resources necessary to invest time into critical operations.
3.) Reinvigorate the Auxiliary Deputy Program so that those who wish to serve our community can help lighten the load on our sworn deputies, freeing them up to focus on the most critical aspects of their jobs.
4.) Work with our County Board and other community organizations and leaders to proactively provide public services, especially to specifically vulnerable populations such as seniors through wellness checks and engagement.
5.) Audit current courthouse entrance and exit protocols to increase ease of access for staff and attorneys, while maintaining safety for the public and all those who utilize our courthouse.
Wanda believes that we must have a criminal justice system in Arlington County that reflects our community ’ s values, and that means having a Sheriff’ s Office staffed by the very best deputies and support staff in our region. Only by attracting and retaining top tier talent can we build a Sheriff’ s Office with the staffing and bandwidth necessary to treat enforcement and human services with equal attention. To accomplish this, Wanda will:
1.) Collaborate with our County Board and Human Resources to create hiring and retention incentives for potential applicants and current employees.
2.) Implement a truly merit-based promotion system within the Office that is subject to both transparency and aptitude.
3.) Proactively work to celebrate the good work of our Office by highlighting successes and showing our staff how deeply they are valued.
4.) Push for regular and rigorous assessments of compensation equity in our region to ensure that our Office does not fall behind in terms of competitive compensation.
5.) Support Collective Bargaining for Deputies and Support Staff.
Over the last several years, trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve has degraded across our entire Country. In Arlington County, the fissure caused by the deaths in our jail system have led to a gap in trust and accountability. For those convicted of a crime in our County who ultimately become incarcerated, the Sheriff’ s Office is the part of our criminal justice system with which they will have the most contact. Wanda believes that for the overwhelming majority of those who ultimately come into the custody of our jail, the time that they spend incarcerated can offer tremendous opportunity. In order to leverage that opportunity, and prepare those incarcerated to return to society, Wanda will:
1.) Invest in the training and resources necessary to prioritize trauma-informed jail management practices and work with local and state officials to provide continuous mental health services and medical care to those incarcerated.
2.) Address the issues of financial costs associated with incarceration.
3.) Provide programs and work with community stakeholders to help those incarcerated better prepare themselves for their return into the community.
4.) Work to introduce new and innovative workforce development services that will put detainees on a pathway to financial stability following their release.
5.) Activate unused space in the jail that has sat vacant for multiple years, with a specific focus on developing programming that focuses on mental health.
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