Chapman Open to LCSO Citizen Advisory Board

Sheriff Michael Chapman said during the April 5 Board of Supervisors meeting that he is open to a law enforcement citizen advisory board, and Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) said he would meet with Chapman to create that board.

The suggestion came out of a report on the possible risks, costs and benefits of starting a countywide police department, which included some recommendations for improving the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office. Among those were a Community Advisory Board at the sheriff level with “a cross-section of interested residents, community, and business leaders from across the county, which includes all geographic areas and is diverse in scope,” along with similar boards for each patrol district in the county.

Saines asked Chapman at a meeting on that report April 5 whether the sheriff had any plans to implement its recommendations. Chapman pointed out the advisory board idea.

“If there was a way that we could jointly devise a citizen advisory board, I’m certainly willing to work with the board to try to get whatever information that the citizens or any particular board may have that might help us improve our operations,” Chapman said. Saines said he would meet with Chapman outside the meeting to set up a Board Member Initiative, an action of the Board of Supervisors, to set up that group.

While open to the advisory board, Chapman has resisted citizen oversight boards in the past. New state law passed in 2020 allows localities to create civilian review boards with the power to issue subpoenas and make binding disciplinary decisions. Chapman has opposed creating that kind of board in Loudoun.

6 thoughts on “Chapman Open to LCSO Citizen Advisory Board

  • 2022-04-12 at 3:49 pm
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    I can’t wait to see how the likes of the current boards and the loudest community organizers are going to find cool, calm heads who will improve law enforcement in the county. I’ve seen the two boards at work. I’ve seen the over-the-top rhetoric coming from several community organizers. I’ve seen the unwillingness of the incompetent CA to actually incarcerate and effectively prosecute violent criminals. These are not the people I want “fixing” the LCSO.

  • 2022-04-12 at 4:40 pm
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    “Chapman has resisted citizen oversight boards in the past”. No kidding! Chapman would be very nervous of the subpoena power of such a board. If they uncovered a fraction of the sleazy, unethical, or downright criminal things Chapman has done behind the scenes, all of his political allies would bail on him.

    • 2022-04-18 at 3:56 pm
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      The real concern is the board would be comprised of people who lean all one way or the other. Or you end up like the little town in the other part of the county with a 17 year old on the board. First thing we need to do is have our BoS submit a formal document to the State requesting the qualifications for Sheriff be amended to read: 20 years of law enforcement experience, graduate of a state law enforcement academy and one basic FBI course, a bachelor’s degree (preferably in criminal justice or something similar), and resident of the county for a minimum of one year. We cannot have the largest Sheriff’s jurisdiction in the Commonwealth being held hostage by some 18 year old running for Sheriff or someone with no law enforcement skills being pushed to run by certain elements so Loudoun County ends up with a unionized police force under the direct control of the BoS or County Administrator.
      As for the crimes you publicly stated Sheriff Chapman has committed, why hasn’t the County Attorney gone after him?
      Citizen Oversight Committees can be a good thing when the board members are educated, know the law and can take the emotionalism out the equation. This way, subpoenas can have a legitimate purpose and be value added as opposed to a witch hunt just to appease and pander to the noise maker of the day.

  • 2022-04-12 at 5:00 pm
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    It’s wonderful Sheriff Chapman will cooperate with a Civilian Oversight Board. However, the board must have teeth. It shouldn’t be merely advisory. Its disciplinary decisions should be binding. Otherwise, it’s mere window-dressing. That’s the last thing Loudoun needs. Happy Passover Loudoun!

  • 2022-04-14 at 6:01 pm
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    The Sheriff’s department doesn’t need a punitive oversight board. Maybe an advisory group to provide a different perspective on some real matters, not perceived that impact the population.

  • 2022-04-18 at 4:06 pm
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    Civilian oversight boards need to have qualifications as well and must be based on population percentages within the County. Frankly, to sit on an oversight board, each member must have at least an Associates Degree and not have a criminal record. Having a criminal sitting on an oversight board would defeat the purpose of making strategic decisions to make the Sheriff’s Office better. I would recommend the board be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans with rotating Chairman. People who are Independents must declare who they would caucus with before being selected. The odd number doesn’t work because it promotes non-compromise. If there is an issue, the marketplace of ideas and intellectual discussion must win out for quality improvements. The board’s composition must also be population based. For example, if Loudoun County’s population is 50% White, 75% of the board’s members can’t be White. The goal is to have the more accurate and broad representation as possible. The oversight committee could be selected by one Democrat and one Republican on the BoS based on people who volunteer to do the work. These boards can be of great value when it comes to make quality changes in training, policy, and enforcement. To do so requires board members to have the maturity so they can put the emotionalism aside and do what’s right and legal, not what’s popular on that day of the week.

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