Isaacs going for fourth term

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

Sheriff Raleigh H. Isaacs Sr. is hoping local residents will vote for the voice of experience next fall.

Isaacs, at the helm of the Suffolk Sheriff’s Department since 1993, is seeking a fourth four-year stint at the post in November. He is being challenged by political newcomer Timothy L. Mallory, the senior coordinator of security for Norfolk Public Schools.

Isaacs is confident his decades of law enforcement experience, both as sheriff and with the Suffolk and Norfolk police departments, will help him prevail at the polls.

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&uot;I’ve had the privilege of serving the citizens of Suffolk as sheriff for three terms and I’ve always tried to be the best public servant that I could be,&uot; Isaacs said. &uot;I have made sure the office is conducted in a professional and efficient manner, treating all citizens with dignity and respect.

&uot;I think citizens have been pretty satisfied with the operations of the sheriff’s office.&uot;

His department has successfully grappled with the demands of serving the state’s fastest growing city, Isaacs said.

Last year, the Suffolk Sheriff’s Department served 106,000 civil documents, more than double the 45,000 being served annually when he took office in 1994, Isaacs said.

&uot;That is an enormous amount of paper,&uot; said Isaacs.

The Sheriff’s Department, also charged with supplying security at the Mills E. Godwin Courthouse, has initiated efforts to put more retired law enforcement on the part-time payroll.

&uot;It’s a win-win situation,&uot; Isaacs said. Using part-timers saves the city approximately $143,000 annually in fringe benefit expenses, he said.

His office is also responsible for transporting juveniles and patients of mental health facilities to and from court, Isaacs said. Last year, deputies transported 950 juveniles and 350 mental health patients, he said.

Isaacs belongs to numerous professional and civic organizations, including the Suffolk Ruritan Club and the local Elks and Moose lodges.

Next month, Isaacs will be sworn in as president of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association. In 2002, he served as state president of the Virginia Association of Local Elected Constitutional Officers.

Isaacs said he is looking forward to meeting new Suffolk residents when he aggressively hits the campaign trail this fall.

&uot;There are a lot of new citizens in the city I have not had the opportunity to meet,&uot; Isaacs said. &uot;I’m looking forward to meeting them this year.

&uot;It’s important for people to know that we have a very professional, experienced non-partisan office,&uot; Isaacs. &uot;We are seeking the support of all citizens.&uot;

Isaacs and his wife, Phyllis, a third-grader teacher, live in Suffolk. They have four children: Raleigh Isaacs Jr., Amy Isaacs, Bobby Mason and Holly Whitley.

Holly and her husband, James, have a 6-month-old son, James Wade Whitely Jr.