Painting is president of the board of directors of Louisa County Little League. He operates a construction business, Cooper Contracting Inc.
Below are answers Painting provided to questions about his campaign:
Why do you want to be sheriff?
I am running for sheriff because I want the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office to have the proper guidance and policies needed to effectively protect and serve our families and citizens.
Give us a little information about your qualifications for the role.
I have met all the qualifications set forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia to be a candidate for sheriff of Louisa County. In addition to those standards, I am a veteran who has served our country as a United States Marine, a successful business owner and a community volunteer.
How are you well-suited for the role, despite your lack of law enforcement experience?
My diverse work experience is the key element of my role as sheriff. The office of sheriff is an administrative role. The sheriff sets in place the policy and procedures of the office. My work history and background are a strong asset to the many challenges of management. My hands-on attitude and involvement are instrumental in getting the job done. My ability to listen and hear the people around me has always led to my success. My drive and determination have never been led by an ego. My calm and controlled demeanor has always warranted respect and with it has offered numerous opportunities to succeed. My personal initiative and devotion to duty is a direct reflection of who I am today.
A report the sheriff’s office submitted to the supervisors in 2017 indicated that while the department gets its job done, it is spread thin at times in trying to provide the best response to emergency calls. What will you do in the next four years as sheriff to improve the situation?
Leaders need to change their thinking and understand that the old approach isn’t working. Policies matter and enticing new personnel into the ranks is essential to sustain safety and address concerns that have undermined the sheriff’s office responsibilities.
The sheriff’s office will begin the accreditation process on day one of my tenure. This standardization process is critical to the harmony and well-being of the men and women that have devoted their careers to serving others. Standardization will bring the equality and diversity amongst the ranks that is not present today.
Training is essential to any mission. The complexities of a deputy sheriff’s daily routine are not routine. We must allot the time and effort necessary to be prepared for all hazards that our community may face—it has to be a constant evolution. As we diversify and cross-train our staff, our ability to serve and protect in a courteous and professional manner will be greatly enhanced and our officers’ willingness to do more for our community will improve.
Apart from emergency response, how will you work to maintain a positive relationship with citizens generally?
It should never be difficult to maintain a positive relationship with anyone. Community involvement will be a strong message from the sheriff’s office. We live, work and play here and our children and grandchildren attend the schools we are charged to protect. Many people in our neighborhoods would cherish the opportunity to donate their time and efforts to Louisa County, they just need a leader willing to guide them.
Every avenue can be explored: The American Red Cross with blood drives; the American Heart Association with heart walks; our animal shelters; our food resource council; or all youth activities. Volunteering doesn’t take any special skills or extensive experience. Our society would not be as strong as it is without volunteers willing to help those in need.
The sheriff should have a big voice. Our commitment to bring community involvement to every available resource and program will be what inspires us to help individuals, groups and organizations to take positive action to support and strengthen the quality of life in our community.