Sheriff's hiring practices questioned

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When I announced my candidacy for sheriff, I outlined my plans for hiring employees of the sheriff’s office.
Grayson County is 443 square miles, which makes it important for deputies to be available to respond quickly in an emergency.
At times there may only be two or three deputies on patrol to cover 443 square miles, therefore off-duty deputies may be called upon to respond from their home, hence the purpose of deputies driving county-owned vehicles to their residence.
The current sheriff has cited Virginia code section 15.2-1525 to justify allowing his employees to live outside of the county.
Although non‑elected deputies are not required to reside in the jurisdiction in which they are appointed, the sheriff of any county may, for law‑enforcement purposes, require deputies to live within a reasonable distance of the administrative offices.
The employees that I hire will, under my discretion, live within a reasonable distance of the sheriff’s office.
I have faith that the best and the brightest employees can be found in Grayson County and it is my intention that they be given the opportunity to have the Grayson County jobs.
I do not believe officers that live in Wythe and Carroll counties are within a reasonable distance of the sheriff’s office and should not be allowed to drive county-owned vehicles outside of the county they serve.
Mr. Vaughan states his hiring practices are in line with those of the Virginia State Police. Troopers are, in fact, required to live in the jurisdiction they serve, which is the Commonwealth of Virginia. Troopers are not allowed to live in neighboring states and are not allowed to drive state-owned vehicles to a residence outside of the commonwealth.
My plans for the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office are based on what will provide the best protection to the 15,533 citizens. To imply these practices are unethical and illegal are an insult to sheriffs across this great nation that have based the hiring of their officers on what is best for the safety and security of their county and its citizens.
Mark Burnett
Candidate for
Grayson County Sheriff