Incumbent Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith announced last week that he will seek a fifth term.
Under his leadership, Smith said the office “has made great strides in all aspects of operations.” He noted that those employed under his command also have accomplished much.
He credits his employees and agency partners for successfully bringing more than 800 drug dealers to justice, transitioning into a new jail and office, achieving and maintaining accreditation, upgrading equipment and technology, and, most importantly, strengthening the bond with those the office serves.
“We are nothing without the support of our citizens, and we take great pride in that relationship.” Smith said. “I fundamentally believe that bond starts with me, and I want folks to know that I am just a phone call away.”
Although the job is difficult, Smith said he embraces the challenges that come with it. By far, the greatest challenge has been attracting and retaining employees.
“When compensation doesn’t match skillset or job demands, you lose every time, and local law enforcement, regionally, has been losing badly at that game,” he said.
Smith added that he is grateful for the relationship he has maintained with the Patrick County Board of Supervisors and County Administration during his tenure.
“They have supported us and allowed me the ability to at least try and stay competitive with surrounding agencies, and I am very appreciative of that,” he said.
The negative image of law enforcement over the past few years also has created challenges, he said.
“Treating all people with decency and respect is the simple answer, and our employees have a genuine understanding of that,” he added.
Smith said he is territorial and protective when it comes to Patrick County.
“This place is my life, it is in my DNA, I consider our people and our beauty a national treasure, and I will protect and defend it until the day I die,” Smith said, adding that he feels like he is just getting started.
“I have more energy now than I did 15 years ago when I first became sheriff,” Smith said, adding that he looks forward to serving the county and its people for many years to come.
“I humbly ask for your continued support,” he said.
Born in Stuart in 1972 to Sue Simmons Smith and the late James Russell Smith Sr., Smith is the youngest of six children.
“My drive and work ethic come from my parents and brothers and sisters. They had a huge influence on me,” he said.
A 1990 graduate of Patrick County High School, Smith graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1994, and was employed by the Chesterfield County Police Department in the Richmond metro area that year.
In January 1997, he was hired by the Martinsville Police Department, where he attained the rank of sergeant and was a commander on the department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.
He sought and won the election for Patrick County Sheriff on November 6, 2007.
Smith and his wife Amy have two sons, Daniel and David. The family lives in Patrick Springs and are members of Stuart Presbyterian Church.