I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Tim Barbrow (I-Stafford) and the refreshing vision he has for the Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
Barbrow is running to replace retiring Stafford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Chichester.
From his official campaign website:
I will bring a new direction to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in Stafford County. If elected, I will:
– Work effectively with prosecutors in the surrounding communities. Given the close proximity of the surrounding communities, it is absolutely essential that local law enforcement and the respective Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices work together in fighting crime. Criminals do not stop at the county line.
– Fully participate in the regional Drug Court Program. It is a win-win situation for first time drug offenders and the community. The offender receives the intensive treatment necessary to overcome their addiction, probation, and the opportunity to avoid a felony conviction rather than incarceration. The community gets an individual who has beaten the addiction that caused them to commit crime and avoids the costs of incarceration and possibly future crimes.
– End the policy of requesting a jury trial in nearly every criminal case. It is an unnecessary practice which wastes valuable court resources and tax dollars and clogs up the courts. Stafford County has access to three (3) of the best Circuit Court Judges in the area, one of whom is the former Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Fredericksburg and another who is a former deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for Stafford County.
In addition to the cost of a jury trial to the taxpayer, the policy of requesting a jury trial in nearly every criminal case puts a strain on the entire judicial system. The Circuit Courts also hear a wide variety of civil cases including divorce, child support, custody, adoption, lawsuits between private parties, condemnation, and personal injury and medical malpractice. By tying up the Court’s docket with unnecessary requests for jury trials in the majority of criminal cases, most of which never go to trial, the citizens of Stafford County often have to wait months if not years to have their civil cases heard. I will not hesitate to request a jury trial when appropriate. But I will also trust our distinguished Judges to hear criminal cases as well.
– Hire a more diverse staff with an emphasis on hiring attorneys who live in the area. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney should reflect the constituency it serves. As a result, I will make it a priority to ensure that our staff reflects the cultural diversity of Stafford County. The ability to effectively communicate and to connect with witnesses and victims is essential to effective prosecution. It is important to have prosecutors who live in the area because the Office should reflect the values of the community.
– Use my prosecutorial discretion to pursue a just outcome in every case. Justice is not like a baseball cap where one size fits all. I will try to do the “right thing” and seek justice in every case, regardless of whether the victim or defendant is rich or poor, and regardless of race or gender or ethnicity. I will never try to obtain a conviction by using deceit or trickery. As a prosecutor, I will be tough but fair.
– Use a more creative approach in the Juvenile Court System to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and expand the outreach of the Office into the schools and community. It is essential that we use all of the resources available to intervene with the young people in Stafford County in order to divert them from a path of crime and addiction. As with adults, I will fully participate in the regional drug court program. I will work closely with the school system and other agencies to identify problem areas and to monitor youthful offenders.
– Operate a more fiscally responsible office. From the year 2000 to the present, the budget for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has risen from just over one (1) million dollars to nearly three (3) million dollars. We are spending 54% more per capita on the Commonwealth’ Attorney’s Office in Stafford County than Spotsylvania County. The number of prosecutors employed by the office has risen dramatically over the past ten (10) years. Despite this increase in funding, since 2005, overall crime in Stafford County has increased by 60% and violent crimes have increased by 66%.
– Respect the parties. I will treat everyone who comes into contact with the Office with respect and courtesy. The judicial system can be a very stressful environment for all involved. The stakes involved are often great. Emotions can run high. But everyone involved in the process, including witnesses, family members, and attorneys are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity.
– Protect the citizens of Stafford from violent offenders and repeat offenders. My number one priority is to protect the citizens of Stafford County to the best of my ability. I will be tough when it comes to the prosecution of violent offenders and repeat offenders. There are individuals who commit crimes that are so heinous or violent or who continue to commit crime again and again that need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I will not hesitate to ask for lengthy sentences for these individuals.
On November 8th, I’ll be voting for Tim Barbrow for Commonwealth’s Attorney. A new direction is just what Stafford County needs!