Letter: Former deputy backs Todd Lloyd for Augusta County sheriff

letter-to-the-editor3I worked at the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office for 22 years, the last eleven as a sergeant on patrol.  People need to compare and contrast these candidates and look at their actual experience and qualifications.  Neil Kester has already shown leadership weakness by saying he will hire retired Staunton chief Butch Wells to help him run the department.  He speaks of no supervisory experience, or budgeting experience.  Donald Smith is immature, inexperienced, and it shows every time he speaks.  I supervised him, and I can assure you what he portrays to the public is not how he truly is.  Many deputies are afraid to weigh in on this race because of him.  Both of these candidates have had to clarify statements, which should make people question just what they are actually saying.

Derek Almarode claims leadership in community policing, and K-9; Todd Lloyd asserts supervision in narcotics investigations, and warrant service.  The community policing division has only one deputy, which is Almarode himself, and when I left in 2014 the K-9 units were assigned to work for patrol sergeants.  Lloyd was one of two supervisors in the narcotics task force that had multiple people from different agencies assigned to it.  He now serves as the sole supervisor over a warrant service team of at least four deputies, one of which is a K-9 handler.

Lloyd has worked in or with every division of the office, and supervised two.  He has people that actually work under his direction, and he has working relationships with federal, state, and local agencies.  Rest assured we need a sheriff who will be in control of the department, one who knows through experience how the department works and the knowledge to move it forward.  Todd Lloyd is the clear choice; he will get my vote in November.

– Letter from Tony Shifflett/Augusta County

augusta free press

uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.


Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.


augusta free press
augusta free press news