Richard Goodman is one of six individuals vying to become the next Salem Sheriff. A police officer for over a decade and somewhat of a renaissance man even longer than that, Goodman says everything that he has been through in his life has helped shape him into the man that he is today. He is this week’s Q&A participant.
Who exactly is Richard Goodman?
A man of faith, a son, brother, husband, father and grandfather, veteran of the United States Marine Corps and career law enforcement officer. My mornings begin at 4:30 a.m. I have a busy life and this has enabled me to sharpen my time management skills. I currently work full-time as a deputy sheriff in Roanoke City as well as serve as a Pastor at First Missionary Baptist Church in New River, Virginia. I have a heart to serve as commanded by God, I take my commitments seriously and my word is my bond.
Why should Salem residents select you as their Salem Sheriff?
The experience and knowledge that I have gained has prepared me for this next step in my career. I am a honorably discharged veteran of the United States Marine Corps who began my law enforcement career with Roanoke County. I have successfully completed basic and advanced law enforcement training in both Virginia and Georgia. I currently work as a deputy sheriff in Roanoke and I have served 11 years with the City of Salem Police Department. I have successfully served in all areas of law enforcement: patrol, investigations and corrections (jail). I have held the positions of deputy sheriff, police officer, tactical team member and leader, investigator, chief investigator (Captain), and Jail Administrator (Captain). I have managed a budget and saved the taxpayers money. I am fully prepared and committed to put my experience to work for the citizens in the City of Salem. Over and above the decades of training and experience I have under my belt, I have campaigned door to door, mingled with Salem’s citizens and have heard their concerns and ideas to make Salem a better place to live and work. It has been an invaluable experience that I will continue once elected your Sheriff.
What separates you from the competition?
I have the God given gift to bring people together to work as a team and to improve morale amongst the people that I not only work with, but have supervised, along with being able to manage, not micromanage, effectively.
I am spiritually grounded and even tempered, showing compassion, integrity and friendship with an understanding that people make mistakes. I realize we are all in this together and to solve our problems we have to work together. My lengthy career and experiences has enabled me to understand how all the pieces and parts of the criminal justice system, other parts of our government and civic organizations, can all be leveraged together for the benefit of those which we exist – our citizens!
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Roanoke. I grew up in Lincoln Terrace projects along with on Loudon Avenue. I learned growing up in these areas of Roanoke City that you don’t have to be a product of your environment. The things we do in life all consist of making choices.
How have you made an impact in the Salem community?
I worked as a police officer in Salem for 11 years before moving to Georgia. While a police officer and resident of Salem, I thrived to make Salem a safer place to live and to raise a family. In 2003, I went to the Philippines on a group exchange trip and represented not only, the police department and the Salem Rotary Club, but also the entire City of Salem.
During my employment with the City of Salem Police Department I was fortunate to be a part of many aspects of our community. Chief among them were those in which the community and law enforcement interacted closely. I have been involved in Salem Police Department’s Explorer Program, an educational program for youth and young adults interested in careers in law enforcement. Citizen Police Academy that provides an excellent opportunity for citizens to gain a better perspective of the day to day operations of their police and sheriff’s departments.
I have worked closely with Salem Police Department DARE officers by participated in DARE camp, going beyond teaching Safety and Drug Abuse Resistance and forming a closer relationship with law enforcement and our community’s youth.
Salem no longer participates in some of those programs for a variety of reasons. Once elected sheriff, I want to more closely evaluate our resources and prospective partnerships, such as with the police department, and resurrect some of those more viable initiatives.
For many years, I not only worked at the Salem Police Department, but I also substituted as school bus driver for the City of Salem Schools system.
Why did you get into law enforcement?
As a child growing up, my Dad instilled in us the need to set goals for ourselves. My first goal was to serve in the United States Marine Corps, and to be a Police Officer. I have a deep conviction that the weak should be protected, that honesty should prevail, that everyone should be treated fairly and justly and that our government is accountable to the people in both deed and fiscal responsibility.
Do you think that social media is a wonderful way to get your message out? If
Yes, social medial is a great means of quickly spreading time sensitive information in an efficient fashion. As Sheriff, I will use social media to assist me in keeping our citizens informed. With that said, I love people and direct conversation. There is no substitute for our citizens seeing and talking directly to their government officials. It is imperative to maintaining effective services. In addition to social media and daily interactions, I believe in and will participate in open forums with our community. I believe transparency and citizen feedback are key to harmony within our community. The citizens of Salem will see that from me, and they can do this now by looking at my Facebook page, (Richard A. Goodman, Sr.), not just a page made up for this campaign.
Where can people go to learn more information about you?
I would encourage everyone to check out my webpage and Facebook page for additional information or contact me with any questions.
What is something you want people to know about you?
Citizens I’m not retired, nor am I jobless. I currently work a full time job, I am a full time church pastor, and I do have a family. I am honestly trying to get around to every neighborhood. But if I don’t make it to you, it is not because I don’t care. Please be understanding. God Bless each and every one of you.
If elected Sheriff, what will be your top priority?
Customer Service, with every aspect and function of the Salem Sheriff’s Office.
I want to establish a formal and consistent chain of command and job assignments in order to best leverage the resources we have and to control our budget. I believe that supervisors, including myself, need to pitch in with daily activities in order to best serve our entire community (to include transports, on-call weekends, nights and holidays). By spreading the entire workload among the ENTIRE staff, I see opportunities for cross training, scheduling flexibility to allow for enhanced training and career progression. It is critical we have people trained and ready to step in seamlessly, both long and short term.
-Compiled by Shawn Nowlin