By AILA BOYD
Ward announces run for Botetourt County Sheriff
Master Deputy Matthew Ward announced in a press release on Jan. 20 that he’s running for Botetourt County Sheriff. He’s seeking the Republican nomination.
“I am running for Sheriff because this is my home, this is where I was raised, where I attended public schools and I have dedicated my career of service. As a father of two small children I have a vested interest in assuring Botetourt County is the safest place to raise our families,” Ward said.
He began his career of service at the age of 18, serving the country as a United States Marine for six years. He said that while serving as a marine, he learned the value of serving others before self. While completing his military service, Matt began his law enforcement career in 1996 as an auxiliary deputy with the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office. He has been with the office for over two decades.
“As your Sheriff, I want the citizens of Botetourt County to know that I will be available to listen to your concerns and use every resource available to make Botetourt County the safest community for us to work and live in,” said Ward.
Throughout his career in patrol, Ward said he has fostered numerous positive relationships with the citizens of Botetourt County. He explained that his connections will be instrumental in assisting the Sheriff’s Office investigations and will have a direct impact on the positive outcomes for victims and their families. Ward claims that having been on the front line for the past two decades, he has a thorough understanding of the issues and concerns that matter to the citizens of Botetourt. This understanding, coupled with his dedication to the people he serves, Ward said, has given him the personal perspective required to resolve conflicts and develop solutions.
As Sheriff, Ward said he will continue to focus on the citizens of Botetourt County, their children and property. Under his leadership, he said the department will take an active role in the community and will continue to modernize the Sheriff’s Office. Ward plans to do so by embracing newly implemented technology that will enhance investigative capabilities, increase service efficiencies and minimize the impact that opioid drugs have on the community. As Botetourt continues to grow, Ward said he intends to do everything he can as Sheriff to ensure that it remains a peaceful place to live and raise a family.
“Our focus is not to reinvent the wheel, but rather build upon an already well established department of highly qualified and dedicated men and women who have been serving you, the citizens of Botetourt County,” Ward said. “I have dedicated almost my entire adult life to serving the citizens of Botetourt County and I am asking you to join me in moving Botetourt County forward by allowing me the privilege of serving you as your sheriff. I ask for your vote and support in this campaign.”
Vineyard sets sights on Sheriff’s Office
With 34 years worth of law enforcement experience under his belt, Mike Vineyard says that he’s ready to take his career to the next level.
Vineyard is vying to become the next sheriff of Botetourt County. He’s seeking the Republican nomination for the position.
He has lived in the county for the past 25 years. He cites his wide range of law enforcement roles as one of the primary reasons why he should stand out in the minds of citizens.
“My experience and dedication to our community is far more superior than other candidates for the office of sheriff,” Vineyard said. “This will allow me to provide leadership required for the Sheriff’s Office to grow alongside of our community.”
A retired Roanoke City Police detective, Vineyard currently serves as a senior special agent for the state. He has served in that capacity for the past seven years.
Throughout his career, he has worked with various local, state and federal agencies. He also served a stint as president of the Roanoke Valley Fraud Association.
During his time in the Roanoke City Police Department, he worked his way up to the rank of detective. While there, he was assigned to the White Collar Crimes Unit.
Vineyard explained that one of the most rewarding aspects of serving in that unit was working to prosecute individuals who took advantage of the elderly. He said that oftentimes the unit was able to recover the money that had been taken from them.
Vineyard, who holds a degree in criminal justice from Virginia Western Community College, cited his desire to help people as the reason why he originally decided to pursue a career in law enforcement.
An outsider to the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office, he says that he has no desire to drastically overhaul the department.
“Sheriff Sprinkle has served Botetourt County well,” Vineyard said. “I have no plans to disrupt what he has built over the last 20 years.”
If elected, he said that he hopes to continue the progress the office has made in recent years.
“My plans are to build on what Sheriff Sprinkle has done by adding additional deputies and enhancing public safety to our growing community,” Vineyard said.
He cites experience, good judgment and a sense of justice as the three attributes that a good sheriff should possess. Vineyard points to his 34 years worth of law enforcement experience as proof that he possesses all three of those attributes.
Vineyard explained that one of the best ways to demonstrate a good sense of judgment is to know when to ask for assistance.
“You shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help,” he said.
He explained that because the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office is only so large, he plans to call upon the numerous contacts he has made throughout his career in order to serve the evolving law enforcement needs of the county.
“I really want the voters not to confuse time in service with experience, because they’re two totally different things,” Vineyard said. “Time in service is one thing, but experience is something else altogether.”
Pointing to the fact that he feels he has the requisite experience to serve as sheriff, Vineyard explained that he dealt with a wide variety of situations in the City of Roanoke on a frequent basis.
“If you work a year in Roanoke City, it is probably equivalent to working five years in Botetourt,” he said. “The call volume – the more calls you have, the more experience you have. I’ve seen it all.”
Vineyard isn’t simply running for sheriff on his own. He has his wife Shelia by his side cheering him on.
“I’m very excited and very proud,” Shelia said. “He will make a wonderful sheriff.”
Shelia also worked for the Roanoke City Police Department. She said during her time there, she was able to observe his performance firsthand.
Looking back, Vineyard cites an award given to him by the United States Secret Service as one of the proudest moments of his career to date.
“My record speaks for itself,” Vineyard said.