BEDFORD, Va. - Mike Brown has sat in the Bedford County Sheriff's seat for the last 24 years.
Now he says it’s time to wrap it up.
“No scandal, no health problems, it's time,” Brown said.
First elected in 1995, Brown says he’s seen the world change drastically, especially technology.
“I mean it’s great (the internet) but... that’s what we find, the kids know more about the technology than the parents do,” Brown said.
Brown has created a number of programs about internet safety.
One he’s most proud of is the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
“The predators are on cellphones. They’re on social media. They are everywhere,” Brown said.
He says cyberbullying and sexting cases are a growing concern for the department.
“We try to teach it in the schools, SROs try to watch it. The sexting-- that’s beginning to be a very, very serious problem,” Brown said.
In the two decades Brown has overseen the department, he’s seen some gruesome cases but nothing, he said, like Raymond Woods’ death in March 2017.
Several alleged MS-13 gang members are facing charges for his death.
“That was the worst one I’ve seen for a long time-- and I worked in Central America on and off for seven years, and I saw plenty down there,” Brown said.
Brown said he’ll miss the people the most.
And though he has 11 months left before he leaves office, some are already interested in his position.
Whoever is voted in, Brown has this message for them.
“Listen to your community. Get to know your community, get involved in community. Listen to your employees because they are out there 24/7, 365," Brown said.
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