Roanoke’s Chief Deputy intends to ‘bridge the gap’ between sheriffs, has no plans to run in 2021

Maj. David Bell discusses interim sheriff role.
Maj. David Bell discusses interim sheriff role.(WDBJ7)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 1:06 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With Roanoke Sheriff Tim Allen announcing he is set to retire January 8, 2021, his second in command, Chief Deputy Major David Bell, is set to take over for the final year of Allen’s term.

“I feel it’s my duty to step up and take on this role," said Bell in an interview Thursday.

It’s a role Bell does not intend to keep for long, saying he only wants to bridge the gap between sheriffs.

“I don’t have any goals of running for office. I’m not a politician.”

But that does not mean he intends to take the job lightly.

He still has big plans he hopes to accomplish, including adding new programs at the jail to help reduce recidivism among repeat offenders.

“I want to work with the court to come up with some diversionary things as far as some alternative sentencing programs, things like that, some things we haven’t explored to date, but that I think would be really effective in reducing recidivism," said Bell.

Bell also plans to work with city leadership in hopes of getting the ball rolling on plans for a new, state-of-the-art jail.

He says that will give the Sheriff’s Office the tools and the space necessary to put his new anti-recidivism plans into action.

“The main jail was constructed in 1979, it’s antiquated, we need something that is more conducive to programming, our programming needs, they need to be upgraded tremendously," said Bell.

Ultimately, Bell says, the Circuit Court will have to approve his selection as the interim sheriff.

Bell has served in his current role for the past 10 years.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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