Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty has filed as a candidate to fill the last two years of the term as sheriff left unexpired after the resignation of former sheriff Bobby Shirley.
"My lifetime commitment to making our county a better place to live and work continues," Dougherty said.
Dougherty was appointed to the position in March 2013.
Since assuming the job, Dougherty notes via a press release that the Sheriff's Office has significantly increased the number of calls for service responding to citizen complaints and restructured the investigations office.
Dougherty has re-instituted a formal evaluation process for law enforcement staff and has increased training in the attempt to better prepare officers to take appropriate actions to prevent and prosecute those that violate the law. He improved the home confinement system with a more effective and less costly monitoring.
In coordination with the FBI, State Police and municipal law enforcement offices, Dougherty has worked on a comprehensive effort to enhance safety within school buildings and to improve response time in case a threat occurs in a school, he said in the release. Law enforcement professionals from the Eastern Panhandle were asked to demonstrate this effort to a variety of educators and law enforcement personnel in the Northern Panhandle in December.
Dougherty is member of the board of directors of the West Virginia Sheriff's Association, past president of the West Virginia Magistrates Association and past president of the West Virginia School Boards Association.
Dougherty has served as a long-time member of the Charles Town Kiwanis Club; a member of the Asbury United Methodist Church's Board of Trustees and lay member to the annual conference; a member of the Envision Jefferson 2035 Steering Committee; membership chair for the Boy Scouts of America; and is a member of the Leadership Council for Relay for Life. He also has current or past leadership involvement with Hospice of the Panhandle, the American Red Cross and Shenandoah Women's Shelter. He is a trustee of Davis and Elkins College and has served as a member of the Board of Visitors for Potomac State College.
Dougherty holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Davis and Elkins College; completed graduate studies at West Virginia University; received a certificate of training from the National Judicial College; and completed a management training program at the Federal Executive Institute.
He has received numerous awards including the highest award to a federal civilian employee, the Citizen Service Award, from the Partnership for Public Service; the Department of Veterans Affairs' Meritorious Service Award; the Founders Award by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Tower Award from Davis and Elkins College; the Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Shenandoah Council of the Boy Scouts of America; and he is the only local school board member in West Virginia to receive the Margaret Baldwin Friend of Education Award by the West Virginia Education Association.
The Home Depot Foundation created the Pete Dougherty Excellence Award, a $50,000 a year grant to a nonprofit that creates permanent housing for homeless veterans.
Dougherty and his wife, Jan, have three adult children and two grandchildren.