Sheriff Ed Robb is concerned about the jail. Not about people breaking out but, rather, about terrorists attacking the jail. He’s issued a report recommending that security fence be built around the…er…security fence and, around that, build camouflaged cement walls, put barbed wire on the roof of the building, have a video monitoring system for the jail to see what’s going on outside of the facility, and build large pillars at the entrance to prevent cars from driving into the building. None of this is to ensure that people don’t break out — it’s all to keep those nefarious terrorists from leveling an attack on the jail. The proposal is reminiscent of the Albemarle County office building’s installation of boulders for the same purpose, only a whole lot more expensive — at least $60,000, presumably a lot more.
Some may recall Ed Robb’s last brush with the media. In March of 2003, his deputy, Stephen Shiflett, claimed to have been shot at by a mysterious black man, which Robb immediately declared to be a “hate crime.” Shifflett turned out to have made up the whole story, which prompted his resignation. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos refused to file charges against him. It emerged that Shiflett had attacked and arrested a couple who had reported an unlocked convenience store when Shiflett was a Louisa deputy in 2000, with a federal judge consequently awarding half a million dollars to the couple for having their constitutional rights violated. Robb refused to admit any problem with his having hired this guy, pointing out that Shiflett was very punctional, and concluding that that he’s “ready to put this behind us.” Reed Williams wrote a damning profile in the Progress, speculating that Robb could lose reelection in November of ’03 as a result of it all. But Robb had two challengers who split the vote, and he won with 49% of the vote.
Liesel Nowak has the story about Robb’s proposal. Remember: if we don’t build a new fence around the jail fence and a new fence around that, then the terrorists have already won.