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John Orem for Berkeley County Sheriff

Hello, my name is John Orem, I am a candidate for Sheriff of Berkeley County.

JO 0011I have lived in Berkeley County since 1982. After graduating from Martinsburg High School in 1986 my first job was with the United States Postal Service. In 1990 I accepted an invitation to join the Martinsburg City Police Department which required my graduation from the West Virginia State Police Academy. Following graduation I spent the next nine years working as a Martinsburg Police Officer.

Unfortunately in late 1999 I was forced to retire due to an injury which made it impossible to continue in the field of law enforcement at that time. Following recovery from that injury I began forging an alternate career in real estate which grew into multiple businesses. Those businesses now include a real estate company, a property acquisition and management business, an interstate security protection/guard service for business or personal protection and a bail bonding company. I currently hold active licenses as a real estate broker and as a property/casualty insurance agent.

Throughout my law enforcement and business career advanced specialized training has been an important
JO 0112part of my philosophy. I have taken managerial courses and classes to gain knowledge of business legalities and operational issues. personnel policies, team leadership and organization, critical incident and hazmat management. On the personal side I train and workout but not as much as I should, I have taken hand-to-hand combat and survival tactics training and I am a DCJS certified security training and firearms instructor.

I am a life member of the NRA and support the constitution of this United States of America. I support many local groups and organizations throughout this county including local soccer, cheerleader squads and football teams. Children are especially vulnerable and their lives are precious to me so I support and donate regularly to several missing children programs. I have supported the Berkeley County Sheriff’s yearly calendar of events and heavily support all the local businesses that I come into contact with on a regular basis.

I live in Inwood and am married to the love of my life, Sher, and I am blessed with five sons, two of which still live at home with us. My family is my strength. I ran for Sheriff of Berkeley County in 2012 and campaigned hard on issues that I believed would go a long ways towards making the Sheriff department more accessible to the community and create unity within the department. I learned from that experience and have made the decision to again run for Sheriff.

With the support of my family and my friends, and the citizens of Berkeley County, we can make effective change a reality. If elected I will bring unity and fairness to the Sheriff’s Department, encourage respectful cooperation throughout our community and regain the trust of the people we serve.

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My Qualifications

Why am I the most qualified to be Sheriff?

I am the only candidate with both police training and a strong business background.

JO 0113My ten years of law enforcement experience with over fifteen years of business experience makes me the perfect fit for Sheriff of Berkeley County, capable of managing and administering all aspects of what a Sheriff does including balancing budgets, delegating responsibilities, implementing procedures and being smart on spending. I understand how to work with people building team spirit and how to develop cohesive strategies that accomplish desired outcomes efficiently.

In addition to my law enforcement training and 10 years experience as a Martinsburg Police Officer please consider the fifteen years I have been in the real estate and property acquisition business while also running a security company and a bail-bonding service. Creating and building those businesses have provided me the operational and managerial skills and over-all life experiences needed to be a productive and effective Sheriff of Berkeley County.

I understand that everyone in the community has a different need, and addressing those needs can get tough unless of course you talk in circles like a politician. To be clear, I understand I wont be able to please everyone all the time but I will pledge that any decisions I do make or polices I do enact as Sheriff will be designed to benefit the entire community as a whole. 

I have created a page to address any questions, thoughts or suggestions. Questions? Click here.

    • Graduate West Virginia State Police Academy
    • West Virginia Licensed Security Company Operator
    • DOCJ Licensed Security Company Certification
    • DOCJ Certified Private Security Instructor
    • DOCJ Licensed Bail Bondsman
    • DOCJ Compliance Officer
    • NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor
    • Licensed WV Private Investigator Licenses
    • Monadnock Baton Certified
    • ASP Baton Certified
    • Sensitivity Training
    • Trained Pressure Point  Practitioner
    • Immigration and Naturalization Training
    • Forensic Death Studies at Morgantown University
    • Supervisor / Subordinate Relationship Training
    • Emergency Medical Technician Certification
    • Licensed Property Casualty Insurance Agent
    • CPR Certified and Certified Phlebotomy Technician
    • Licensed Real Estate Broker in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia
    • DOT certified Breath Alcohol Technician(BAT) and Factory Authorized Calibration Representative
    • Law Enforcement Officer Certification – Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction
    • Certification from I.T.  W.O.R.K.S. on Interviewing and Interrogating Techniques covering Polygraph/Relationship to interviewing, Obtaining Background Information, General Principles, Oral Behaviors, Structured Questions, Question Design, Body Language, Introvert & Extrovert Classifications, and Cognitive Interviewing
  • I am not part of the GOB (good-ole-boy) club and I do not have any political cronies to rely on, and that is okay. I prefer to get endorsements from family, friends, neighbors and the average hard working person that knows me personally.. and believes in me for that reason, not through party obligatory measures.

    Your endorsement is truly appreciated.

    We are in this together and I believe everyone understands that electing the right person as Sheriff is extremely important to this county considering the unique challenges we face. I am proud and humbled to be the Republican nominee, at the same time I want everyone to rest assured that my candidacy and tenure if elected will be about serving all the people and doing what is best for all citizens of Berkeley County.


My Platform

My slogan ..making effective change a reality, is not mumbo-jumbo politic speak. 

JO 0114Effective change is a management theory used by businesses to focus on real change within an entity. Change management theory suggests that for real change to take place within an entity you must first alter the existing culture that sustains the status-quo.

This is done by analyzing the problem and developing the proper plan to produce the desired results. Effective change could be applied to address many issues, such as: bullying, spousal abuse, tax dodging, racism, religious intolerance and even drug use. How can we as a community ever hope to change things so deeply embedded in current culture with roots going back generations.. the status quo?

I intend to create meaningful long-term change by implementing effective change within all aspects of the Sheriffs department. I also intend to apply the same principles of effective change when interacting with local communities and as a comprehensive strategy to tackle many persistent issues and long-term problems embedded in our culture.

For those not familiar with this theory there are many articles on the Internet about ‘what change management is’ and ‘how change management works’. This Huffington post article: Effective Change Management: The Five Critical Steps gives a fairly adequate description as to implementation within a business setting.

Platform Specifics

The topics addressed below are brief and do not completely address each and every aspect as deeply as I would like, there simply is not enough room. I will address each issue more fully in upcoming posts to this site. Please contact me for any further clarification needed or if there is any issue or problem you feel needs to be addressed. You might also consider checking out the posts I have published that help to further clarify issues. Discussions

  • Private companies that do not manage money well are destined to failure. My private business experience includes competitive bidding and holding down spending while creating, implementing and sticking to realistic and workable budgets. When you combine my police training with my business experience you get the best candidate for Sheriff of Berkeley County.

    Read detail on how I would address budgeting issues…

  • I have always felt that bullying is a scourge on our society and should be treated as such. I also believe that everyone feels the same as I do about this issue. We all understand the long and devastating effects bullying has on it’s young victims and yet we as a community allow it to exist. As Sheriff I will seek to institute a plan to address the root causes of bullying by precisely targeting the pervasive culture of bullying.

    Read more on my proposals on bullying intervention…

  • As Sheriff I intend to implement Night Eyes Protection, a crime prevention program designed to increase the level of dusk-to-dawn protection within the community. This will be done by utilizing our deputy reserves and adjusting the normal routine nighttime surveillance of our on-duty deputies. Night Eyes will also feature a courtesy option for homeowners going on vacation or not at home for some other reason, to get on a ‘watch’ list so deputies out doing routine patrol in the community can keep a more watchful eye on those properties.

  • My views on Community Policing go back to the values instilled in me by my Chief of Police at the Martinsburg Police Department in which he stressed honest and friendlier community policing as a way to open lines of communication between citizens and law enforcement.

    “Rather than simply responding to crimes once they have been committed, community policing concentrates on preventing crime and eliminating the atmosphere of fear it creates. Earning the trust of the community and making those individuals stakeholders in their own safety enables law enforcement to better understand and address both the needs of the community and the factors that contribute to crime.” – COPS Community Oriented Policing

    I intend to nurture a strong community policing effort within the department. For detailed information on community policing you can view this pdf, click here.

    I am for a friendlier more accessible department, one that instills trust in the people it serves. I believe in openness, transparency and accountability. I will make the department more community friendly by linking through the Sheriff’s department web site, I intend to create a forum or social media page that is maintained and staffed 24/7 for local citizens to get advise or just communicate informally with Law Enforcement.

    Creating avenues of one-on-one personal contact builds trust within the community.

  • Drugs and drug crimes have touched all of our communities. In most cases these problems exist because we allow them to exist. Neighborhoods become complacent, people that live in these neighborhoods become complacent, police working the area become complacent, all of which allow the drug culture to fester becoming more prevalent and accessible.

    There are no easy answers, but I feel it is a problem that needs to be addressed from a new angle. I believe my intentions to implement ‘effective change’ will over time create the needed culture shift within our communities. By changing the culture.. real change is possible.

    In the meantime…

    • I will begin anew to build a partnership of trust between the sheriff’s office and the community.
    • I intend to revitalize our neighborhood watch programs and reinforce that with monthly meetings in the communities most affected by drug crimes.
    • I will seek financing through grants for community projects and programs to provide education and opportunities for people trying to rebuild their lives, and ethical role models and faith-based resources for the children, families and communities.
    • I will maintain a hard edge approach to dealing with drugs and related crime. Diverting first-time, non-violent offenders to drug courts rather than sending them through the prison system. Children in drug-ridden communities are paying the highest price.
    • Making real ‘effective change’ happen is my long approach to changing the culture of drugs. Continued prosecuting and incarceration is my immediate short approach to deal with drug dealers and drug related crimes.

    Read additional details on how I would handle this issue.

  • I understand that within every large organization there will be grumblings of discontent. Within the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department the grumblings are getting louder…

    As Sheriff I would turn this around quickly by listening to and addressing all internal issues and problems, and reduce internal grumblings. By actually being ‘present-and-accounted-for’ our deputies will be able to voice any problems or questions with me personally, by maintaining a 24/7 open door policy for all departmental matters.

    I will create and enforce total openness, transparency and accountability within the department and it’s deputies, thereby building trust so people feel at ease when they are coming to us with questions or looking for advise.

    I will advocate for initiatives and partnerships with police and the communities to improve public safety and bring better police protection to every neighborhood. I will seek to create mentoring programs to engage the youth and work with mental health service agencies, to reduce crime. I pledge to remain accessible and continue to serve the community with commitment, integrity and passion.

  • I plan on increasing the forces I admire most. The Deputy Reserve. Long under-appreciated, these individuals are relied on at all hours of the day and night and deserve extra support from the department. I don’t know how many times I have heard them called out in the middle of the night, 10 degrees below zero and asked to respond, allowing our Paid Sheriff’s Deputies to respond to top priority calls. These volunteers are willing and can be used for so many things to help keep the community safe and help to keep the budget down.

    • To have ‘proactive’ attitude towards duties as the Sheriff.
    • Modernize the department.
    • Maintain an open door policy for both citizens and deputies.
    • Go to permanent day shift and ten hour work shifts for patrol deputies.
    • Modernize personal comp time usage.
    • Use alternative uniforms for different assignments or duty times.
    • Increase the number of deputies.
    • Utilize and support to our Deputy Reserves.
    • Implement a plan to aggressively address bullying in and out of our schools, in person or by electronic means using social media, Facebook, email, text message, etc…
    • Open up a direct link thru the use of Facebook or the Department website for non-emergency questions. I also believe there is a way to use this tool for anonymous tips which is very much needed. Sometimes people want to stand up but are simply afraid or don’t want to get involved.
    • Appoint a Chief Deputy to run and properly supervise the Sheriff’s office internal operations and work directly with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association
    • Appoint or hire a person or firm to apply for Federal grants to save the county tax money on things like equipment, supplies, and needed training for our deputies.
    • Reestablish the Ride-Along Program, allowing citizens to personally see what deputies actually do on a day-to-day basis and goes hand in hand with community policing.
    • Implement community policing by having our officers interact more with the public at every opportunity.
    • Meeting with HOA’s, and going to the school’s with McGruff.
    • Start a night eye’s program to help Back Creek Valley and other remote areas maintain a citizen watch back by a responsive Law Enforcement presence.
    • Assist our neighbors living with abandoned houses next to them, attracting the wrong elements to their area.
    • Re-implement a strong stance against tax dodgers. The ones, who live here, but claim to live elsewhere to avoid registering their vehicles and so on.
    • Work to modernize the tax office so that we can save money and time. Why can’t we get and pay our tax bills online. If we can streamline this department we all benefit.
    • Work with court security and their much needed rank structure, training, equipment and other support. So they can be a strong force to depend on within this Department.

My Pledge

As Sheriff I would faithfully serve the people of Berkeley County to the best of my ability with steadfast honor and dedication. I will:

JO 0115Fight the war on drugs. By increasing pressure on street dealers and organized gangs using aggressive interstate interdiction combined with better community interaction, and by working with city, state and federal agencies, implementing task force initiatives, providing more undercover stings and using paid informants on the street.

Drug addiction is not an excuse for crimes committed. The Sheriff’s office will work with victims of addiction using drug courts and addiction programs as alternative sentencing options making use of such programs as home confinement and work release.

Maintain a vigilant stance against crime. By providing advanced training to our deputies, using the most modern methods and the most advanced technologies, and by providing social media platforms and apps for citizens desiring to report on crime or provide solutions to prevent crime before it happens.

Protect the children of our community. By working with concerned parties including families, organizations, teachers, the juvenile court system and the Berkeley County Board of Education, to create a plan on how to change the culture and finally eliminate the scourge of bullying from our schools and communities.

Stress fiscal responsibility and accountability throughout the department. By insisting on transparency and accountability between department and the public, maintaining an open door policy and being involved when it comes to the department’s daily activity.

Apply strict guidance to address budgetary concerns. By making the budget my first priority and initiating a detailed line-by-line audit, implementation of competitive bidding system, and applying a ‘use vs need’ scale for every vendor.

Work with the county Assessor’s Office. To locate and identify individuals who are utilizing our county and state resources and not paying their fair share, such as permanent residents using out-of-state registration and drivers licenses to avoid paying their local tax.

Streamline the Tax Office. By examining the cost of each item procured through vendors and conducting the vigorous cost-cutting practice throughout Court Security and Animal Control and at the same time increase productivity and progressive practices.

Seek consideration to contract deputies out for private functions. Locating new sources of revenue to build-up the use and reliability of the Sheriffs discretionary fund.

Build up our Deputy Reserve program. By locating and training additional responsible citizens to assist our deputies and give existing reserve deputies the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

Partner with Nextdoor and other online platforms. Promote the use of online apps to enhance our Neighborhood Watch programs and align our communities and neighborhoods.

Represent the taxpayers of this county. By respecting the citizens that pay my salary and making their problems my problems. I believe in strong community interaction with the Sheriff’s office.

As Sheriff I will:

  • properly implement fair and open community policing
  • aggressively combat all heroin and prescription abuse
  • prevent crime while protecting all life and property
  • increase search n seizures utilizing more drug k-9 ‘s
  • use drug units aggressively for interstate interdiction
  • provide mandatory civil rights training to all deputies
  • demand the highest standards of honesty and integrity
  • increase defensive and pursuit technique driver training
  • administer and maintain using cost effective measures
  • preserve the peace while enforcing laws and ordinances
  • provide the finest professional law enforcement services
  • recognize that each and every employee is a valued asset
  • work in unison with our communities, schools and agencies
  • adhere to all constitutional rights, guidelines and guarantee’s

My name is John Orem and I believe the Sheriff’s Office needs a responsible leader that focuses on making effective change a reality, that is why I am a candidate for Sheriff. Together we can build a safe community for our families. Thank you.

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