Wood will have to wait until Dec. 28 to be formally sworn into office, but the first-time elected official has spent a lot of time formulating plans for when he takes the reins from incumbent Jim Higdon.


Though he doesn’t ride a white horse or wear a 10-gallon hat, the voters of Kent County decided Nov. 2 that Smyrna police Lt. Norman Wood is fit to be their sheriff.

Wood will have to wait until Dec. 28 to be formally sworn into office, but the first-time elected official has spent a lot of time formulating plans for when he takes the reins from incumbent Jim Higdon.

 

Q How do you think your career in law enforcement has prepared you for the job of Kent County sheriff?

A I have had the privilege of dealing with people from all walks of life both at their best and their worst. I have learned that as a public servant you must be compassionate and treat people how you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes. I have obtainedhundreds of hours of training for supervisors, which will assist me in running the office in a smooth, efficient manner. I have had training insafety and experience when dealing with persons who are in custody.

 

Q What do you think is the top priority for the Sheriff's Office?

A The Sheriff's Office will have to relocate at the completion of the new courthouse. Finding a suitable location that will benefit the court, local attorneys and staff as well as be cost effective for the county is the top priority.

 

Q What plans do you have to improve the operations of the office?

A Improving relations between the countyadministration and Sheriff's Office is important to ensure that paperwork and monies are transferred in a timely manner. As the amount of foreclosures increase, efficiency and transparency become more important.

 

Q Do you think the Sheriff's Office is equipped to handle the growing number of foreclosures in the county?

A To my knowledge they have been managing so far, but as foreclosures increase this may need to be re-evaluated. If it’s that overwhelming and they just can’t keep up, by all means we’d have to ask for more help. If you’re taking in that many foreclosures, you’re also generating more money for the country itself; they get 3% for each foreclosure. It wouldn’t actually be costing taxpayers more money.

 

Q What role, if any, should the office play in helping to educate residents about the foreclosure process?

A Generally by the time the Sheriff's Office receives paperwork for a foreclosure, the sale is imminent. I think that knowing where to refer people,such as the Department of Justice website, may help them if they call for information. There’s a lot of information out there. Beau Biden, our Attorney General, has a lot of information. It’s really informative in terms of the timeline, if you’re behind what you can expect and when you can expect it. It also has information on how to avoid these scams. There’s always somebody, a vulture hovering over somebody’s misfortune and it’s a shame. Having that information in the Sheriff’s Office if somebody calls, that could be beneficial.

 

Q Do you plan to integrate more technology into the running of the office?

A What I’d like to do, and I don’t know how soon I can accomplish this, is instead of just listing the houses or properties that are going to be foreclosed on in the newspaper, I’d like to put them on a website with a picture, so people could see them from all over, even other states. People wouldn’t necessarily have to look at the description that’s in the paper and try to find the house and go look at it themselves. It would possibly draw more people to the auction, which is good for the county, and that could work in the seller’s favor.