Greenbrier Sheriff candidate Doug Beard discusses his experience, commitment to public service

By Matthew Young, RealWV

“I’m bringing 36 years of combined experience to this race, with corrections, law enforcement, and as magistrate. I’ve been on the Lewisburg Fire Department for 37 years. Public service is in my blood. Now I want to continue my public service as sheriff.”

That’s what Republican Charles “Doug” Beard told RealWV Monday, regarding his decision to run for Greenbrier County Sheriff. Beard is one of three candidates vying to succeed the county’s term-limited current Sheriff, Bruce Sloan. 

“During my time as Magistrate, I was always observing the Sheriff’s Office and taking mental notes of what was going on, and what wasn’t going on,” Beard noted. “I believe that I can make a difference to help improve the department to be more efficient and more productive.”

Beard, who served for nine years with the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department before being elected to five consecutive terms as Magistrate, previously sought the office of County Sheriff in 2020. 

“I’ve aspired to be sheriff for a number of years,” Beard explained, noting that he served his last year with the department as Chief Deputy before being elected to the bench. “I served 19 of 20 years as Magistrate. I retired a year early during this last term to run for sheriff, but fell a little short.”

Beard said he is campaigning even harder during this election cycle – going door-to-door and working for every vote, adding, “I’m not assuming anything. I’m putting in the work.”

In addition to his service as Magistrate and with the Sheriff’s Department, Beard has previously worked in the corrections field, and spent more than 37 years as a first responder with the Lewisburg Fire Department. Beard is a graduate of both West Virginia’s Corrections and State Police Academies.

If elected, Beard said he will begin his tenure as Sheriff by first making a thorough assessment of the department to identify improvable areas. 

“As Magistrate, I’ve been on the outside looking in for years,” Beard noted. “But from what I’ve seen and the feel I get, there are areas of improvement with productivity. There are some deputies who do a great job, and there are plenty of deputies on staff now. But there are some whose time could be better utilized.”

“Again, most deputies do a great job, and it’s not reinventing the wheel,” Beard continued. “We just need to tighten the spokes up to make it run a little truer. Once everything is a little more productive, working the road harder and other things, then other agencies will follow suit.”

“It’s a team effort,” Beard added. “Together, we’ll make a difference here in Greenbrier County, which, in turn, makes a safer place for everyone to live and raise a family.” 

Beard cites equipping the county’s deputies with the best training and resources, proactive patrols, accurate and timely civil process serving, and handling mental hygiene patients with care and professionalism among his top priorities.

An additional and often overlooked responsibility of the sheriff is their role as the County’s Treasurer. This is another aspect of the job Beard believes he is the most qualified to perform.

“For the past three years, I’ve been managing a small business,” Beard explained. “It does between $3.5 and 4 million of gross income per year, so I’ve got plenty of experience in handling large sums of money.”

As sheriff, Beard says he isn’t one to “sit in the office all the time.”

“I would like to go out and touch base with the mayors, and chiefs of police, and all the communities to see how things are going and what we can do to help,” Beard said. “I want to stay in touch with everyone myself, because I don’t think they’ve seen much of that in the past.”

To learn more about Doug Beard’s campaign for Greenbrier County Sheriff, visit his Facebook page at Beard For Sheriff. Beard will also be appearing at The RealWV’s Candidate Debate at the Lewis Theatre in Lewisburg, at 6 p.m. April 11, and the GFWC WV Rupert Women’s Club Meet the Candidates event on April 15 at 6 p.m. at the Rupert Community Building. 

“I just look forward to continuing my public service to our county, and serving and giving to the community,” Beard added.

With no Democratic or Independent candidates challenging for the Office of Sheriff, the winner of the Republican Primary will be the presumptive winner of November’s General Election. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 14. Voters must be registered either independent or with a particular party to vote in that party’s primary. 

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