Michael George, a former gang investigations leader, announced his candidacy as a Democrat for Loudoun County sheriff Monday, Feb. 26.
George is a former Maryland state trooper and Fairfax County police officer. He also served as Fairfax County Police Department’s Gang Unit leader.
George will face one of two Republic hopefuls, Sheriff Steve Simpson, who was elected in 1995 and took office in 1996, and Greg Ahlemann, a former Loudoun County deputy in the November election. The Republican Party will hold a convention June 9 in place of a primary.
GEORGE, who helped create the Fairfax County Police Department’s Gang Unit in 1995 and served as vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang Intelligence Network (MARGIN), said his experience with gang intelligence would serve him well in Loudoun County.
MARGIN is a gang information sharing network comprised of more than 75 law-enforcement agencies.
"Gangs are transitional. They commit a crime in Sterling. They hide in Herndon," George said. "They do a crime and leave. That’s why it’s important to share information between agencies."
GEORGE’S FAMILY has lived in Loudoun County for 27 years.
The Ashburn resident raised his two children in Sterling Park and they both attended Sully Elementary School, Sterling Middle School and Park View High School.
"I’ve watched this community grow," he said. "The Sheriff’s Department has been quietly left behind."
George criticized Sheriff Steve Simpson for the lack of attention he’s brought to the Sheriff’s Office and the need for funding more facilities.
"The department is good," George said, "but the leader is not marketing the department. I see schools being built all around, but we’re still working on getting a new [Sheriff’s Office] substation in open."
George is the director of investigative services for the anti-piracy section of the Recording Industry Association of America.
He also gives lectures locally and internationally about criminal associations between theft of intellectual property, organized crime and terrorist groups. George said he emphasizes the importance of establishing private and public partnerships that are beneficial to all involved, something he hopes to accomplish in Loudoun County as sheriff.
Another one of his goals is to set up partnerships with businesses in Loudoun, such as Target and AOL, to utilize their security information and equipment.
"I’d like to reach out and work with these guys," he said. "It would be a give and take learning experience."