Loudoun County Sheriff Rejected Superintendent’s Request for Explosive Sweep, ‘Quick Reaction Force’ at Board Meeting

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
October 30, 2021 Updated: October 30, 2021

Loudoun County’s sheriff rejected a request by the school district’s superintendent to dramatically ramp up the law enforcement presence at a pair of school board meetings in August, newly released emails show.

Scott Ziegler, the superintendent for the Virginia county, asked the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) for three deputies to be inside the administration building for the Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 meetings, the emails show. He also requested a “K-9 explosive sweep,” a five-person “Quick Reaction Force,” undercover deputies, and another team “stood up and on standby at nearby location.”

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman rejected the request, according to one of the emails.

Chapman informed district officials that there would be no uniformed officers inside the building where the meetings were taking place nor would there be a law enforcement presence on campus.

Officers would be “in the area” in case they needed to quickly respond to a call, he said, according to a report on a discussion between district officials and the sheriff’s office conveyed to Ziegler in one of the emails.

Chapman said he was motivated not to approve the requests because the school board made a number of decisions without consulting the sheriff’s office, including deciding to limit public comment for a previous June 22 meeting and hiring a security firm with a metal detector.

“LCSO has been made to appear as the muscle for school board and work at the school board’s direction,” Kevin Lewis, a district official, told Ziegler in the call summary. The sheriff also said he believed citizens should have a right to address the board and that the board was being dismissive of people with whom they disagreed.

The documents were obtained by the Fight for Schools PAC and published by Fox News.

An LCSO spokesman confirmed to The Epoch Times that the conversation took place.

“The concerns raised by Sheriff Chapman was regarding the request for extensive resources and security measures that were not deemed necessary based on intelligence gathering for that meeting,” he said in an email.

He also said that the sheriff’s office does and continues to provide security for the school board meetings.

“For safety and security reasons, we cannot share law enforcement sensitive operational plans in regards to public meetings but we can assure residents that we allocate the appropriate level of resources based on the nature of the public meetings and the intelligence developed prior to each meeting,” he said.

The school district did not respond to a request for comment.

The northern Virginia county has become the epicenter for tension between parents and school board members seen across the nation in recent months.

Members have been vocally challenged in recent meetings on proposed policies like one that would let children who identify as a sex different than the one they are born with use various bathrooms. That policy was eventually approved, even though most parents who publicly testified opposed it.

Ziegler claimed in the June meeting that the district had no record of assaults happening in bathrooms, which was factually untrue, according to an email recently disclosed by district officials. He has said he misunderstood the question and is defying calls to resign.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.