Letter to Law Enforcement

To all Law Enforcement Officers in Nelson County:

I am seeking to be the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Nelson County. Success in that job depends entirely on working closely with every Law Enforcement Officer to make Nelson a better, safer place to live. Here’s how I’ll do that:

I will fight with you to improve public safety in Nelson County.

You risk your lives every day for the safety of our citizens. You work hard to investigate crimes and create strong cases against offenders. But your efforts are wasted if the Commonwealth’s Attorney doesn’t work with you, as a team, to bring cases to a resolution.

I will be an extension of your agencies, not a separate office with a separate agenda. Our goals are the same. You will have my personal cell phone number, and my staff and I will be available 24/7 to help you carry out your duties and develop solid cases.

I will be proactive within the community to address safety concerns of Nelson citizens to ensure that crimes are prevented. I believe that success in law enforcement is measured by crimes that are prevented, not by the number of convictions secured, or the lengths of sentences handed down.

I will not be afraid to take cases to trial.

You should expect that your Commonwealth’s Attorney has the experience to handle complex cases, including jury trials. I have that experience. I’ve spent years as a private defense attorney and as a Lead Prosecutor in the U.S. Army Reserves. In both roles I’ve been willing and able to take difficult cases to trial—and win.

You will be my most valued asset.

I will work closely with every one of you. I will make sure my office reaches out to you, teaching new law updates, riding along on patrol, and generally taking an interest in your department.

Your opinion matters and you will have serious input in the disposition of your cases. Whenever possible, these discussions will be had before court.  I will not be the type of prosecutor to ask you what a case is about the day you show up to court. I will be prepared to make your hard work count.

I will respect your time.

I know how frustrating it is to show up to court only to find that your case has been rescheduled, when a simple phone call ahead of time could have kept you from showing up. It’s even worse when that happens on what is supposed to be your day off. I will respect your time and always keep you up to date, and do my best to schedule matters that do not conflict with your time off.

I will make sure there are consequences for breaking the law.

I will pursue stiff sanctions for violent behavior and for repeat offenders. I will not tolerate those who sell the drugs that are ruining lives in our community. I will make sure our citizens are protected from offenders that would harm them.

As an attorney born and raised in Nelson County, I’ve been working hard for my clients and my community my entire professional life. For nine years, I have served as defense counsel, and for three years I have served as trial counsel (prosecutor), special trial counsel and chief of military justice (lead prosecutor) as a reservist in the United States Army. Throughout my career, both in my civilian practice and in the military, I have handled numerous jury trials.  Working with the Law Enforcement Agencies of our County and Commonwealth has been a distinct pleasure, and I look forward to serving with you in the future. Let’s continue making our community a wonderful place to call home.


Daniel Rutherford