Essex Co Sheriff Candidate Forum July 28

Rockport Democratic Town Committee is proud to host their first Candidate’s Forum between the Two Candidates For Essex County Sheriff:

Virginia Leigh


Kevin F. Coppinger

Thursday July 28th 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm
Rockport Public Library
17 School St, Rockport, MA 01966
In person (space limited and masks encouraged)
PLEASE NOTE the amazing 1623Studios will be recording the event and will post it to their YouTube page

Kevin F. Coppinger is the 31st elected Sheriff of Essex County. He took office in January, 2017.
Sheriff Coppinger is committed to bring positive change to the Sheriff’s Department by improving staff skills, training and accountability; expanding mental health services and detox treatment to confront the opioid epidemic; improving the re-entry programs and community follow-up; and by strengthening collaboration with municipal public safety leaders and community groups and organizations.
Sheriff Coppinger previously served as Chief of the Lynn Police Department. During his thirty-three year career, he served as a Lynnfield Police Officer before transferring to the Lynn Police Department in 1985. In Lynn, after a similar assignment as a Patrol Officer, he was promoted to Sergeant and then Lieutenant where he served as the Internal Affairs/Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator. In 1993, Captain Coppinger was assigned as the Commanding Officer of the Second Division. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Chief in charge of the Administrative functions of the Department. In January of 2001, he became Deputy Chief in charge of Operations overseeing the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Divisions. In 2009, Kevin Coppinger was appointed Acting Chief and in December, 2009, was permanently appointed Chief.
As Chief of the Lynn Police Department, Coppinger distinguished himself as an innovative leader in public safety on the local, county and statewide level. Collaborating with other chiefs, the District Attorney, the courts and community groups, he worked to identify and employ more effective strategies and programs to prevent crime. Recognizing his involvement in efforts to improve community policing and regional work to combat drug crimes, Coppinger was invited to be part of the White House 21st Century Policing Initiative in Washington, D.C. to brainstorm new ideas with Senior Obama Administration Officials about how to enhance public confidence in the justice system.
Sheriff Coppinger is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and graduated from Anna Maria College with a Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. He is also a graduate of the 203rd Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Sheriff Coppinger is a certified Emergency Medical Technician and CPR/First Responder Instructor.
He served as Treasurer of the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police and a member of the Essex County Chiefs of Police, Massachusetts Chief of Police Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates. He was appointed by the Governor to the State 911 Commission where he served as Vice Chairman representing the Massachusetts Major City Police Chiefs.

Virginia Leigh is a bilingual clinical social worker with over 12 years of experience working in community health centers, detention centers, and schools. Virginia will bring a clinical approach as Sheriff of Essex County. Virginia’s expertise in mental health and substance use programs, and her deep connections in the communities most impacted by crime will bring an innovative and human-centered approach to reducing recidivism in Essex County. Her expertise comes from years of hard work, combined with lived and professional experience working with families, at-risk youth and adults, victims of crime and formerly incarcerated individuals.

In 2008 fresh out of college, Virginia founded, funded and directed an educational initiative inside Mexican juvenile detention centers called the Albergue Bolivia Project and from 2008-2010 established herself as a champion and voice for unaccompanied children along the US-Mexican Border. After completing her work in Mexico, she provided translation support and legal information at the Texas Civil Rights Project aiding undocumented victimes of domestic violence.

Virginia obtained her MSW in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College and has worked with complex trauma, community violence, and immigration. She co-founded a medical legal partnership while working in Brockton. Within months of beginning her work at the Lynn Community Health center, Virginia had already co-founded and led a coalition of 30+ community organizations supporting Immigrant Families in Lynn.

For the past six years, Virginia has worked tirelessly for the city of Lynn earning her recognition from community partners and other agencies for her excellence and rigorous accountability for the highest of ethical standards in clinical practice and community advocacy. 

Join the grassroots coalition to help elect VIRGINIA LEIGH. Let’s work together toward rehabilitation of those incarcerated and reduce recidivism. 

Topic: Essex County Sheriff Forum
Time: Jul 28, 2022 19:00 Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 831 6249 1625
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