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Hampton Sheriff's Office

Posted on: December 28, 2020

Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts dies Dec. 26; was state's longest-serving sheriff

Sheriff B.J. Roberts photo

Dec. 28, 2020 - The Hampton Sheriff’s Office announced that longtime Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts died peacefully at his home on Dec. 26, after celebrating Christmas Day with his family.

The Sheriff's Office released a statement mourning Sheriff Roberts' passing and noting that his loss would be felt throughout the city and the state, and even by sheriffs all across the country.

Under Roberts’ leadership, the Hampton Sheriff’s Office demonstrated a Commitment to Excellence. In 2009 the office was awarded the coveted Nationally Accredited Triple Crown award, achieving simultaneous accreditation from the American Correctional Association, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.

In June of 2010, Sheriff Roberts was sworn in as the 69th president of the National Sheriff’s Association. Roberts was the first and only African-American in the 70-year history of the organization to preside over its 18,990 members.

Sheriff Roberts announced earlier this month his plans to retire from the position on January 8, 2021. Roberts served as Sheriff of Hampton for 28 years and was Virginia’s longest serving Sheriff. B.J. Roberts had nearly 50 years of combined dedicated law enforcement service on the Peninsula.

Roberts was first elected as Sheriff of Hampton in 1992 and was re-elected to serve six terms.

Hampton City Council voted at its meeting on Dec. 9 to petition the Hampton Circuit Court requesting that no special election be ordered and that the highest ranking deputy in the Sheriff's Office complete Sheriff B.J. Roberts' term of office for the remainder of the unexpired term. That would be Col. Karen Bowden, the undersheriff.

See statement from Col. Bowden
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