Skip to content
Virginia Sheriffs’ Association
The Voice of Virginia’s Sheriffs & Deputies

The Sheriff is the only locally elected constitutional law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, as provided in the Constitution of Virginia, and is elected by the citizens of his or her locality every four years. Accordingly, the duties of the sheriff are not spelled out in any one document, law or regulation.

Law Enforcement – All sheriffs are responsible for law enforcement in all counties and cities in which they serve. Title 15.2-1609 of the Code of Virginia mandates that all sheriffs are ultimately responsible for law enforcement in their respective localities.

Jail Administration – The Code of Virginia provides that sheriffs are responsible for all locally operated jails.  Sheriffs also sit on all regional jail boards, and in some cases operate regional jails in Virginia.  As such, sheriffs are responsible for transporting inmates to and from state institutions and maintaining security in local jails while transporting inmates to trials and other community services as required by local jail standards and court orders.  Today, local jails range in size in Virginia from a few dozen inmates to over a thousand inmates and the operation thereof can be, and is, a very complex system of services to the jail community.

Service to the Courts – Court services are the responsibility of all Virginia’s sheriffs.  In each locality, the sheriff is responsible for the security of the courthouse, the courtrooms and the trials while they are underway.  Sheriffs are responsible for the security and sequestering of the jurors and notification of jurors for court service.  Additionally, sheriffs’ offices are responsible for the service of hundreds of thousands of court papers per year, ranging from divorce proceedings and child custody cases to simple civil suits among citizens.

In addition to these services, sheriffs are called upon to promote DARE programs and services for victims and witnesses of crime as well as participate in civil commitments to the citizens of their locality to protect the basic health and welfare of those citizens.


Accomack CountyXXXX 
Albemarle CountyXXX X
City of AlexandriaXXXX 
Alleghany County-CovingtonXXXX 
Amelia CountyXXX  
Amherst CountyXXX  
Appomattox CountyXXX  
Arlington CountyXXXXX
Augusta CountyXXX  
Bath CountyXXX  
Bedford CountyXXX  
Bland CountyXXX  
Botetourt CountyXXXX 
City of BristolXXX  
Brunswick CountyXXX  
Buchanan CountyXXX  
Buckingham CountyXXX  
City of Buena VistaXXX  
Campbell CountyXXX  
Caroline CountyXXX  
Carroll CountyXXX  
Charles City CountyXXX  
Charlotte CountyXXXX 
City of CharlottesvilleXXX  
City of ChesapeakeXXXX 
Chesterfield CountyXXXXX
Clarke CountyXXX  
City of Colonial HeightsXXX  
Craig CountyXXX  
Culpeper CountyXXXX 
Cumberland CountyXXX  
City of DanvilleXXXX 
Dickenson CountyXXX  
Dinwiddie CountyXXX  
City of EmporiaXXX  
Essex CountyXXX  
Fairfax CountyXXXXX
City of Falls ChurchXXX  
Fauquier CountyXXXX 
Floyd CountyXXX  
Fluvanna CountyXXX  
Franklin CountyXXXX 
Frederick CountyXXX  
City of FredericksburgXXX  
Giles CountyXXX  
Gloucester CountyXXXX 
Goochland CountyXXX  
Grayson CountyXXX  
Greene CountyXXX  
Greensville CountyXXX  
Halifax CountyXXX  
City of HamptonXXXX 
Hanover CountyXXX  
Henrico CountyXXXXX
Henry CountyXXXX 
Highland CountyXXX  
City of HopewellXXX  
Isle of Wight CountyXXX  
King and Queen CountyXXX  
King George CountyXXX  
King William CountyXXX  
Lancaster CountyXXXX 
Lee CountyXXX  
Loudoun CountyXXXX 
Louisa CountyXXX  
Lunenburg CountyXXX  
City of LynchburgXXX  
Madison CountyXXX  
City of MartinsvilleXXXX 
Mathews CountyXXX  
Mecklenburg CountyXXX  
Middlesex CountyXXX  
Montgomery CountyXXXX 
Nelson CountyXXX  
New Kent CountyXXX  
City of Newport NewsXXXX 
City of NorfolkXXXX 
Northampton CountyXXXX 
Northumberland CountyXXX  
City of NortonXXX  
Nottoway CountyXXX  
Orange CountyXXX  
Page CountyXXXX 
Patrick CountyXXXX 
City of PetersburgXXX  
Pittsylvania CountyXXXX 
City of PortsmouthXXXX 
Powhatan CountyXXX  
Prince Edward CountyXXX  
Prince George CountyXXX X
Prince William CountyXXX X
Pulaski CountyXXX  
City of RadfordXXX  
Rappahannock CountyXXX  
City of RichmondXXXX 
Richmond CountyXXX  
City of RoanokeXXXX 
Roanoke CountyXXXXX
Rockbridge CountyXXX  
Rockingham CountyXXXX 
Russell CountyXXX  
City of SalemXXX  
Scott CountyXXX  
Shenandoah CountyXXX  
Smyth CountyXXX  
Southampton CountyXXXX 
Spotsylvania CountyXXX  
Stafford CountyXXX  
City of StauntonXXX  
City of SuffolkXXX  
Surry CountyXXX  
Sussex CountyXXXX 
Tazewell CountyXXX  
City of Virginia BeachXXXX 
Warren CountyXXX  
Washington CountyXXX  
City of WaynesboroXXX  
Westmoreland CountyXXX  
Williamsburg – James City CountyXXX X
City of WinchesterXXX  
Wise CountyXXX  
Wythe CountyXXX  
York County – PoquosonXXX  

Updated 1/2024

Law Enforcement Activities in Virginia’s Primary and Non-Primary Sheriff’s Office

In an effort to better understand Virginia’s sheriff’s offices as critical components of law enforcement efforts across the Commonwealth, the purpose of this Report is to highlight the day-to-day law enforcement activities of Primary and Non-Primary LEA sheriff’s offices. This report was prepared by Blythe Alison Bowman Balestrieri, PH.D., Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University.

VSA 2019 FINAL REPORT law enforcement activities in Virginia Sheriffs’ Offices