Sheriff says office ready for challenges

Published 5:30 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019


The citizens of Southampton County and the City of Franklin honored me in 2011 by electing me to the office of sheriff and I will always be grateful for the trust you placed in me. I will not seek re-election and intend to retire at the end of this year.

In a career that began in 1981 I have seen much change in law enforcement. While the job has its rewards it was never an easy one. It is more difficult and demanding now requiring more from our deputies and other staff than ever before. The public opinion of law enforcement has also changed in much of this country, but not here. Fortunately for the members of this agency, we know we are still largely supported and appreciated by those we serve. Frequent visits by individual citizens, church groups, school children and other organizations with gifts of cards, snacks and hand-drawn art help remind us of what we are and why we are here. Your thoughtful acts are much appreciated.

Thirty seven years ago the police academy lasted 14 weeks. It now approaches six months of intense classroom and practical training at the Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy, followed by over a month of agency provided field training for final certification. In-service and specialty schools assure that deputies retain what is learned in the initial academy experience and are kept abreast of changes in the law along with new methods and tactics as the profession evolves.

Locally, the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office is fortunate to benefit from the finest training facility I am aware of anywhere for an agency our size. Deputies hone their response to various situations with computer-generated simulations in a building dedicated to that equipment. Continued firearms proficiency is maintained on a 10-lane range with the most up-to-date turn targets available. This firearms range and computer training simulator came not from local tax monies, but from the generosity of the Camp Family Foundation, our own asset forfeiture account and a great deal of hard work provided by the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Mr. Randolph Cook, deputies and inmates. Thank you all.

I will leave knowing that your sheriff’s office is ready for the challenges of today’s world. Any success realized comes from a supportive wife and family, knowledgeable and experienced command and supervisory personnel, a hardworking, dedicated staff and one gem of an office manager.

As for me, I intend to learn how to enjoy a snowfall again, and some uninterrupted sleep. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve.

Sheriff J.B. Stutts