Sheriff J. Arthur Hodges, the Sheriff of Norfolk County from 1944 to 1969 assumed the role of City Sergeant for the new City of Chesapeake. John R. Newhart, a former Chesapeake Police Officer ran and won the position of City Sergeant in 1969. Sheriff Newhart retired September 30, 2012, after 42 years in office. Jim O’Sullivan, Undersheriff, assumed the duties of Sheriff on October 1, 2012.
The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office, by state statute, carries a dual responsibility of Corrections and Law Enforcement. The city of Chesapeake has a separate Police Department whose primary function is law enforcement and the Sheriff’s Office supports the Police Department in their pursuit of law enforcement functions.
The Sheriff’s Office’s prime responsibility rests with the operation of the Chesapeake Correctional Center, transportation of inmates, providing security for all courts within the city, and serving as the law enforcement arm of the courts.
The Sheriff of the City of Chesapeake assumes a multi-faceted role beyond that imposed by state statute. The Sheriff is ultimately responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Sheriff’s Office, for the overall operation of the jail, and for the civil and court related functions. He is more than a local correctional administrator; he is the public administrator of a major office of city government.
The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office is organized and operated in a semi-military manner. The department is divided into three sections: Administration, Corrections and Court Services.