History of the Sheriff's Office in Southampton County

The Office of the Sheriff is one of antiquity. It is the oldest law enforcement office known within the common law system and it has always been accorded great dignity and high trust. Man's quest for equity and order gave birth to the Office of Sheriff. Today, the County Sheriff is a peace officer entrusted with the maintenance of law and order and the presentation of domestic tranquility. The Office of Sheriff and the law enforcement, judicial, and correctional functions he performs are more than 1,000 years old. When the first counties were established in Virginia in 1634, the Office of Sheriff in America began. Today, Sheriffs are elected officials who serve as Chief Law Enforcement Officers for a county. The Sheriff's Office is generally active in all three branches of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Twenty Sheriff's have served in Southampton County starting in 1854. J. B. (Jack) Stutts, serves as the current Sheriff of Southampton County and was elected in 2011. Past Sheriff's of Southampton County are as follows:

  • J. B. (Jack) Stutts 2011-Present
  • Vernie W. Francis, Jr. 1984-2011
  • Ryland Brooks 1960-1984
  • Thomas Briggs Bell 1926-1960
  • Charles A. Bell 1921-1926
  • C. L. Grizzard 1916-1921
  • John I. Turner 1908-1916
  • J. Lewis Gillette 1904-1908
  • Frank P. Pulley 1901-1904
  • J. W. Williams 1887-1901
  • J. L. Barham 1886-1887
  • George W. Vick 1885-1886
  • William W. Briggs 1871-1885
  • George W. Vick 1870-1871
  • D.L. Doles 1869-1870
  • Samuel Kello 1867-1869
  • William W. Briggs 1865-1867
  • Samuel Kello 1863-1865
  • William W. Briggs 1857-1863
  • Samuel Kello 1854-1857