The Issue

86 of Virginia’s 123 Sheriffs are responsible for primary law enforcement in their jurisdictions. These services are provided 24 hours a day, and 7 days week.

86 of Virginia’s 123 Sheriffs are responsible for primary law enforcement in their jurisdictions. These services are provided 24 hours a day, and 7 days week.


The Workload…

According to the Crime in Virginia Report, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office had 530 total incidents in 2017 while Virginia State Police had 17 incidents in Grayson County. Law Enforcement Deputies are doing 97% of Criminal Enforcement. This is consistent across the state.  In addition, Deputies in most counties are working 75 to 80 % of traffic crashes as well.

In the Face of Danger…

Law Enforcement Deputies patrol their jurisdictions answering calls for service around the clock. Law Enforcement Deputies are often times alone when they encounter dangerous felons with firearms, answer domestic disputes, and other dangerous crimes in progress. Here are some examples of the challenges faced on the job by Law Enforcement Deputies.

  • Law Enforcement Deputies serve Emergency Custody Orders on citizens in need of mental health treatment. Service or warrants and ECO’s are extremely dangerous as we have to enter the residence of those named on court issued paperwork. Corrections Deputies, on the other hand, serve papers inside the jail, in a controlled environment, with backup readily available.

  • Law Enforcement Deputies and Criminal Investigators execute search warrants on very dangerous drug dealers.

  • Law Enforcement Deputies serve on specialized teams such as Specialized Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.)

  • Line of Duty Deaths are much higher for Law Enforcement Deputies:  https://vasheriff.org/sheriffs-resources/in-the-line-of-duty/   

The Problem…

In spite of all the above, compensation for Law Enforcement Deputies in Virginia is disproportionate to the duties and responsibilities they hold.

The Bottom Line…

In spite of the amount of responsibility they carry in the enforcement of law in their jurisdictions, without local supplements Deputies’ salaries are low enough to qualify for public assistance such as food stamps.