Sheriff Vanessa Crawford
On December 15, 2005, The Honorable Vanessa Reese Crawford was sworn in as the first female Sheriff for the City of Petersburg. Sheriff Crawford was born and raised in the city of Petersburg. She was re-elected on November 3, 2009, and started her 2nd term as Sheriff, January 1, 2010. She ran unopposed for the office of Sheriff in 2013 and began her 3rd term in January 2014. On January 1, 2018, Sheriff Crawford began her 4th term as Sheriff in the city of Petersburg. She was the First Female to run an all-male facility in the Virginia Department of Corrections, Retired with over 28 years of service. From 2014 until 2017, Sheriff Crawford was the only African American Female Sheriff in the United States and the only Sheriff in the Commonwealth of Virginia to attain the certification by the Department of Justice as a PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Auditor Sheriff Crawford was elected as President of the Virginia Correctional Association from 2016-2018 and unanimously elected by all Sheriffs in Virginia as President of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association from 2017-2018. She is the past President of the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute. Sheriff Crawford is married to Leon, a retired military officer and they have 5 children, Latricia, Roderick, Cornell, II, Leon, and Courtney and 14 Grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Her mother is retired educator Esther T. Reese (deceased in 2000). Sheriff Crawford has been active and recognized in her community and throughout the state of Virginia: Named “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” by YOVASO (Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety) 2013 Selected as Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen Law Firm Hometown Hero Elected to serve on the Board of Feed More, Richmond, Va. 2013-2018 Received Medal of Merit for the National Sheriff’s Association “Sheriff of the Year” Award-2014, 2015, 2017 Appointed by the Governor of Virginia, The Honorable Terry McAuliffe, to serve on the Criminal Justice Services Board July 2014; Reappointed in July 2017 Selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Virginia Correctional Association-201 Honored in the General Assembly-House of Delegates in 2018 with Joint resolution, HJ 274, in her honor and for her service. Trustee at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, Va. Liaison for Security Ministry at Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Petersburg, Va. President of the Petersburg High School Boosters Club Past President of the Petersburg Kiwanis Luncheon Club Formerly a Member and Vice-Chair of the Petersburg School Board-2001-2005 (Resigned because elected Sheriff in 2005) Vice-Chair of the Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence- 2017-present Served 4 terms as President of the Petersburg-Dinwiddie Crime Solvers Board Recognized by Petersburg Citizens as one of Petersburg “Superstars” August 2017 Organizing Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence Training Institute-October, 2016, 2017, 2018 Organized the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event. A Men’s March Against Domestic Violence, April 2017 April 2018 Organized first Autism Walk in the City of Petersburg, June 2018 Formerly honored with 2 resolutions in her honor for her dedication and community service from the House of Delegates, HJ 332 and by the Senate, Senate Joint Bill 182. Featured in “O” Oprah Magazine as one of “12 Most Politically Unusual” in this country in 2012 Awarded the Sojourner Truth Award from the Petersburg Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., May 2018 Appointed to Governor of Virginia’s, Ralph Northam’s Transition Team, 2018 Achieved certification through the VSI Certification Program thus VSI Certified (VSIC). March 2018 Profiled by FOX TV, WRLH, in honor of Black Women’s History Month-April 2018 Awarded the MAGNUS Leadership Award from the National Command & Staff College and the Criminal Justice Commission for Credible Leadership Development June 2017 Is a certified auditor for the American Correctional Association Received the Social Justice Transformer Award from the Community Transformers Foundation, November 2019 Sheriff Crawford believes the scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.