Yesterday, the people of Chesterfield elected Karl Leonard Sheriff.
The vote was 3,710 for Karl with 144 write in votes cast.
Karl will carry on the tradition of strong leadership in the office set by his predecessors.
“I want to thank those who worked so hard to help me win the convention, which in turn helped us have such a great victory last night.” Karl Leonard
The weather was perfect for our Second Annual Sheriff’s Gold Tournament make up date this Monday. Turnout was great. Thank you to all our sponsors and participants! The good news is the Sheriff won the tournament! Okay…. it was Sheriff Bobby Hawkins from Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and his team won the tournament but still the Sheriff! It was great to see him and his team come out to play with us and happy for his victory. Thank you Sheriff Hawkins! I look forward to seeing everyone next May for our Third Annual Golf Tournament. Stay tuned now for information about our 8th Annual Sheriff’s Pig Roast this October 8th!
There are no words to describe the honor I had last night after being asked to read the names of the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in 2018 from the states of Utah, Vermont, and Virginia at the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial’s 31st Annual Candlelight Vigil. Looking over the masses of law enforcement members and supporters on the National Mall was uplifting at a time we were recognizing the many ultimate sacrifices that were made. And meeting the families of many of those who lost loved ones was humbling to say the least. We are a Nation fortunate to have so many brave men and women who willingly enter a profession where not everyone will respect them, thank them, or even acknowledge them. But after events such as the candlelight vigil last night and the National Law Enforcement Memorial on the lawn of the US Capital today I remain even more in awe of everyone who serves in law enforcement and public safety. No matter what is said in front of the badge the heart of the person behind the badge will always be ready to protect and serve our communities. And for that we are blessed. As it is stated in Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”.
Saturday, February 2nd Sheriff Leonard and members of the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office participated in the Special Olympics Virginia Beach Polar Plunge. This year Team Supersicles exceeded their $3000 donation goal by raising $5432 for Special Olympics Virginia. Thank you to everyone who supported our team!
In January I formally announced that I am running for re-election as Chesterfield County’s Sheriff this November. In my 6 years of having the honor to serve as Chesterfield’s Sheriff, and more importantly Sheriff for its 380,000 citizens, we have had many significant accomplishments. Most notable of these being the creation a recovery program for addicts, HARP, which has received local, national, and worldwide recognition. To follow-on with its success, in September of 2018 this program which was originally established to address the opioid and heroin epidemic, was changed to help those with any and all addictions to include alcoholism.
While HARP has saved many lives, it does not singularly define the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office. It is but one of many programs initiated to help those entrusted to our care. While there are some genuine bad people who need to be incarcerated for long periods, I know that not all inmates are bad people and therefore we will continue to work on helping those individuals to become productive members of our society and help reduce recidivism which not only has impact on people’s lives but also the financial burden taxpayers must bear the burden of. In the last 5 years we have reduced our overall inmate population by over 500 saving Chesterfield taxpayers millions of dollars.
In 2018 we created the first ever K-9 Program in the Chesterfield Sheriff’s Office and, after seeing very positive results, we will be expanding the program in 2019 within existing budget capabilities and without additional demand for taxpayer monies.
We will continue to operate our many community programs such as Seniors-In-Touch where qualified seniors in our community receive daily phone calls and/or visits from Sheriff’s Office personnel for updates on daily events, health and needs. This is just one of many community programs we have.
Last but certainly not least is to continue to work for the great men and women who make up this premiere organization. A very diverse and skilled group that I will continue to fight for what they deserve. Over the last three years we have made great strides with compensation, expanding career development, and creating a greater variety of assignments within the organization, yet there is more to do.
As Chesterfield County continues to grow and demands for service increase there’s more work to be done and I am asking to be re-elected to my second full, four-year term this fall so that I may continue to serve the citizens of Chesterfield County.
CHESTERFIELD – Retired police major Karl S. Leonard was sworn in Saturday as the county’s new sheriff during an investiture ceremony at the Chesterfield County Historic 1917 Courthouse. Leonard is the county’s 61st sheriff. His first day in his new office will be Monday.
Leonard, who served in the Chesterfield County Police Department for 31 years before retiring in 2012, will be fulfilling the term of Dennis Proffitt, retired sheriff. Leonard began working for the Sheriff’s Office in 2013, where he worked as undersheriff.
“It feels humbling really. It’s a new and third career for me,” Leonard said. “I’m excited about what we are going to do in the Sheriff’s Office.”
Before he was an officer with the Chesterfield County Police Department, Leonard served for 29 years as a U.S. Coast Guard Reservist.
Leonard added that his previous work experience prepared him for his new position.
“When you are in leadership, the job doesn’t change from one organization to another. It’s the same leadership skills,” he said.
Leonard said that he wants to raise the profile of the Sheriff’s Office in the community.
“We do more than just oversee the courts and the jail,” he said.
Leonard stressed that the Sheriff’s Office also champions recidivism and community outreach.
During the ceremony, Leonard was supported by his wife, Karen Leonard; daughters, Conor Leonard, Alexandra Leonard and Ashley Knoell; his son-in-law, Andrew Knoell; his granddaughter, Maddyn Knoell; and grandson, Hunter Knoell.
“I’m proud of his years of service to the county,” Karen Leonard said.
She added that much of the family also followed careers in public service.
Karen Leonard has worked for the county for 21 years – 14 as a probation officer and then seven in records administration for the county’s police department.
Conor Leonard is preparing to take the firefighter entrance exam for Chesterfield County. She attends John Tyler where she plans to obtain her degree in general studies in May. Alexandra Leonard is in her fourth year of nursing school at Virginia Commonwealth University and Ashley Leonard works as a nurse in Tonawanda, N.Y.
Leonard also has two other daughters who weren’t in attendance, Lauren Leonard and Meghan Henderson.
What an exciting night the overwhelming support for our campaign was humbling.
I can’t thank everyone enough for taking the time to come out to the Double Tree Hotel and staying there long enough for us to show our solidarity. I am the Republican nominee for Sheriff today because of the efforts of each and everyone of you!
Again, thank you for your unwavering support on Monday. It was a phenomenal turnout and your support made a loud statement heard across Chesterfield!
I will be back in contact with you and our plans for the special election on March 18th.
Please be safe as you travel the icy roads today,