Wednesday, April 14th, 2021


Historic Promotion by the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department

On Monday, September 11, 2017 Lieutenant Colonel William C. Bennett, Jr. became the first African-American to reach the rank of Colonel in the history of the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office. With the promotion, Colonel Bennett also accepted the role of Undersheriff. Colonel Bennett is a Chesapeake native. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, served in the K-9 Patrol of Portsmouth, and served in the SWAT teams of both Portsmouth and Chesapeake. He began his career at the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office in 1982 as a Deputy Sheriff, and quickly rose through the ranks. Lt. Col. Bennett served as the Chief of Corrections for five years before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2014. 
Colonel Bennett has received a variety of awards during his 35-year career at the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office including: the 2015 "Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award," the 2014 "Hall of Fame Award" for the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run, and the 2007 "Unsung Hero Award" named in honor of Kenny Fields. In 2017, he was chosen as an honoree for the New Journal and Guide "Impacting Lives Program." 

Lt. Col. Bennett is deeply committed to serving his community. He serves as Vice-President on Sheriff O'Sullivan's "Children Today Leaders Tomorrow" Board designed to inspire and teach leadership to Chesapeake youth. For the past 19 years, Lt. Col. Bennett has volunteered with Special Olympics – helping children with intellectual disabilities overcome barriers through sports.  He is a member of the Special Olympics' Hall of Fame.  In 2002, Lt. Col. Bennett founded "Chesapeake Cyclemania" - which raised more than $100,000 for Special Olympics in one weekend.

Please join us as we congratulate Colonel Bennett on his new promotion.

Sheriff Jim O'Sullivan and newly promoted Undersheriff Colonel William C. Bennett

Col. Bennett had the honor of having his mother, Joan Bennett, pin his new badge onto his uniform for the first time.

Colonel William C. Bennett, Jr. with family and friends

The Chesapeake Sheriff's Honor Guard

Colonel William C. Bennett congratulated by Sheriff Jim O'Sullivan

Mayor Krasnoff and Undersheriff Colonel William C. Bennett

Undersheriff Colonel William C. Bennett thanks his family, his department and the sheriff