PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — After serving three months as interim superintendent at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, Col. David A. Hackworth has been named superintendent of the troubled lockup.
Hackworth, a former chief deputy of the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office, was officially sworn in on Tuesday.
According to a press release from the jail, members of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail Authority said they were impressed by Hackworth’s leadership over the past several months and offered him the full time position during their June meeting.
“We were really impressed with the way Superintendent Hackworth came in and addressed some of the things that were on the top of the priority list for the Board. Of course, we really were focused on getting the vacancies down and he has done a great job with that,” said Chairman Martin A. Thomas Jr.
Jail officials say new initiatives implemented by Hackworth have boosted morale at the jail that’s had multiple deaths and staff turnover — and even a federal investigation. They say 40 vacancies at the jail in March have dropped to under 10 under his short tenure.
“I always preach three major points with the staff; and that’s communication, relationships and follow-up. I believe if you can really focus on those three things, you’ve got a recipe for doing something really meaningful,” said Hackworth. “When I got in here, I wanted to make sure that I really developed good relationships with our member jurisdictions so that we really do operate like a regional facility.”
Hackworth, who’s served in law enforcement for 31 years, has several boards including the Crisis Intervention Training Oversight Committee, the Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Healthcare Board, the Chesapeake Community Criminal Justice Board, and on the Liaison Committee for the Virginia Board of Corrections.
According to the release, Hackworth earned a bachelors of science in criminal justice from Bluefield College, a masters of management from Liberty University, and he graduated from the 108th Session of the Administrative Officers’ Course at the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute.
He’s also been a certified jail manager with the American Jail Association for 14 years.