Karen Bowden sworn in as Hampton’s first female sheriff


Bowden is a 36 year veteran of the Hampton Sheriff’s Office.

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Karen Bowden was sworn in on Monday, December 6 at Hampton’s first female sheriff. She replaces the late Sheriff B.J. Roberts who passed away last December.

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Bowden, a Smithfield native, is a 36 year veteran of the Hampton Sheriff’s Office. She spent 22 of those years serving as the Undersheriff.

When she announced her candidacy this past March, she said her vision as sheriff is “to lead, innovate and inspire.”

candidacy was endorsed by many incumbent constitutional officers in the City of Hampton, including the Commissioner of the Revenue Ross Mugler, Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell, and City Treasurer Molly Ward, and by Delegate Martha Mugler.

“This vision includes enhancing inmate release programs by using modern technology to link our office with agencies that can assist our inmates with a smooth transition back to society once released,” added Bowden when she announced her candidacy.

She has a degree from Norfolk State University and has consulted with ails across the country for the American Correctional Association. She is the Commissioner for the American Jail Association and Peer Reviewer for the Department of Justice.

Bowden serves as the Vice President of the Tidewater Chapter of the National Association of Black Correctional Jails and is a past board member of the American Heart Association, the American Correctional Association, the Hampton Roads Regional Jail Authority and the Hampton PTA.

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