Name: J.D. “Danny” Diggs
Race: York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office
Biography: J. D. “Danny” Diggs is the Sheriff of York County and the City of Poquoson. In 1999, he was elected Sheriff of York and Poquoson, assumed office on Jan. 1, 2000, and is now in his fifth term. He started his law enforcement career in 1976, the age of nineteen, as a dispatcher for the Poquoson Police. In 1977, he joined the York County Sheriff’s Office as a Corrections Officer. He also served as a Uniform Patrol Officer and as an Investigator.
In 1989, he joined the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office and rose through the ranks to the position of major. His education and training include holding a degree in police science and graduating from the prestigious FBI National Academy, as well as numerous other local, state, and federal law enforcement training programs.
When asked about the success of the Sheriff’s Office, he said, “I think that the community perceives us as a modern law enforcement agency and is well pleased with the services that the Sheriff’s Office provides.”
He further stated, “We treat people with the utmost respect and try our hardest to solve their problems, no matter what the problem. I think the community has faith in our abilities and trusts us.”
Sheriff Diggs is a member of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the FBI National Academy Associates, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Fraternal Order of Police. He is also an Endowment Member of the NRA.
Sheriff Diggs has been chosen to serve in several leadership roles. He is a member of the National Sheriffs’ Association and has served on the Congressional Affairs Committee. He is an active member of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association and was the President of the VSA in 2011 to 2012. Sheriff Diggs was also appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to serve on the Virginia E-911 Services Board.
Sheriff Diggs has received many honors and awards in his career, to include:
- Police Officer of the Year – Exchange Club of York
- Commendation – VA School Board Association
- Appreciation of Outstanding Service – York County Business Association
- Outstanding Leadership Award – VA Association of School Resource Officers
- Community Builder Award – Masonic Grand Lodge of Virginia
- Law & Order Award of Merit – Military Order of the World Wars
- Administrator of the Year Award – D.A.R.E. Virginia
- Southern Christian Leadership Conference Proclamation
He is active in the local community and has served on the Board of Directors for several non-profit groups including the York-Poquoson Red Cross and the York County Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the York County Boys and Girls Club. He is also a member of the Kiwanis Club of Grafton.
Danny was born and raised in Poquoson and he lives in the Seaford area of York County. He is married, has two children, and five grandchildren.
Why should residents re-elect you to be Sheriff?
I was elected as sheriff in November of 1999. I took office on Jan. 1, 2000 and have proudly continued to serve for the past 20 years. Since then, I have been recognized as a trusted and proven leader. I am proud to say that during my 20 year tenure while the population has increased by 20%, the crime rate has been reduced by 25% with a decrease of 7% in the last year alone.
I have accomplished this through the introduction of multiple crime prevention programs, increased interaction with both citizens and business owners, and more importantly, establishing a culture of communication with the community.
My deputies have also done an outstanding job in solving crime and apprehending criminals. Over the years, many residents have expressed their appreciation for the job that I am doing and have encouraged me to continue serving. I am routinely approached by citizens who express their appreciation and tell me how well they were treated by a deputy who went above and beyond to help them. The trust and positive relationship with the community is continually growing.
I enjoy serving and feel that I have improved the operation of the Sheriff’s Office during my tenure. One of my biggest goals for the Sheriff’s Office was attaining accreditation and that was accomplished in 2001. We have successfully been reaccredited throughout the last 19 years. I must also give credit to my deputies and staff as they are the ones who are out there doing the job 24 hours a day and supporting my vision of how law enforcement should be conducted.
What are three major challenges the sheriff’s department is facing?
Challenge #1 – The county is growing very quickly with both residential and commercial properties. This requires us to maintain the level of service that our community deserves and expects while working with limited resources.
We have always done an outstanding job with the resources that are available. I am continually working with the County Administration on a plan to incrementally increase the number of deputies as the demand for services rise. Being a fiscal conservative, I try to accomplish this through fiscal planning so as to have a minimal impact on the tax burden of our citizens.
Challenge #2 – The increasing number of scams and frauds of our citizens.
The most effective way to combat this is through our Crime Prevention efforts and educating our citizens. Our community services division has and will continue to increase our efforts by providing in person programs, on-line videos, the use of social media and other awareness activities. We offer multiple programs and have and will continue to educate citizens on crime prevention tips and how to avoid scams.
Challenge #3 – Scattered nationwide negative perception of law enforcement.
I need to do all I can to prevent this type of negative perception from invading our community. In York County and the City of Poquoson the perception of my law enforcement personnel is that we are a group of trustworthy and caring individuals who are well respected by our community. Currently we have not seen the type of disrespect that other communities have experienced. I accomplish this by demanding that each and every deputy treats every individual with the utmost courtesy and respect which helps maintain and grow the public trust and therefore minimizes the negative perception that other law enforcement agencies across the country have experienced.