Candidate Profile: Tommy Potter (Southampton County Sheriff’s Office)


Tommy Potter is running for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.

Name: Tommy Potter

Race: Southampton County Sheriff’s Office


Biography: Lt. Tommy Potter is a 20-year law enforcement veteran. Currently he serves as the chief investigator for the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. He also serves as that agencies Public Information Officer.

Prior to joining the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office, he was a corporal and K9 handler for the Franklin City Police Department. Potter took a brief break from local law enforcement and spent time in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and worked as an operations and security manager for a company under contract with the Federal Protective Service.

Potter also spent 17 months as a law enforcement mentor and adviser in Afghanistan. While in Afghanistan, he worked in conjunction with the U.S. State Departments, International Law Enforcement and Narcotics Bureau to train and mentor local law enforcement officers.

Lt. Potter is actively engaged with the Greater Hampton Roads Regional Crime line Board and was recently elected as president of the Virginia Crime Solvers Association. He is a member of the Newsoms Ruritan Club and has previously served on the Southampton County Board of Equalization and currently is a member of the Southampton County Citizens Transportation Advisory Council.

He has been an active member of the Rock Church of Franklin for over 30 years. Potter resides in the Sunbeam area of Southampton County. He is married and has 3 children. His daughter Shelby and her husband reside in Como, NC. His son Scott is a senior at Old Dominion University and his daughter Emma is a junior at Southampton High School.

Why should residents elect you to be Sheriff?

The residents of Southampton County and the City of Franklin are truly dedicated, hard working, and caring people. I look forward to bringing my 20 years of law enforcement experience to the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office. This election is about who best possesses the vision, leadership and experience to be the next sheriff. Together, we will build a Sheriff’s Office that is accountable, focused, and engaged.

What are three major challenges the sheriff’s department is facing?

The Southampton County Sheriffs Office is not immune from the same challenges that face our law enforcement partners through out Hampton Roads.

We need to have a plan to address the opioid epidemic that plague our communities. We also must build positive lasting partnerships with all communities within Southampton County and the City of Franklin to include our schools and our senior community. 

Lastly, we have to be in a position to provide 21st century law enforcement services to a diverse population with limited resources. Our county and city are facing some economic challenges in the months and years to come and these challenge have the potential to affect the sheriff’s office and our ability to provide services. 

What will you do to address these challenges if elected?

Under my direction the Sheriff’s Office will partner with state and federal agencies to limit the flow of deadly narcotics in our communities. Understanding also that we can never arrest our way out of this crisis we will support educational and informative outreaches to help combat this epidemic.

I will lead an agency that is fully engaged with the community that we have the privileged to serve everyday. As your next sheriff, I am passionate about community engagement. Building solid, lasting relationships with all our communities will only enhance the partnership between law enforcement and residents.

The Sheriff’s Office will work with neighborhoods, schools, clubs and civic organizations to foster positive perceptions. Lastly, we will work with county administration, the Board of Supervisors and the Virginia Compensation Board to ensure that the sheriff’s office continues to posses adequate funding to provide services to make Southampton County and the city of Franklin a great place to work, live and raise a family.

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