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Sheriff Jones retires

This week marks the end of the decade and an end of an era as Charlotte County Sheriff Thomas Jones retires after a successful 32-year career in law enforcement.

Royal Freeman will officially become the county’s next sheriff on Jan. 1

In speaking of his time as sheriff, Jones is quick to point out it was only with the support of his staff and the trust that the community put in him that he could do his job for so many years.

“I’ve always worked and hoped to make Charlotte County a better place to live for our citizens,” said Jones. “I’ve been blessed, and I will always be appreciative of the support and the friends I’ve made over the years that will never be forgotten.”

Jones also spoke of his family, especially his wife Pam, who he says sacrifice so much over the years. “I give a lot of credit to my wife,” he said. “She raised three kids while I was working.”

Jones says now he plans to spend time with his family and enjoy his grandchildren.

Jones is currently the longest-serving sheriff in office in the Commonwealth, having served eight consecutive terms and overseeing 40 to 45 employees.

During his term, Jones served on the board of directors of the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy, as president of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association for the 2006-2007 term and was a member of the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute Board.

Jones began his law enforcement career at the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office as a jail officer in 1981 and accepted the position of patrol officer in 1983, where he served until elected sheriff in 1987.

In the 32 years as sheriff, there have been many changes, and the amount of court cases that the county is now seeing is one aspect Jones says he has noticed. “We are seeing more cases in court now than years before, but we’ve been very fortune in Charlotte County, to live in the community that we live in … There’s still some violent crime here, but not like it is in some areas.”

When it comes to his successor, Jones said of Freeman, “I wish him the best. He has always been an asset to me, and he is well respected by those in the department and the community. You could tell that by the election.”