Sheriff Joseph "Joe" Baron
Sheriff Joseph “Joe” P. Baron is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and has dedicated his life to keeping Norfolk safe, with more than 37 years of law enforcement experience. After serving 26 years with the Norfolk Police Department, he has dedicated the last 11 years to the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office. He has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles between the two organizations. In November of 2021, he was honored to be re-elected as Norfolk’s Sheriff.
Sheriff Baron’s vision for the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is to make a positive difference in the lives of others as far as we can reach. He encourages staff to look for opportunities every day to help others. Further, he created the NSO motto; to serve in the spirit of the Golden Rule: treat others the way we wish to be treated. Joe says, “It’s all about setting the tone for the culture of our organization.”
After becoming the Sheriff of Norfolk in 2017, he created a new mission statement: to be a value-driven organization committed to public safety, public service, and public trust, while creating an environment of life, health, safety, and security. The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office values are integrity in all things, respect at all times, duty without prejudice, pride without ego, and team before self.
During Sheriff Baron’s 26 years on the Norfolk Police Department he served as a patrol officer, investigator, and later in supervisory ranks. While serving in some of those roles, he was responsible for creating security plans for some of the city’s largest events, including Harborfest and presidential visits. He also served as a homicide detective, investigating 77 murders in Norfolk, and solving all but seven of those cases. He retired from the Norfolk Police Department as the Violent Crimes Commander in charge of Homicide, Robbery, and Gang investigation units. In 1995, Sheriff Baron received the Norfolk Police Department’s Top Cop award. Sheriff Baron has a reputation for being persistent and dedicated to accountability, but it’s his passion for public service that fuels him.
Sheriff Baron served in the US Navy and Navy Reserves after graduating from Bayside High School in 1982. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from St. Leo University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy University. He is also a graduate from the Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) sponsored by the Virginia Police Chief’s Foundation and received the PELS Graduate Leadership Award.
Sheriff Baron currently serves on the board of directors for the newly formed Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority, and as a board member with both the Virginia Sheriff’s Association and the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. He also served as the Region 3 Regional Director for the Special Olympics Virginia in 2022 and in 2023 he will serve as the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run State Chairman.