Sheriff Joseph "Joe" Baron
Sheriff Joe Baron has dedicated his life to keeping Norfolk safe, with more than 30 years of law enforcement service. He is honored to serve as your sheriff, and grateful to the people of Norfolk for electing him to the position in 2017.
Sheriff Baron is leading the Norfolk Sheriff's Office with a newly-created mission statement: to be a values-driven organization committed to public safety, public service, and public trust. His motto for his team is to serve by the Golden Rule: treat others the way we wish to be treated.
The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office has different responsibilities than the Norfolk Police Department. While police are the officers patrolling the streets and making arrests, Norfolk Sheriff’s Office deputies maintain the city’s jail, provide courthouse security, serve legal papers and organize safety programs for kids and seniors.
One of Sheriff Baron’s biggest initiatives is improving safety in Norfolk by providing rehabilitation programs. The truth is that most inmates stay in jail for a short time, an average of two months, before returning to the community. Sheriff Baron is driving innovative efforts to provide more classes inside the jail to inspire inmates to rise above: from earning a GED or high school diploma to taking creative writing classes. As Sheriff, he looks forward to increasing rehabilitation opportunities, teaching people to make better choices and live meaningful lives free from crime -- for a safer Norfolk.
Before joining the Sheriff’s Office, Baron spent 26 years on the Norfolk Police Department. Some of his notable positions include leading security plans for some of the city’s largest events, including Harborfest. He is also known as one of the city’s best homicide detectives for his record of investigating 77 murders and solving all but seven cases. 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 Navy Reserves after graduating from Bayside High School in 1982. He is also a graduate from the Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) sponsored by the Virginia Police Chief’s Foundation, and his classmates voted to give him the PELS Graduate Leadership Award.