Meet the Sheriff-The Honorable Vanessa Reese Crawford

On December 15, 2005, Vanessa Reese Crawford was sworn in as the first African American female Sheriff for the City of Petersburg. Sheriff Crawford was born and raised in the city of Petersburg. She attended the Petersburg Public Schools and Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her BS degree.

Sheriff Crawford is married to Leon, a retired military officer and they have 5 children.


Sheriff Crawford's Credentials include but are not limited to:

  • Wife of Retired Military Officer and Mother of Five
  • BS Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Member and Trustee of Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Petersburg, Va.
  • 28½ Year Retiree from the Virginia Department of Corrections
  • Former Superintendent of Two Correctional Facilities Former Assistant Superintendent and former Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Successful Fiscal Manager (Managed $13 million budget successfully)
  • Managed a Staff of over 80 and an inmate population of over 300 (men & women)
  • Extensive Administrative, Security and Treatment Experience
  • Over 25 years of supervisory experience
  • Strong and Dedicated Community Activist
  • Member-Civilian Review Board
  • President of Petersburg High School Boosters Club
  • Member-Petersburg Athletic League Board
  • Former Member-District 19 Community Service Board
  • Former Member of the Petersburg School Board
  • Member-Petersburg American Cancer Board
  • Organized Camelot Neighborhood Watch Association
  • Member of the Women's Committee of Petersburg Symphony Orchestra
  • Vice President of the Petersburg Kiwanis Lunch Club
  • Selected by the Heritage Registry as Who's Who in America-2006-2007
  • Selected as 2007 Richmond-Petersburg Tri-City Trailblazer by Radio One
  • Selected March 2007 as Community Builder by Petersburg Chapter of the NANBPW Club, Inc.
  • Elected to the Virginia Sheriff's Association Board of Directors-April, 2007
  • Member Petersburg Chapter Number 33, Order of the Eastern Stars
  • 2007-Acquired certification as a National Certified Jail Manager through the Jail Manager Certification Commission by authority of the American Jail Association
  • Elected to serve as Statewide Treasurer of the Virginia Sheriff's Institute-April, 2008
  • Appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Adult Fatality Review Board-2008
  • Elected to serve as Statewide Secretary of the Virginia Sheriff's Institute-April 2009
  • Appointed to the Governor's Focus Group on Re-Entry, 2010
  • Elected as president of the Petersburg Luncheon Kiwanis in October, 2010
  • Elected to serve as statewide vice president of the Virginia Sheriff's Institute in April, 2010
  • Elected to serve as statewide President of the Virginia Sheriff's Institute in April, 2011