Arlington County Sheriff will Not Seek Re-Election

Published on November 22, 2022

Sheriff Beth Arthur

Arlington County Virginia Sheriff Beth Arthur has announced that she will not be seeking re-election in 2023. 

Sheriff Arthur began her career with the Sheriff’s Office in Jan. 1986, as the Budget Analyst under then-Sheriff James Gondles and was promoted to Director of Administration in 1988. In her capacity as Director of Administration, she oversaw human resource, budgeting, training, and information technology functions. She continued in the capacity until she was appointed Sheriff on July 7, 2000, by the Arlington Circuit Court, and was subsequently elected Sheriff in a special election in Nov. 2000. She was reelected in November 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. Sheriff Arthur was not only the first female Sheriff in Arlington County, but also the first female County Sheriff in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

“My focus has always been the employees in the Sheriff’s Office and the exceptional work they do each day, the safety and security of the jail/courthouse and ensuring those incarcerated are treated with dignity and respect. It has been a privilege and honor to serve the citizens of Arlington County as their Sheriff, but after more than 22 years as Sheriff, and 36 years with the Sheriff’s Office, I think it is time to hang up my spurs," said Sheriff Arthur. 

Sheriff Arthur commands a staff of 298, manages an average daily population of 272 inmates in fiscal year 2022 in the Detention Center, administers security of the Courthouse and oversees a $47 million budget for FY 2023. In addition, she oversees the Alcohol Safety Action Program and the Pre-Trial Program.

Throughout her career as Sheriff, she has served in numerous professional organizations such as the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association (VSA), where she was elected by her peers as President of the Association in 2012-2013, the first female ever elected. She continues to serve on their Board of Directors and Legislative Committee. She is currently on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the American Correctional Association. She is a graduate of Leadership Center of Excellence (formerly Leadership Arlington) Class 2001 and was Chairman of the Board of Regents in 2011-2012 as well as a Board member from 2002-2007 and 2009-2012. Sheriff Arthur was also appointed by the Governor to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Criminal Justice Services Board (DCJS) from July 2002 until June 2010, serving as Chairman from July 2005 through June 2010. In addition, Sheriff Arthur serves on the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy Board and Executive Committee. 

Sheriff Arthur is particularly proud of the following:

  • Staff of the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the tireless work they do to ensure the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office is well managed and that everyone remanded to custody is treated with dignity and respect. Those in the jail work to prepare individuals to have tools and resources to return to their community to be productive members of society. 
  • How Sheriff’s Office staff, along with public safety partners, worked to ensure the safety of our community on Sep. 11, 2001. Deputies served as first responders at the Pentagon, provided meals, and ensured all delivery trucks were screened and authorized to enter. Deputies also provided perimeter security. Most importantly, they ensured the Courts opened on Sep. 12, 2001.
  • Growth of programs within the Detention Facility like our Community Readiness Unit, upgrading our inmate library so it operates like other state-of-the-art libraries in our community, In2Work Program partnership with Aramark, Flagger Program, initial Certified Peer Recovery Specialist training, OSHA Safety and Health Card, Pet Therapy, and increased program partnership with OAR.
  • COVID response – Staff had to make drastic changes to operations with no notice. From March 13, 2020, until today the primary focus has been to ensure the safety, security, and health of those remanded to custody. Staff worked diligently to adapt policies and practices, and they have done an outstanding job. Staff are to be commended for their efforts.
  • The staff and those remanded in custody and those that come in and out of the Courthouse. 

She is a member of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, American Correctional Association, American Jail Association, Arlington NAACP, Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance, Arlington Committee of 100, Arlington Historical Society and a lifetime member of Leadership Center for Excellence. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. 

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