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In November 2023, you can elect a new Sheriff for Southampton County and

the City of Franklin.  My priority is the safety and security of our community, children, and businesses. It is vitally important to have leaders with vision, a willingness to get involved, and be accountable to you, the taxpayer. For this reason, I have declared myself a candidate for Sheriff of Southampton
County and the City of Franklin.


During my 25-year career, I have worked with outstanding men and women in local, state, federal, and international law enforcement. My contributions to the law enforcement community, skills, job knowledge, and education will make

me an outstanding Sheriff for Southampton County and the City of Franklin.

I know I possess the proven experience to be your next Sheriff.


I pride myself that I married a Southampton County girl, and together, Cindy and I have raised three children and now enjoy the title of YaYa and Pappy to our grandson Turner!


Growing up, I attended both Southampton and Franklin schools. I obtained the rank of Eagle Scout from Troop 28 in Franklin and have been a Rock Church of Franklin member for over 40 years. I am a former volunteer with Franklin Fire and Rescue and received the Garland Duck Award while serving as a volunteer. I am a member of the Newsoms Ruritan Club and several professional organizations. This past year I served on the Southampton County Industrial Development Authority and continue to serve on the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board.


Captain Tommy Potter is a twenty-five year veteran of Law Enforcement. He graduated at the top of his class at Crater Criminal Justice Academy and served as Class President. After graduating from Crater Criminal Justice Academy in 1997, he began his career as a patrolman for the City of Franklin Police Department. While at Franklin, he rose through the ranks and eventually held the position of Corporal and a patrol K-9 handler. Potter wrote and obtained the grant that funded the startup cost for the K-9 program. Potter and his partner, Radar, were often visible throughout Franklin and Southampton County, conducting K-9 demonstrations in our schools. While in Franklin, Potter also obtained certifications as a general instructor and field training officer.

Tommy Potter

In September of 2005, Potter left the Franklin Police Department and went to work for Blackwater USA on a contract with the Federal Protective Service. He immediately left for New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and was responsible for securing government disaster relief sites on a hurricane recovery project for a year. While in New Orleans, Potter was the operations and Security manager for the metropolitan New Orleans area. He oversaw a guard force of over 125 guards and up to 15 recovery sites at any given time. At the end of his tenure in New Orleans, he was offered a position with Blackwater in Iraq but decided to return to Southampton County.

Upon returning home in September of 2006, Potter went to work for the Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office, where he has enjoyed a remarkable and stellar career. Potter was assigned as a Patrol Deputy and fulfilled that position until November 2007.

In 2007, Tommy was given an opportunity to return to the private sector and again to a federal contract. Potter ended up in Afghanistan under contract with the United States Department of State's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Bureau as a team leader in the Nangahar Providence of Afghanistan. In this capacity, he and his team of police mentors and trainers  traveled the border region of Afghanistan and mentored, trained, and equipped the newly formed Afghanistan National Police Force. After suffering an injury on a mentoring mission, Potter returned to Franklin and the Isle of Wight Sheriff's Office.

As the Investigations Lieutenant, he held the collateral assignment of Chief Investigator. Potter was responsible for every aspect of the Investigations Unit, including overseeing forensics, narcotics, homicide, and general assignment investigators. For the past eight years, Potter has fulfilled the role of Public Information Officer. In this duty, he works with local print and broadcast media to build a positive perception and understanding of what a professional

law enforcement agency does daily. In this role, he sets the tone of transparency for the Sheriff's Office. As a chief investigator, Potter and his team have been featured in three national documentaries highlighting his ability to lead investigators as they solve violent crimes and bring closure to victims and their families.

Tommy Potter IOW

As Sheriff's command staff member, Potter works closely in crafting the yearly budget. He is the procurement officer for the Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office and oversees and monitors the over seven million dollar budget. Potter serves as the primary fleet manager for his agency and is responsible for a fleet of over 60 vehicles. COVID placed many stresses on law enforcement
agencies across America. Tommy is the agency's primary health officer and helped keep the workforce healthy and safe. ​Throughout Potter's career, he has attended numerous professional training courses. These courses cover topics from crime scene management, ethics, crisis intervention and advanced homicide investigations and many more. Potter has attended the FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association's trilogy courses. These courses focus on supervisory, command, and executive-level leadership. Potter attended the 283rd session of the FBI National Academy. The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities. Potter recently completed a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia Southern University.

Potter is proud to be a member of several professional organizations. He has been awarded the Virginia Crime Line Coordinator of the Year. This award is given to one coordinator throughout the Commonwealth each year.  He serves as the President of the Virginia Crime Stoppers Association. Locally, he is the crime line coordinator for the Isle of Wight/Smithfield/Windsor crime lines and is a liaison to the Greater Hampton Roads Regional Crime Lines Board. He has been selected as a Hampton Roads TOP COP. Potter is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, The National Sheriff's Association, and National Tactical Officers Association.

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