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Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office promotes first African-American to rank of Colonel

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office will promote Lieutenant Colonel William C. Bennett to the rank of Colonel, making him the first African American to reach the rank in the departments history.

Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan will promote Bennett on Monday, Sept. 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office Administration building.

Bennett, who is a 35 year veteran of the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office, was last promoted in 2014  to Lt. Col. after serving as the Chief of Corrections for five years.

A native of Chesapeake, Lt. Col. Bennett joined the the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office in 1982 after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ohio Dominican University. He also graduated from the  Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Academy, as well as from the Portsmouth Police Department’s SWAT and K-9 Patrol Academy.

Bennett has been honored with the “Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award,” the 2014 “Hall of Fame Award” for the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run, and the 2007 “Unsung Hero Award” named in Honor of Kenny Fields. In 2017 he was chosen as an honoree for the New Journal and Guide “Impacting Lives Program.”

Bennett is also a member of the Special Olympics Hall of Fame, and has been apart of the organization for 19 years.  He also serves as Vice-President on Sheriff
O’Sullivan’s “Children Today Leaders Tomorrow” Board designed to inspire and teach leadership to Chesapeake youth.