is Chip Harding?
"I'm a cop
with a degree in social work," Chip Harding often says when asked about
his approach to law enforcement. "Although some people find that to be an
unusual combination, I do
Chip showed his young offenders "tough love," holding them accountable for following the conditions of their probation, such as attending school every day and being home before their court-imposed curfew every night.
But after four years, he said, he found himself "working within a system that wasn't prepared to back me up. Good-intentioned judges were giving kids break after break and, in my view, creating a new generation of hardcore criminals."
Chip left the Juvenile Court and joined the Charlottesville Police
Department, where he started out "walking the beat" on
By the early 80s, Chip's focus had shifted almost entirely to the damaging effects that illegal drugs were having on the community "It seemed that 80 percent of the people I was arresting were abusing drugs," he said. He became so concerned about this drug-crime connection that "I began to come in on my own time and make drug arrests independent of my regular case load."
later became one of the area's first detectives dedicated full time to
narcotics cases and worked with the Virginia General Assembly on
legislation that now allows assets seized from drug dealers to be retained
by police to beef up their drug enforcement programs. In 1989, then
Sergeant Chip Harding was the first local officer ever selected to
supervise a Federal Drug Taskforce.
Chip receives his diploma from then FBI Director Louis Freeh
decade, Chip has been a champion for using DNA to solve crimes. In 1997,
when he discovered that ?>
For six years, Chip held the rank of captain with the Charlottesville Police Department. In that position, he provided top-level leadership to a department of more than 100 officers while diligently managing a complex, multi-million-dollar budget.
In 2007, Chip was recognized in New Orleans by Parade Magazine and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. At their annual banquet he was presented a plaque recognizing him as one of the “Top 10 Cops In America”.
On November 7, 2007, he won the election for sheriff of Albemarle County by 10% of the vote. He took office as sheriff on January 1, 2008 and currently holds that position. Chip plans on seeking re-election in 2011.
He relies on his diverse experience in all levels of law enforcement, his continuing formal education - he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and has completed a number of courses in strategic leadership at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business-and his ongoing, "real-world" education from his personal mentors-leaders in law enforcement locally and across the country.
J. E. "Chip" Harding
Albemarle Sheriff's Office
410 E. High Street
Charlottesville, Va 22902