Community News

Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne Retiring After 43 Years in Law Enforcement

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne.

ALEXANDRIA, VA – In a press release sent by the Sheriff’s Office this afternoon, Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorn announced he is retiring after more than four decades of law enforcement service. A lifelong Alexandrian, Lawhorne became Sheriff in 2006 after serving for 27 years as an Alexandria police officer and detective.

Sheriff Lawhorne, 63, is now in his fourth term as Sheriff and will continue to serve through December 31, 2021.

Statement from Sheriff Dana Lawhorne:

“Following 43 years of public service, I have decided to retire at the end of this year when my current term expires. This is a difficult decision because it is hard to leave a job that you love and are still passionate about. I have known since I was 14 years old that this is what I wanted to do, and there was not one day where I wasn’t grateful to have this opportunity to serve my city. I am fortunate to have accomplished everything I wanted to and while I remain committed to being an active member of this community, I believe the time is right to announce my retirement plans.

Being your Sheriff the last 16 years has been the highlight of my professional career. I am proud of what our dedicated staff has accomplished, despite the many difficult challenges they face every day. We built positive and productive relationships with our local, state, and federal partners and we brought increased visibility to the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office.

I am proud of the professional growth of the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office during my tenure and I share credit for these accomplishments with the outstanding men and women who serve with me.

  • Expanded educational opportunities for inmates, including job training and certifications
  • Enhanced public safety initiatives like Project Lifesaver, Away from Home Checks and Drug Take Backs
  • Increased law enforcement training and professional development opportunities for staff
  • Community outreach efforts like the Civic Association Liaison Program and participation in events like First Thursdays
  • Supporting our partners with Meals on Wheels delivery and assisting with food distribution efforts
  • Continued Triple Crown accreditation

I always believed my strength was to hear others, and in my capacity as Sheriff, I have been thankful for the opportunity to listen and to learn from our community members, our staff, our inmates, and other public safety leaders.

Recently my daughters told me that my legacy will be about how I treated others. From the time I began my law enforcement career, I never lost sight of what it was like to walk in someone else’s shoes, from those who needed police assistance to those who were entrusted into my care at the detention center.

Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne received the key to Del Ray on Monday, June 17, 2019. (Photo by Griffin Vision)

I have so many people to thank for their generous support and confidence. I will look forward to thanking many directly before my term is over but please know how much I appreciate our community for their trust. I’m also sincerely grateful to Undersheriff Tim Gleeson for his loyalty, dedication, and friendship over the last 40 years, to my senior executive staff for their commitment and insights, and to my entire team of hardworking public safety professionals at the Sheriff’s Office.

Of course, I am deeply grateful to my family and I cannot fully express how much they mean to me. My wife Linda has been the strength behind my success. The public may not realize what family members must sacrifice so that others may serve. Linda’s devotion to our family is what has sustained our family all these years. For their entire lives, our three daughters, Megan, Christine, and Mallory, have experienced the difficulties and the pride of having a father committed to serving and protecting others. I am very grateful for their understanding and their appreciation of public service.

Linda and I will continue to be active members of our beloved hometown, but we are also looking forward to spending more time with our grandchildren, Ryan and Harper.

Thank you, Alexandria, for your trust and support. It has indeed been my honor and privilege to serve.”

RELATED: 40 Years and Counting, It’s The Dana Lawhorne Show, Dana Lawhorne Receives Key to the Del Ray, Sheriff Lawhorne Reads to Kids During Covid Shutdown


Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. My dad and my aunt grew up with Dana Lawhorn known him my whole life absolutely much respect for him we need to Get a statue Or a Street named after him very well Respected

Back to top button