In 1963, I was born at John Randolph Hospital here in Hopewell, Virginia. My father worked at Hercules and my mother was a nurse at the John Randolph Hospital Emergency Room. I was raised here along with my two sisters, Ann Sodat Hanford and Martha Sodat Staples.
After I graduated from Hopewell High (Class of 1982), I enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. While in the Coast Guard, I was stationed on two different Small Boat Stations. Our main missions were law enforcement patrols and search and rescue. While in the Coast Guard, I was dispatched during four different hurricanes. Following Hurricane Charlie, I received the Commandants Letter of Commendation Ribbon for my service. I also received the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation for my service in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster recovery team.
Though I enjoyed my time in the Coast Guard, I wanted come back home to Hopewell to pursue a career in law enforcement. In 1989, I was hired as a Deputy with the Hopewell Sheriff’s Office. While with the Sheriff’s Office, I participated in extensive training including: graduating from the 9th Combined Jailor/Courtroom Security/Civil Process Basic Academy; graduating from the 39th Basic Police Academy; General Instructor and several Advanced Defensive Tactics Instructor courses; and completing many leadership courses.
During my career with the Hopewell Sheriff’s Office, I have worked my way up the ladder from Deputy to Sergeant to Lieutenant. I was elected Sheriff of the City of Hopewell in 2013, and I am proud to serve the City in this position. My wife Lynn works for the Virginia Department of Education. My two children, Hilary and Luke, both attend Virginia colleges. I have chosen to raise my family in my hometown, I am very proud of this City and its good people.