About the Sheriff

William "Bill" Watson was elected as the City of Portsmouth's Sheriff in November of 2005, and assumed office on January 1, 2006. He has over 18 years of law enforcement experience. His education and training include his certification from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, past Field Training Officer and General Instructor, as well as attendance in numerous other local and state law enforcement training programs.

Sheriff Watson was born and raised in the City of Portsmouth, graduated from Cradock High School in 1965, is a Past President of the Highland Biltmore Civic League, Retired from the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in 1990, and is a certified diver with 27 years of experience in search and rescue.
Sheriff William "Bill" Watson
Sheriff Watson is a member of the Virginia Sheriff's Association, a 32nd degree Scottish Rite member, and a life member of Portsmouth Lodge No. 100 AF and AM.

Sheriff Watson has received recognition such as; 1995 Portsmouth Sheriff's Office Award for Highest Yearly Evaluation, and was a nominee for the 1996 and 1997 Golden Rule Award with letters from President Bill Clinton for Community Service.

Bill currently resides in Portsmouth with his wife of 33 years, Joyce Wilburn Watson; they have two children and one grandchild.