Octavia Johnson Runs for Third Term as Roanoke City Sheriff


Independent Travis Akins and Democrat Tim Allen are both challenging the incumbent Republican Octavia Johnson for Roanoke City Sheriff.

Johnson is seeking her third term in that position and hopes the community will take note of what she's done in the last eight years.

She says she's revamped security to include recording devices: deputies can now review video if an incident happens in the jail. Johnson says she's also made it a priority for inmates to get their GEDs.

"Since becoming sheriff I started the Job Readiness Program, where we have the computers here and the inmates are able to come out and learn how to do interviews, learn how to prepare a resume, and we also have literature they are able to use," Johnson says.

Johnson has walked the jail halls as an employee for more than 30 years. In 2005, she became the first woman and first minority to be elected as the Roanoke City Sheriff.

"I love my job," Johnson says. "I love the citizens of Roanoke."

Johnson says there are still a lot more improvements she wants to make, such as adding a food service program that would allow inmates to work in the kitchen and get a certificate to show they know the basic skills of food service.

She also wants to implement a DMV program where inmates can get proper identification. The IDs could help them get a job, get a bank account, or even rent an apartment.

Johnson says she hopes she can keep raising the bar if re-elected as Roanoke City Sheriff.

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