About Torch Run

Meet the 2012 State Chair: Sheriff Ken Stolle

Welcome to Sheriff Ken Stolle, the 2012 Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run State Chair. Meet Sheriff Stolle:

As one of six children in a Navy family, Sheriff Ken Stolle grew up in and out of the Hampton Roads area. In 1971 the Stolle family permanently settled in Virginia Beach, where Ken graduatedfrom Cox High School.

Ken is currently serving his first term as sheriff of Virginia Beach, having been elected in November 2009 with over 70% of the vote. He had previously served in the Virginia Senate as the Republican Leader Pro Tempore and represented the 8th Senatorial District, located in the eastern half of Virginia Beach.

Prior to being elected to the Senate in 1991, Ken was a partner with the Virginia Beach law firm of Bennett & Stolle, P.C. He was a Sergeant on the Virginia Beach Police Department, where he served from 1976 until 1987. He also served as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Naval Reserve.

Over the past decade Ken has been the leading advocate for public safety at the state and local levels. As a member of the Senate, Ken used his first-hand law enforcement experience to champion stricter penalties for gang activity, the abolition of parole and enhanced penalties for DUI offenders.

As chairman of the Crime Commission, Ken sponsored new legislation to strengthen Virginia’s laws that crack down on sex offenders. These initiatives have improved Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry and begun GPS tracking of known sex offenders, allowing police to monitor their whereabouts 24 hours a day.

For years Ken led the charge for increased retirement benefits for state and local police officers, deputy sheriffs and fire fighters. He’s remained committed to ensure that these first responders who risk their lives every day for the safety of others are afforded better pay and enhanced benefits. Furthermore, as chairman of the Senate Courts of Justice committee, Ken supported improvements to the Line of Duty Act in order to make certain the children and spouses of fallen or disabled public safety officers are appropriately cared for.

For his long-term commitment to law enforcement, Ken has been recognized by the Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Chiefs of Police and State Police Association with their highest awards.

Over the course of his tenure in the General Assembly, Ken carried several pieces of landmark legislation helping small businesses while protecting the consumer. In fact, Virginia FREE consistently rated his as one of the top 5 most effective legislators in Virginia. He also helped eliminate the estate tax, cut the grocery tax, and initiate both the back-to-school and hurricane preparedness sales tax holidays.

Ken also worked hard to ensure that the General Assembly honor its commitment to our children by fully-funding K-12 education and by supporting teachers through long-overdue pay raises and additional classroom resources. He has been honored not only by the Virginia Beach Education Association with its “Friend of Education” award but also the Virginia School Board Association with its “Legislative Award of Excellence.”

In his spare time, Ken enjoys hunting and recently founded the Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation, a nonprofit committed to providing our community with safe and educational outdoor programs, preserving our hunting and fishing heritage, and protecting our environment for future generations to enjoy. Partnering with Hunters for the Hungry, the foundation is also dedicated to providing quality high protein, low-fat venison to food banks and other nonprofit organizations feeding Virginia's needy.

He and his wife Debbie have three children: Whitney, Kenny and Ross.

Sheriff Ken Stolle
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