B. J. Roberts attended the Thomas Nelson Regional Police Academy in 1972, and subsequently earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Hampton University in 1986. Sheriff Roberts completed the Northwestern University Public Safety Management School in Evanston, Illinois; the National Sheriffs’ Institute (NSI) program, conducted at the National Institute of Corrections Center at Longmont, Colorado, the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute’s Chief Executive Training program; and the Civic Leadership Institute in 2004.
Sheriff Roberts began his law enforcement career as a patrolman on the Newport News Police Force. He then began his 19 year career with Hampton University’s Campus Police, where he moved through the ranks to become the Director of Police and Public Safety. Sheriff Roberts was elected as Sheriff in1992, for the City of Hampton.
Sheriff Roberts has served and is currently on numerous boards.
- The Board of Directors and Legislative Committee of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association
- Virginia Sheriff’s Association’s Past President and Vice President
- Vice Chairman of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail Authority
- 1st Vice President of the National Sheriff’s Association
- The Accreditation and Detention/Corrections Committee for the National Sheriffs’ Association
- Board of Directors for National Commission on Correctional Health Care Accreditation and Education Committee
- Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care
- Liaison Committee for the Department of Corrections
- The Hampton-Newport News Community Criminal Justice Board
- Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy Board/Steering Committee.
Sheriff Roberts was also appointed to the Governor’s Special Commission on Sentence and Parole Reform and Governor Tim Kaine’s Transition Team. He is a member of the American Jail Association, the American Correctional Association, and a past president of the Virginia College Campus Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Association (VACLEA).
Equally important to Sheriff Roberts is his involvement in and commitment to his community. He is a member of the Wythe Exchange Club of America and the Salvation Army (Peninsula Command). Sheriff Roberts is also a former board member of the Hampton Roads Chapter of Boys and Girls Clubs of American, Alternatives, Inc., Peninsula Foodbank, and Kenneth Wallace Neighborhood Resource Center. Sheriff Roberts is a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He has also devoted his time and efforts to the City of Hampton’s Athletic Association, working with the community’s youth.
Sheriff Roberts, who is a member of Queen Street Baptist Church in Hampton, has received numerous honors and awards including: the City of Hampton’s Citizen of the Year, Role Model of the Year from the 100 Black Men Organization, Public Service Award of the Year from CHUMS, Inc., and has been elected to the Police Hall of Fame.