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Biography

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 graduated from Cox High School. Ken is currently serving his second term as sheriff of Virginia Beach. 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 and 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 is chairman of the Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offers the opportunity for Wounded Warriors and military veterans to continue their rehabilitation in the great outdoors. He and his wife Debbie have three children: Whitney, Kenny and Ross.

Download Sheriff Stolle’s bio as a PDF.

Quick Facts

    • Ken Stolle was born into a large Navy family of six children; five boys and one girl.
    • In 1972, Ken graduated from Virginia Beach’s Cox High School.
    • In 1975, he earned an Interdisciplinary B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from Berry College in Rome, Georgia.
    • After earning his degree, Ken joined the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) and served from 1976 to 1987.
    • As a member of the VBPD, Senator Stolle served as a Patrolman, Narcotics Detective, SWAT Team Leader, and Tactical Team Sergeant.
    • On the VBPD he was awarded the Silver Star for Bravery, Medal of Merit and the Silver Cross for Bravery.
    • In 1983, Ken was commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve serving in Naval Intelligence to help in President Ronald Reagan’s Drug Interdiction efforts. As a Lieutenant in the USNR Ken was assigned to the Naval Investigative Service to assist with foreign counter-intelligence, where he was designated as a Special Agent.
    • In 1983, he passed the Virginia State Bar and became a licensed attorney. He left the police department in 1987 to practice law full time.
    • In 1989, he was elected the Chairman of the Virginia Beach Republican Party.
    • In 1991, Ken was elected to his first term in the Virginia Senate. He was elected without opposition an additional 4 terms.
    • As a member of the leadership, Ken was the Majority Whip and the Republican Leader Pro Tempore. He chaired the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, the Crime Commission and the Senate Finance Public Safety Subcommittee.
    • In 2009, Ken was elected sheriff of Virginia Beach with over 70 percent of the vote.
    • In his spare time, KKen enjoys hunting and is chairman of the Virginia Sportsmen’s Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization offers the opportunity for Wounded Warriors and military veterans to continue their rehabilitation in the great outdoors. He and his wife Debbie have three children: Whitney, Kenny, and Ross.

Honors

2009

  • Virginia Sheriffs’ Association — “Outstanding Legislator of the Year”
  • Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators — “Outstanding Legislator of the Year”
  • Virginia State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police — “Senator of the Year”
  • Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police — “Outstanding Legislator of the Year”

2007

  • Virginia State Police Association — “Senator of the Year”
  • Virginia Bar Association — “Distinguished Service Award”

2006

  • Virginia State Police Association — “Senator of the Year”
  • Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police — “Outstanding Legislator of the Year”
  • Virginia State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police — “Senator of the Year”
  • Virginia Sheriffs’ Association — “Outstanding Legislator of the Year”

2005

  • Virginia Beach Career and Technical Education — “Legislator of the Year”

2004

  • Virginia Beach Education Association — “Friend of Education Award”
  • Virginia Independent Auto Dealers’ Association — “Free Enterprise Award”
  • Virginia Thoroughbred Association — “Award of Merit”
  • Virginia State Crime Clinic — “For Dedication to Public Safety”
  • Virginia School Board Association — “Legislative Award of Excellence”

2003

  • Retail Merchants Association of Virginia — “Legislator of the Year”

2002

  • Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association — “Legislator of the Year”

2001

  • Virginia Public Safety Foundation — “Distinguished Public Safety Award”
  • Virginia State Police Association — “Richard J. Holland Distinguished Service Award”

1999

  • Virginia Sheriffs’ Association — “Outstanding Legislator of the Year”

1996

  • Virginia State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police — “Senator of the Year”

1992

  • Virginia State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police — “Senator of the Year”