Woman elected as new Henrico sheriff credits faith from predecessor, county after historic victory

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico County has a new sheriff for the first time in 20 years after Alisa Gregory was elected Tuesday with 55 percent of the vote.

Gregory, who currently serves as the county’s undersheriff, will be Henrico’s first female sheriff and first African American sheriff.

“It’s still kind of surreal cause I know that it’s so, but I don’t think it’s really set in,” said Gregory.

She has spent 21 years working at the Sheriff’s Office, moving her way up through the ranks. 

“Coming in as a deputy and working in the back of the jail and being an investigator and working in administration,” Gregory explained. “I think all of those things will enable me to make better and sound decisions.”

Longtime Sheriff Mike Wade, who Gregory is replacing, agrees with her.

“Here’s somebody who actually, on day one, knows what’s going on. I had a huge learning curve,” said Wade.

Wade recalled the first time Gregory was brought to his attention.

“We had a position open in Alternative Sentencing and one of the majors said, ‘You really ought to look at her. She’s pretty sharp,'” said Wade, who is retiring after two decades as sheriff.

“I always heard that when it’s time to retire, you know it and it feels pretty good. It especially feels good knowing that the person coming behind you will keep going the programs that you started,” Wade continued.

Gregory hopes to bridge the gap between the county jail and the community.

“Connecting them to mental health and recovery services in the community so they can continue what they started in jail,”​ Gregory said.

She said Sheriff Wade and Henrico County’s faith in her makes her more confident.​

“It takes down the anxiety some because this is totally new, but I’m excited,” said Gregory.

Sheriff Wade said his term officially ends Dec. 31, but he will be leaving and Gregory will take over at the beginning of December.

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