NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — New Kent County Sheriff J. Joseph McLaughlin, Jr. has announced that he will retire at the end of 2023.

In a statement shared by the New Kent Sheriff’s Office Twitter account, McLaughlin said that, after “intense thought, prayer and discussions,” he has made the decision to not seek reelection this year and will be retiring on Dec. 31.

According to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, McLaughlin grew up in New Kent and became the sheriff in January of 2016, after having served in the county as a deputy since 1981.

“I would like to say thank you for your support, friendships and for the opportunity to serve this great community for the past 42 plus years, as a member of your Sheriff’s Office, a job which I have loved and enjoyed,” said McLaughlin in the statement. “I am humbled by your support, and I have sincerely enjoyed serving you, New Kent County. “