Vaughan-Bradley Law Enforcement Building

Welcome to the Vaughan-Bradley Law Enforcement Building, home of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll find a lot more. This building has a story. 

Sheriffs John Brackett Vaughan, Jr. and Harold E. Bradley served our community for a combined 43 years. 

“When they [Hanover County] find a sheriff that they like, when they find a sheriff that they feel is doing a good job for the community, they tend to hold on to their sheriffs,” said current Sheriff, Colonel David R. Hines.

Sheriff Vaughan served from 1947 until 1975. He maintained two policy booklets titled “General Rules of Conduct” and “Advice to Deputies” demanding professionalism among his officers. This idea of accountability within the Sheriff’s Office, jumpstarted their commitment to community.

“It’s not just about enforcing the laws,” Sheriff Hines said. “People are looking at the sheriff to be more than that.”

Sheriff Vaughan’s son, John B. Vaughan III, described how his father wouldn’t ask his officers to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself. 

“Whatever was happening, he was there,” John said. “When they come out the funeral home, the first guy was Daddy.” 

The father and son had a lot in common. John was one of the youngest sheriffs in the state serving Essex County at 28 years old. 

“I wasn’t the kind of sheriff my father was,” he said. “He just loved what he did.”

Sheriff Vaughan worked closely with Bradley after appointing him Deputy Sheriff.

“Sheriff Vaughan was kind of his mentor,” said Allen Bradley, Sheriff Bradley’s son. “He always wanted to be Sheriff one day, but never wanted to compete against Sheriff Vaughan.” 

Sheriff Bradley served from 1976 until 1990. He instituted the Citizens Advisory Board, seeking feedback from the community on law enforcement matters and issues. 

“Being the sheriff and being a deputy serving the County was something he really enjoyed,” Allen said. “That was kind of his life and who he was.”

The Vaughan-Bradley Law Enforcement Building was dedicated on May 17, 1995.

“The building was named after two people that were very inspiring to this agency,” said Sheriff Hines. “I’m fortunate to be able to follow up on the legacies that were laid by Sheriff Vaughan then Sheriff Bradley.”

To learn more about the leaders within the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, visit the Hanover Museum of History & Culture Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.