Watkins to Retire from Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office

Jan. 29, 2009

Major Buck WatkinsAfter 29 years of service, Major Milton “Buck” Watkins is retiring from the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, where he has been the commander of the Court Services Division since October of 2004. The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office employs over 600 men and women, of which 530 are sworn deputy sheriffs making it the largest Sheriff’s Office in Virginia and one of the largest in the nation.

A native of Virginia, Watkins has lived in Fairfax for the past 27 years. He has always had an interest in the field of law enforcement dating back to his days as an Eagle Scout.

Watkins joined the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office on January 14, 1980 and graduated from the Northern Virginia Regional Police Academy four months later in May 1980. He spent his first two years working in the Adult Detention Center followed by the next 12 years working in the Civil Enforcement Section, attaining the rank of sergeant and second lieutenant. By 1998, he had become a first lieutenant and served as a shift commander in the Adult Detention Center, overseeing approximately 55 deputy sheriffs. During his career, Watkins was certified as a law enforcement and firearms instructor and was a member of the Crisis Intervention Team, Pistol Team, and Honor Guard. He has also been a distinguished marksman for his entire career.

As he moved up the career ladder to his present rank of major, Watkins successfully completed several academic and leadership programs. In 1996, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Management from National Louis University. He completed Harvard University’s prestigious John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Governments in 2002, and by 2003 he completed the Certified Public Manager Program at The George Washington University. He is also a 2005 graduate of Leadership Fairfax Incorporated.

After being promoted to major in January 2001, he served as commander of the Administrative Services Division. In October 2004, he moved to the Court Services Division where he finished his career. In this position, he supervised the Court Security and Civil Enforcement sections.

The Court Security Section provides security for 34 judges and 43 courtrooms in the Fairfax County Courthouse and the courthouses in Fairfax City, Herndon and Vienna. In FY 2007, over 1 million visitors utilized the courthouse facilities and almost 458,000 court cases were heard. In 2008, the second phase of the Courthouse Expansion Project was completed, adding 316,000 square feet, which includes additional courtrooms, judges’ chambers and office and support space. Despite the challenges associated with providing security to the expanded facility, the Sheriff’s Office continues to ensure that there is no corresponding increase in security risks and provides the highest degree of safety to the citizens of Fairfax County.

The Civil Enforcement Section is responsible for serving and enforcing all court orders, including the execution of civil processes, levies, seizures and evictions. In FY 2007, deputies assigned to this section completed the process and service of over 250,000 civil documents. In addition, these deputies assisted the Police Department with traffic enforcement and control.

Prior to being employed with the Sheriff’s Office, Watkins enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in May 1974 and spent almost 29 years of loyal and faithful service on both active duty and as a reservist. He was involved in civil military operations and served as a counter intelligence officer before retiring in February 2003 as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. Watkins was a recipient of two Navy Commendation medals.

Watkins currently resides in Fairfax City and has three children, Brittany 23, Dane (son-in law) 25, Bonnie 19, and Brian 15. In his free time, Watkins plays the guitar. Major Watkins is not really retiring. He will be entering the private sector as a consultant. As he closes one chapter of his life and begins a new one, Watkins expresses, “the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office is an outstanding and professional organization with very talented people, and we are well respected in the law enforcement community.”

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