February 1, 2023
Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid is pleased to announce the promotion of Major Jabar Shabazz to lieutenant colonel, the highest rank in the Sheriff’s Office, immediately below Sheriff. As one of two lieutenant colonels, Shabazz assumes the position of Chief Deputy of Operations, responsible for both the Confinement and Support Services divisions. “Lt. Colonel Shabazz has been the gold standard of leadership in this agency,” says Kincaid. “He brings with him a mentality of getting to yes and finding a way over, around or through any obstacle to get the job done.”
Shabazz describes himself as competitive. This likely stems from his younger days as a college basketball player. He attended Virginia State University on a four-year athletic scholarship and played small forward. In his senior year, his team won the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship. His goal, as with most basketball players, was to join the NBA.
After college he played in a summer league in Richmond, where he met several players who worked for the Richmond Sheriff’s Office. At that point, the NBA seemed unattainable, so he was drawn to the opportunity to earn a living and receive benefits. He applied with Richmond and was hired. Thus began his career in law enforcement and corrections.
Five years later, Shabazz heard that the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office was hiring. He took a tour of the Adult Detention Center (ADC), genuinely liked what he saw, applied and was hired. Since his graduation from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy, he has spent the majority of his career in the ADC but has served with distinction in all areas of the agency, including court security and internal affairs.
“Operations is my strong suit,” says Shabazz, “and I’m very much looking forward to being responsible for both the ADC and all of our support services, which include the ADC kitchen and laundry, inmate programs and health care, facility maintenance and renovation, and our massive security upgrade project.”
What is his vision as chief deputy of operations? “A strong base is already in place,” he says, “so I want to expand our vision. Recruiting is a very difficult issue, and that will continue to be the responsibility of the administrative side of our agency. In operations, I am going to focus on retention, finding ways to keep staff here and not lose them to other agencies or different lines of work. Once we hire people, how do we keep them here?”
“I’m optimistic that tomorrow is going to be better than yesterday and today,” Shabazz adds. “I’m bringing my A game to this position.”
Shabazz succeeds Lieutenant Colonel JJ Snyder, who will retire in 2023 after 32 years of dedicated service.