His father’s family, the Corbins, came from the Blue Ridge, forced off the mountains when the federal government decided to take the land for the Skyline Parkway. Born in Culpeper, he grew up on his father’s small farm in White Shop, working hard, going to school, building character and physical strength –both of which came into good use during his 37 plus year career in the Culpeper Sheriff’s Office.
Doug Corbin was known for his strength during his earlier years as a deputy. “He’s the strongest man I’ve ever known,” one deputy said of the quiet soft spoken deputy.
Corbin chuckles at the observation. He grew up working the farm he said and “sometimes people think they are stronger than they are.” But Corbin rarely had to use physical force, he was just that tall and big that he commanded respect when he needed it, according to all who have worked with him. Equally important when dealing with unruly suspects, according to those who know him, was his well-known reputation for integrity.
Now a part time deputy, having retired in 2008, Corbin came into the Sheriff’s Office under former Sheriff Robert Peters in 1979. Like many in the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office, he counts Peters as a major influence in his own development as an officer.
Corbin’s more favorite experience in law enforcement involved President George Bush, the elder.
“He flew into Culpeper and needed an escort to the train station,” Corbin explained. Then Sheriff Roger Mitchell dispatched Corbin and Deputy Rocky Peters to the scene. “We came barreling up 29,” he said, to the assignment. They spoke with the President while waiting for the train.
“It made my day,” he said.
Law enforcement was not a family tradition, according to Corbin. He said he remembers seeing deputies as a young boy, “I always liked them and the way they acted,” he said.
The main attraction for Corbin, though, was that they helped people. And, he said, that is the main reward for him as well. “Law enforcement is not all about locking people up,” he said. “It’s mainly about helping people.”
He has seen a lot of changes in Culpeper over the years. The influx of “all kinds of people” is the main change he sees. It’s not a bad thing, according to Corbin, but clearly a change from the old days when the county was more rural and settled. Law enforcement too has changed, there is more “star trek” involved but the basics are still the same: treat people with respect.
It’s been a successful model for Corbin who has worked under five sheriffs and gathered two “Deputy of the Year” awards from the VFW.
“I can remember Doug as one of the deputies I looked up to as a teenager and would often see flagging traffic for us at the high school,” Sheriff Scott Jenkins said.
“It’s no secret that I respect a lot of the people I served with in my early days as a Deputy.” That respect for Corbin carried over into Jenkins’ bid for the Sheriff’s position in 2007 when, if elected then, Corbin would have been on the short list for the Chief Deputy position, according to Jenkins.
“I’m fortunate to have worked with Doug at a young age and even more fortunate to still be able to work with him now,” Jenkins said. “He knows how to treat people – and is a good example for young deputies to follow.” And Jenkins added, he is a good person to seek out for advice.
Douglas Craig Corbin, 58
Deputy, Civil Process
Married: two children, two grandchildren
Hobbies: gun shows, hunting, gardening, yard work