First Sergeant, Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office
Family: Married, 8 children, 2 grandchildren
Hobbies: Fishing and Leisure sports
Hed: Big and bold, this sergeant steps up to the plate
Jim Fox, from the first time he stepped into the Culpeper County Courthouse as a bailiff, created the impression that he does today when he walks into a room of strangers: broad shouldered, an open friendly way with people and signature apple red cheeks.
One gets the impression this is a way with the world that has been passed down through the generations. His great-grandfather was Wilmer McLean, the farmer who witnessed the beginning of the Civil War at the Battle of Bull Run in Prince William County. McLean moved to Appomattox with the intent to get as far removed from hostilities as he could. The war followed and in 1865 General Lee and General Grant met in Mclean’s front parlor to sign the surrender documents which effectively ended the war.
“We donated Wilmer’s baby shoes to a museum,” Fox said. It was one of the last mementos from that time still in the family’s possession.
Appropriately enough, Fox grew up in Northern Virginia, attended Robert E. Lee High school where he played baseball, football and track.
In 1985 he joined the Navy serving four years as a damage control man for the Assault Ship Pensacola.
He returned to Fairfax but his sister lived in Culpeper. He liked the rural atmosphere here and took a job with the Co-op — and before joining up with the Sheriff’s Office he worked for a local farmer, Commonwealth Propane and a builder. But on a chance conversation with a deputy, Fox decided to apply for a position with then Culpeper Sheriff Roger Mitchell. Within six months of joining the office Fox took a bailiff’s position. He never looked back.
If there is a position within the Sheriff’s Office Fox has probably filled it: jail, road deputy, bailiff, investigator, Public Information Officer, and now Office Accreditation compliance.
He says he “loves” the job.
“I like the ability to help people,” he said of being in law enforcement. The veteran First Sergeant says that through the years he has applied his “rule of thumb: treat people like you want to be treated.”
You get the idea that perhaps Wilmer Mclean lived by the same rule of thumb.
“I remember Jim when he first started working at the Sheriff’s office,” Culpeper Sheriff Scott Jenkins said. “He did a great job at the courthouse under Sheriff Mitchell.”
“When I returned as sheriff a few years ago Jim did a good job handling our reaccreditation process. In any position he does his best to better the office,” Jenkins said.
The First Sergeant’s dedication and work ethic sets a good example for others, Jenkins said. And, according to the Sheriff, “He has a great sense of humor.”