Petersburg officials want sheriff to hand over cars

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A battle is brewing in Petersburg between the city and the sheriff. You’ll recall the city shut down the jail earlier this year.

Now the officials claim the sheriff is refusing to hand over five vehicles that belong to the city.

Before the city closed the jail, there was a fleet of 43 vehicles, after the closure that number decreased to just 11. The city of Petersburg is now looking to reclaim additional cars from the sheriff’s office.

City officials wouldn’t speak with 8news on camera, but they told 8news anchor Ava-joye Burnett that in the past few weeks, the city has resorted to towing some of the vehicles they claim the sheriff refused to give back.

The city plans to redistribute the vehicles to other departments. The city says the reasoning behind the decision is that the sheriff’s office doesn’t need all the vehicles anymore.

However, Sheriff Vanessa Crawford told 8news anchor Ava-joye Burnett that if the city takes away any more of the cars in her department, her deputies won’t be able to do their jobs. She says responsibilities like serving arrest warrants and transporting inmates to court would be impacted. Sheriff Crawford also denied hiding any of the remaining vehicles to prevent the city from towing them.

The sheriff was out of town. She tells us she feels the department is not being treated fairly; she also gave us this statement saying “We will continue to operate as best as we can until I return to address any additional issues.”

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