Cornelia D. Johnson

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Photo of Cornelia D. Johnson. Reproduced from C-VILLE Weekly.

Cornelia D. Johnson was the first Black officer and the third female officer on the Charlottesville Police force. She became the first female City Sheriff (and the second female sheriff in the state). [1]


Johnson started her career as a School Crossing Guard in 1972. In 1976, she became Charlottesville’s first Black female police officer, and in 1998, she became the first female sheriff elected in the city (as well as second female sheriff in the state). She retired at the end of her third term as City Sheriff in 2009, hoping to begin work on her Bed and Breakfast.[2]

Frances Brand portrait

Johnson was one of several people whose portrait was painted by Frances Brand in the late 20th century.

ACHS Video



  1. Web. Cornelia D. Johnson - Frances Brand FIRSTS, Maupintown Media, Video, Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, retrieved October 26, 2022.
  2. Web. City Sheriff Cornelia Johnson retires, CVILLE-Weekly, 01/21/2009

External Links