Chief Deputy Culanding speech 10 5 23

VBSO recognizes promotion of 22 deputy sheriffs, diversity milestones

In one of the largest promotion ceremonies in recent years, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office today recognized the advancement of 22 deputies with a combined 353 years of law enforcement experience. The ceremony took place at Virginia Beach City Hall and included several diversity milestones.

The number of promotions was prompted by last Friday’s retirement of Sheriff Ken Stolle and swearing-in of Sheriff Rocky Holcomb, who rose from deputy recruit to high constable over 32 years with the VBSO.

Mapes promotion speech
Chief Deputy Mapes speaks during the VBSO's Oct. 5, 2023, promotion ceremony.

The promotions process at the VBSO is extremely competitive and weighs deputies’ performance, experience, tenure, leadership, volunteerism, training and education. Promotions ran the gamut from chief deputy to sergeant, including the VBSO’s first Filipino chief deputy, Alvie Culanding; the first Hispanic female captain, Lois Thompson; and the first lieutenant of indigenous descent, Deanna Harvey. Thursday’s ceremony also recognized the second woman to become chief deputy, Tina Mapes, who was promoted in July.

“We are proud of our new leaders and of the diversity they reflect. Each has diligently served the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Virginia Beach and has worked hard to attain their positions. I know they will continue to make us proud,” said Sheriff Holcomb. “The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office is second to none, and these men and women exemplify the high caliber of our deputies.”

Capt. Johnson pinning
Capt. Johnson is pinned with her new rank by her family during the VBSO's Oct. 5, 2023, promotion ceremony.

The promotions included 10 corporals/master deputies to sergeant, six sergeants to lieutenants and four lieutenants to captain. The new captains are Nicholas Curtis, Jane Harvey, Karen Johnson and Lois Thompson.

Bios of the newly promoted chief deputies and captains are below.

Chief Deputy Alvie “Cool” Culanding is a proud Green Run Stallion and Norfolk Spartan, who graduated from Norfolk State University with a bachelor’s in psychology with a concentration in mental health. He is also a graduate of the Virginia Beach Police Department’s West Point Leadership Course and the University of Virginia’s National Criminal Justice Command College. He has worked in almost every facet of the VBSO, including the Emergency Response Team. Chief Deputy Culanding began his career with the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office in 1997 and rose through the ranks to become the VBSO’s first Filipino captain in 2017 and is now the first Filipino chief deputy, possibly in the commonwealth of Virginia. Last year he was selected as one of Hampton Roads’ Top Filipino History Makers and Shakers by the Filipino American Community Action Group and received their Leadership Award this year. He oversees the VBSO’s Administration, which includes Court Security, Training, Human Resources and Finance.

Chief Deputy Tina Mapes has served the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office since 1994. She started out as an auxiliary deputy and has served in nearly every division of the VBSO, including Corrections, Intake, the Professional Standards Office, Courts, Maintenance, Workforce, Legal Affairs, the Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Emergency Response Team and Training, where she taught firearms, defensive tactics and more. She concurrently earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Leo University and master’s degrees in public administration and public policy from Troy University and Liberty University, respectively. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the University of Virginia’s National Criminal Justice Command College and the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) School. Chief Deputy Mapes oversees the VBSO’s Operations, which includes Correctional Operations, Correctional Support, Correctional Administration, the Criminal Intelligence Unit and Inmate Services.

Capt. Nick Curtis began his career with the VBSO in October 2005 and was the top academic graduate of his Basic Academy class. Capt. Curtis has worked in Corrections, Intake, Courts, the Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Professional Standards Office and Training. He is a member of the Emergency Response Team and a recipient of the Medal of Merit. He has designed and implemented several operations, including Candy Crush to screen Weekender Program inmates for drugs, Oceanfront Operations and mass arrest response. Capt. Curtis is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is a member of the Safe Schools Task Force and consistently volunteers for the community. Capt. Curtis is assigned to Correctional Operations.

Capt. Jane Harvey is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College and began her career with the VBSO in 1999. Capt. Harvey has worked in Corrections, Intake and Release, Civil Process, Courts, Classification/Criminal Intelligence Unit and Correctional Support. She most recently served as the VBSO’s representative for the Public Safety Special Events Unit. Capt. Harvey is assigned to Correctional Administration.

Capt. Karen Johnson embarked on her career with the VBSO in September,2003. She was immediately assigned to Correctional Operations and entrusted with the crucial role of Field Training Officer for new deputy sheriffs. Her career path led her through a diverse array of divisions, including the multifaceted Courts/Transportation/ Civil Process division, where she served as a bailiff for the Honorable Judge H.T. Padrick of Virginia Beach Circuit Court. Her journey continued with contributions to Intake & Release, Training and the Professional Standards Office. She actively participated on the Emergency Response Team, the Honor Guard, the Recruitment Team and the Peer Support Team. Capt. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in criminal justice with a specialized focus in Critical Incident Management from Saint Leo University. She also has a graduate certificate in criminal justice education from the University of Virginia and recently completed the FBI National Academy. Capt. Johnson serves as a dedicated board member for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives - Hampton Roads Chapter. Capt. Johnson is assigned to Community Engagement.

Capt. Lois Thompson is a graduate of Saint Leo University and began her career with the VBSO in 2000. She graduated at the top of her academic class with the last joint academy held at the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office. Capt. Thompson has worked in Corrections, Courts, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Training, Professional Standards, the Weekender/Reentry Program, Maintenance, Information Technology and Intake and Release. She has also held general, defensive tactics, defensive driving and CPR instructorships for the department. Capt. Thompson is a member of various community organizations, including the Hispanic Leadership Forum and J&A Racing. She recently served as VBSO liaison to the Human Rights Commission, Hispanic Citizens Police Academy and Special Olympics Virginia. Capt. Thompson the executive aide to Sheriff Holcomb.

Any questions or requests for additional information from the news media may be directed to Toni Guagenti, Public Information Officer, or Kathy Hieatt, Strategic Communications Consultant: or 757-385-8446.