Jail promotes first female captain
Published 10:41 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015
The first female captain at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail was promoted in a ceremony this week.
“I am thankful,” Capt. Tanya Blair said last week of her promotion.
Blair, a Forest Glen High School graduate, came to the law enforcement profession after growing up in a military family.
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“You had to follow the rules,” she said. “I consider myself a people person.”
People and rules meld into one thing: Law enforcement.
She started working at the jail when it opened in 1992. She rose through the ranks and most recently was lieutenant in charge of midnight shift.
“There was lots of hard work, lots of time just doing what I needed to do to be successful in the business,” she said. “Law enforcement is kind of a man’s world.”
Blair said she enjoys helping staff and inmates play their part in the jail by using communication.
“I’m a talker,” she said. “I make sure they have someone to talk to.”
With staff, she said, encouraging them is important because their work can be exhausting, she said.
With inmates, it can be entirely different.
“A lot of times, the inmates come in and this is their first experience with jail,” she said. “Being in jail is a whole different environment. I help them learn the system.”
Blair said she teaches inmates the rules and encourages them to follow them.
“You have to tell them what you expect of them,” she said. “Treat people the way you want to be treated, you’ll have a better stay.”
Following her promotion, Blair is in charge of intake and release, property, classification, work release and workforce divisions of the jail and supervises 27 staff members.
Blair said she is grateful to family and friends for their support during her more than two decades of work at the jail.
“I look forward to the experience and being an asset not only to the jail but also to the community,” Blair said. “We’re a part of the community as well.”