WRJA Officers for 2022-2023

Officers are elected by a majority vote of WRJA members. We are committed to continuous training, sharing knowledge, and networking to assist each and every one of us in our day-to-day roles in corrections. We trust that 2022 will be a better year!


Listed below are our new officers:


Deputy Superintendent Chris Hayes – Western Virginia Regional Jail

Deputy Superintendent Christopher Hayes has been a member of the Western Virginia Regional Jail for the past 11 years. He began his career with the Virginia Department of Corrections in 2007. Since joining the Western Virginia Regional Jail as a correctional officer, Captain Hayes has worked his way through the ranks, where he now serves as the Assistant Security Division Commander supervising Inmate Records, Transportation, Intake, and four security platoons.  He is a graduate of the Virginia Regional Jail Leadership Initiative and Class #25 of the National Jail Leadership Command Academy in 2017.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Business Management and Leadership from Liberty University.  Captain Hayes served 6 years in the United States Army, serving in the U.S. and abroad during the War on Terrorism and the Iraq War.  He spent a majority of his time in the Army as a paratrooper with America’s Guard of Honor – 82nd Airborne Division, and the 18th Airborne Corps.

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Vice President

Ernie Alley / New River Valley Regional Jail

Sergeant Alley has been at The New River Valley Regional Jail for 16 years. Over the duration of these years Sergeant Alley has filled the roll of Field Training Officer and Master Jailor. He was a Housing Sergeant and has since become a sergeant in the Services Department. Sergeant Alley is a 2019 graduate of the Virginia Association of Regional Jails Leadership Initiative.


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1st Lieutenant Joshua Heddings / Loudon County Sheriff’s Office

1st Lieutenant Joshua Heddings has over 22 years of law enforcement experience.  He began his career in corrections in 1999 with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.  In 2001, he transitioned to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and has worked through the ranks to where he is currently serving as the Staff Duty Officer for the corrections division.  Lt. Heddings has experience in court security, corrections, administration, information technology, community custody as well as serving in various supervisory/leadership roles throughout this career.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Liberty University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University.  He has also an alumnus of the Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS session 46) in conjunction with the University of Richmond and has completed the FBI LEEDA Leadership Trilogy. He has also served on the Underwater Search and Evidence Recovery Team (USERT) since 2008.

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Amber Painter / Middle River Regional Jail

Officer Amber Painter started at Augusta County Jail in October of 2003 in the Medical Department. In 2005 she transitioned to Middle River Regional Jail as an officer. She has an associate degree in the Medical Assisting Program from American National University (formerly National College of Business and technology). In 2005 she completed Basic Jail Officer School. In 2010, she was the first officer that completed Crisis Intervention Training. In 2012 she became Field Training Officer. In 2017 she completed General Instructor School.

Officer Painter is also a First Aid and CPR Instructor, a Narcon Instructor, and has also had training in Mental Health First Aid. She helps organize invites for the facility for
National Night Out, Kids Matter Day. She is on the Training Committee for the Virginia Association of Regional Jails (VARJ). In addition to secretary, she also serves the Western Region Jail Association on the HT Leary Scholarship Committee and the Awards Committee.

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