Special Agent in Charge Joseph Cannon with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC) Bureau of Law Enforcement was recently installed as the 2014-2015 president of the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA). Cannon was sworn in earlier this month during the 28th Annual NLLEA Conference in Louisville, Ky.
NLLEA is a nonprofit association made up of more than 1,100 sworn and non-sworn state, provincial, county, municipal and campus enforcement personnel tasked with enforcing liquor laws in the United States and Canada. The 16-year-old organization collects and disseminates research data, offers training to enhance the standards of liquor law enforcement, advises lawmakers on alcohol-related policy and provides technical assistance about best practices and policy development to law enforcement agencies.
Cannon has been with Virginia ABC for more than 14 years—a special agent in charge for nine of those years— working in Chesapeake, Lynchburg and Richmond. He has conducted criminal investigations, trained licensees, managed fleet and equipment, supervised the compliance unit (which is responsible for managing the manufacturing and wholesaling of alcoholic beverages) and served as grant coordinator. In September, he was named special agent in charge of the Virginia ABC Charlottesville regional office. Prior to his time at Virginia ABC, Cannon was an investigator for the University of Virginia Police Department.
“Having worked with Special Agent Cannon for more than a decade, I know that he understands the unique challenges those dedicated to the enforcement of liquor laws and regulations face,” said Virginia ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement Director Shawn Walker. “His commitment to excellence in the field will make him an effective and impactful NLLEA president. The commonwealth is fortunate to have such a leader on its state government team.”
Cannon said that during his presidency, he “will focus on improving the standards and practices of liquor law enforcement and enhancing public recognition of the role and achievements those in the field have in protecting and promoting public safety.”
Prior to being elected president, Cannon served as vice president on the NLLEA board. In recent years he has served in other leadership positions with the organization and was involved with the NLLEA Training Academy. Cannon is also a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and involved with civic organizations, including York Rite Lodge No. 154 and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
“One of NLLEA’s initiatives is to foster cooperative and mutually beneficial working relationships with other law enforcement associations, alcohol policy researchers and public health organizations,” said NLLEA Executive Director Rebecca Ramirez. “I am confident that as president Joe will continue to make these groups partners and allies in all our efforts.”
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 350 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
Virginia ABC Special Agent Named President of National Law Enforcement Organization