CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- Chesapeake Sheriff's Office is gearing up for a historic promotion.

Lieutenant Colonel William C. Bennett is Chesapeake Sheriff Office's first African-American to reach the rank of Colonel.

Lt. Col. Bennett is a Chesapeake native. He graduated from Norfolk Catholic High School in 1978. While earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Ohio Dominican University, Lt. Col. Bennett decided to pursue a career in public safety.

With his promotion to Colonel, Bennett will also take on the role of Undersheriff.

Lt. Col. Bennett has received a variety of awards during his 35-year career at the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office including: the 2015 “Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award,” the 2014 “Hall of Fame Award” for the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run, and the 2007 “Unsung Hero Award” named in Honor of Kenny Fields. In 2017, he was chosen as an honoree for the New Journal and Guide “Impacting Lives Program.”

The promotion ceremony will take place on September 11.