After serving two years with the Montclair, NJ, Police Department, James (Jim) A. Cervera joined the Virginia Beach Police Department in1978, and was promoted through the ranks. He was appointed to the top rank of  Chief of Police by then City Manager, James K. Spore in 2010.

After more than 44 years of law enforcement, he retired from the

Virginia Beach Police Department on May 1, 2020.


Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from St. Leo University in St. Leo, Fla., and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University.  He graduated from the FBI National Academy 171 session in Quantico, Va., the Police Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond, the University of Virginia’s Senior Executive Institute, the Senior Management Program in Policing from Boston University, and the National Executive Institute.

Jim currently works as an Adjunct Instructor for the FBI-National Academy Associates and Tidewater Community College.