Harry T. Haskins, Jr. was born on October 8, 1936 in Clifton Forge, Virginia. He attended Clifton Forge High School and Richmond Professional Institute (Now VCU) from September 1955 to June of 1956. Haskins went on to attend Virginia Western Community College and earned an Associate in Applied Science, and gradated summa cum laude. He was also a student marshal in June of 1971. Haskins finished out his education at Roanoke College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a degree in Criminal Justice. He graduated cum laude in May of 1981.
Chief Haskins' career in law enforcement began when he became a trooper for the Virginia State Police in 1958. Over the next 16 years, he rose through the ranks to become an investigator, sergeant, and investigator first sergeant. In 1974 he accepted a position as special agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service in the Jefferson and George Washington National Forests. In 1975, he assumed the position of chief of police for the City of Salem, and served that position for 20 years before recently retiring. He also served a four year term on the Salem City Council.
Among his many other professional accomplishments, Chief Haskins has been an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Western Community College, where he teaches criminal courses. Additionally, he founded the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy in Sale and served both as Chairman of the Governing Council and member of the Executive Committee. He has served as president for both the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Blue Ridge Association of Chiefs of Police.
Chief Haskins' extensive service to the Boy Scouts of America was recognized when the organization presented him with the Silver Beaver Award. Additionally, he has been a member of the Salem Rotary Club, serving as president in 1994. Rotary International awarded him the Paul Harris Fellowship in 1993.
Harry T. Haskins Jr. once said, "Close ties with young people keep me young." For his professional achievements and service to the community and his alma mater, Roanoke College was privileged to award Haskins with the Roanoke College Medal on May 7, 1996. Harry and wife Darlene Terry Haskins raised together Melanie H. Leweke, Kathryn H. Glasgow, Ken Wilson, Alan Wilson, and Steve Wilson. Haskins also has six children.
Harry T. Haskins, Jr. received the Roanoke College Medal in 1996.