Henrico's retiring police chief reflects on career

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A new era begins Monday in Henrico County, where for the first time in nearly 16 years, there will be a new police chief. Col. Henry Stanley retired Friday, and looked back with us on a celebrated career in law enforcement.

A changing of command last Thursday in Henrico. One of Col. Henry Stanley's final duties as chief of police.

Stanley joined the force back in 1962; a time when the police cars didn't even have flashing lights, let alone wireless Internet and notebook computers.

"Our old notebook was a little 3x5 black notebook that you put in the back of your pocket, and you wrote your  notes on it, and that's where they stayed. But now, today, with the technology, that information can go everywhere," Stanley said with a chuckle.

After nearly half a century in law enforcement, Stanley says training is different, too.

"Today, we try to teach the officer to talk themselves OUT of situations rather than INTO situations," he said.

And the results speak for themselves. Henrico's crime rate is on a steady decline, one of Stanley's many proud accomplishments.

"I think our uniforms are very sharp. Neat in appearance, and the officers wear those with pride. And so, for  me, leading that in place today is something special to me," he said.

Stanley began thinking seriously about retirement last Thanksgiving. He wants to spend more time with his family and grandchildren. His longtime deputy, Lt. Col. Doug Middleton is now in charge, and Stanley says the department is in good hands.

"I'm not a police officer anymore, I'm a citizen. And I'm gonna be there to support the police as best as I possibly can."

Stanley will remain in the Richmond area, and new Chief Middleton said if there's ever a question, he knows exactly who to call.

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