After years of tension with the mayor and rumors throughout the city, Richmond's police chief could be on his way out. Bryan Norwood is one of three finalists for a job as the chief of police in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Norwood is not commenting, but given the politics here in Richmond, sources say they don't blame him for looking at other opportunities.
The story confirms whispers that have spread from city hall to the Richmond Police Department and back again. Chief Bryan Norwood might not be Richmond's chief much longer. The "R' in "RPD" could soon stand for "Raleigh."
"Your chief is one of those that we consider a finalist," said Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen.
Norwood is one of three narrowed down from a field of almost fifty candidates. He has qualities they're looking for in a chief.
"A man of real vision and compassion, seems to be very enthusiastic and passionate about supporting the police department and personnel, but then at the same time reaching out to the community and making those connections," Allen described.
Norwood is known for those connections here in the river city and Raleigh officials want them there.
"We are very, very interested and have been supportive of community policing for quite some time," Allen added. "We really think that is a way to engage the community and support better quality of life."
The news came as a surprise to officers at RPD. Many, who wanted to remain anonymous, say they understand the issues because Norwood is quiet politically, but they look at him as a great and balanced leader.
Politically, there has been consistent tension between Norwood and Mayor Dwight Jones. Norwood was hired by then-Mayor Doug Wilder right before Jones took office. So, he's considered "the other guy's chief."
The strain escalated as the city was forced to pay officers millions of dollars in overdue overtime after management lapses and when two officers allegedly made offensive comments during a presidential visit.
Still, Allen says the hiring team has talked with people who have worked with Norwood and they're impressed.
"We felt good about him," Allen reiterated.
Norwood will be in Raleigh in exactly two weeks to answer questions with the other candidates at a public forum. The other two finalists include Raleigh's interim police chief, who took over when the chief retired in October, and a deputy police chief out of Dallas, Texas.
A decision is expected early next month.
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