Mayor Jones names Al Durham new RPD chief
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones named Al Durham the new Chief of the Richmond Police Department on
Al Durham rejoined the force in November as Deputy Police Chief. Two months later Chief Ray Tarasovic announced he would stepping down.
The choice is not a surprise. Ever since Durham came back to Richmond, he has been the rumored choice as the next chief. Monday, speculation became reality.
There was a round of applause as Durham was announced to take over as Chief of the Richmond Police Department. He thanked the mayor for what he calls one of the greatest honors bestowed upon him.
“He's saying the same horse is in the race,” Durham said. “Tarasovic is about to dismount that horse and I'm about to saddle up.”
Connections have been made between Durham and the man he's replacing, as they both served under Chief Rodney Monroe. Monday, Durham revealed he has a 100-day plan for that takeover, one in which he'll look to the community for input.
“I'm a hands-on guy,” Durham said. “One thing for sure I do not believe in sitting behind a desk. I believe in management by walking around. So I will be in those communities. I will have my officers walk with me.”
Durham brings experience from Washington, D.C. An internal memo obtained by NBC12 says he retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in October, 2014, after 25 years of service. His most recent post was Executive Officer of the Chief of Police. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the police force.
The time in DC wasn't without controversy. An article from the Washington Examiner says Durham was getting an extra $20,000 a year he wasn't entitled to. According to the paper, he agreed to pay it back after the glitch in the system was discovered.
Still, Mayor Jones hopes the big-city-event experience will help the department here.
“He knows how to handle major events,” Jones said. “And that's important as we get ready for the world cycling championships. We believe his experience will stand us in good stead as we are on the radar of the entire world.”
The post is not without challenges. NBC12 has reported officers are leaving RPD because of lack of raises and other resources.
“I'm pleased to announce that the mayor has made a commitment that he wants his men and women of the Richmond police department to have a pay raise,” Durham said. “So we're working closely on that.”
Durham was making about $178,000 in D.C. and will make $165,000 in his new position. He already lives in the city, as he has kept a home in the Southern Barton Heights neighborhood since his last stint in Richmond.
An internal memo obtained by NBC12 says he retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in October after 25 years of service. His most recent post was Executive Officer of the Chief of Police. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the police force.
Chief Tarasovic makes about $142,000 and returned to the force in 2013 to replace former Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood.
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