RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Police Department has a new police chief after interim chief William “Jody” Blackwell resigned on Friday. Richmond Reporter Henry Graff confirmed the information with RPD on Friday. Hours after Blackwell’s resignation Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney held a press conference where he appointed Deputy Chief Gerald Smith of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Police Department as the new Chief of Richmond Police.
“We are looking forward to having chief Gerald smith with us. He is a reform-minded change agent who I think is going to be able to bring the reimagining of policing and public safety we need. here in the great city of Richmond,” said Stoney.
Stoney said Smith is expected to speak on Saturday and the transition will begin on July 1. Until that time, Stoney said Blackwell will continue to serve as interim police chief.
In an internal memo which was sent to police staff on Friday informing them of the change was obtained by NBC12. Regarding his resignation Balckwell addressed the police department in the memo saying in part:
“I ask that you all keep up the good fight and I pray that I didn’t serve as a disappointment. The one thing that is for certain is, that we didn’t allow the current state of this city to define us.”
In the letter, Blackwell mentioned that he was not aware of who would be appointed to the police chief.
Smith currently serves as the Executive Officer of Investigative Services in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. He has been with the department since 1991.
Blackwell resigned from the position, effective on Friday, and will be returning to his role as major.
Blackwell was named Interim Police Chief after Mayor Levar Stoney asked for former police chief Will Smith’s resignation.
“I am grateful for Interim Chief Blackwell’s continued service to the Richmond Police Department,” said Mayor Stoney. “Since the departure of former Chief William Smith, we have been searching for a permanent chief. I’m excited for Gerald Smith, a proven change-agent, to serve Richmond in that capacity.”
Mayor Stoney said Smith will officially introduce himself to the city of Richmond sometime Saturday afternoon.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more details become available.
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