RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The hunt is officially on to find Richmond’s next police chief after the City posted a job listing for the position this week, five months after former chief Gerald Smith resigned and interim chief Rick Edwards assumed the role. Now, the permanent title is up for grabs.
Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, says finding the perfect fit for a police chief in any city requires a detailed process. Richmond is also competing against other cities to find the best candidate, which can complicate the process.
“We have a number of agencies that are looking for new leadership. And that means that the field is competitive” Schrad said.
According to the listing — which was created using community feedback — the best person for the job will be someone with at least 10 years of law enforcement experience who can tackle emergency management, crime prevention and community policing, among other skills.
The job listing comes with a salary ranging from nearly $155,234 and $247,986. While a six-figure price range may seem unusual for most jobs, Shrad says this is on par for police chief pay. The wide range of the listed salary may also prove helpful in attracting the right candidate.
“They have created a large range there to make sure that they can actually compete for the best candidate,” Schrad said. “But the range that they’ve got is not unusual for a capital city and for an agency the size of Richmond Police Department.”
As for how long the search will take, Schrad says once the City receives applications, they will narrow down their search and continue with the interview process. This can include mock panels, written exercises and stakeholder interviews, which could take anywhere from two to three months.
As Richmond looks for candidates, the department will remain headed by interim chief Edwards. He first assumed the role after former chief Smith resigned from his position on Oct. 25, 2022. Smith had been Richmond’s police chief for two years when he stepped down.
Edwards previously said he would decide if he would apply for the permanent job once it was posted. Now that the job is up for grabs, 8News is working to learn if he has made his decision.
Regardless of Edward’s decision to apply for the job, Schrad says it is not unusual to have a detailed police selection process, even if an interim chief is doing well in the eyes of the community.
“It makes a difference in the sense that we’ve got an interim chief who has done a good job, that they’ll be able to examine him in the process,” Schrad said. “And he’s had a chance to somewhat audition for the position if he wants it.”
You can view the full police chief job listing on POLIHIRE.