RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As he prepares to retire at the end of the year, Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham sat down with 8News to discuss why he chose now to call it a career.
Chief Durham explained that the average tenure of an urban police chief is 3-5 years and that he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family. But it’s also an emotional time as he steps away from the Richmond community.
“I’m burned out,” Chief Durham said. “I have nothing else to give.”
Durham said he came to the realization that it was time to step down on the morning of Veterans Day while at home.
“An email came in saying citizens are complaining about traffic and speeding,” he recalled. “And I’ve said over and over again, that with limited resources, we’re going to try and do the very best we can, but that was not an acceptable answer for her.
“And it hit me, and I said, ‘if I can’t even solve a simple traffic problem then it’s time for me to go.'”
“I’m burned out. I have nothing else to give.” — RPD Chief Durham
Chief Durham said body cameras are the best investment made by the department since he took over, and that he’s proud of the eight percent reduction in violent crime this year.
He believes that the work in Richmond, however, is far from over.
“There are a lot of folks out here with mental health issues, addicted to drugs who go out there and commit petty larcenies, breaking into people’s cars, and all we do is a cycle,” Chief Durham explained. “You put them in, they come out and they’re still addicted to drugs. That’s not the answer.
“We have to look at a total revamping of the criminal justice system.” — RPD Chief Alfred Durham