RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As Richmond searches for its next police chief, the pool of applicants will officially include current Acting Chief Rick Edwards.

On Friday, April 7, the Richmond Police Department released a statement from Acting Police Chief Edwards confirming that he will be applying to permanently become the next Richmond Police chief:

“In October of 2022, I was asked to step into the role of Acting Chief of Police after the resignation of Gerald Smith.  My goal at the time was to provide direction and stability for the department.  I wanted to give City Leadership the time it needed to find the right Chief to lead our department into the future.  Over the past 5+ months, I have done my level best to stabilize things and put us on the pathway to success.  While my time in this role has been challenging, I can tell you all that it has also been very rewarding.  I am extremely proud to have had the opportunity to lead such fine men and women.   

To that end, after several frank conversations with my wife, I have decided that I will apply to become the next Chief of Police for the City of Richmond.”     

Richmond Police Department Interim Chief Rick Edwards

This statement comes a day after the City of Richmond announced that a job listing for Richmond Police chief was officially open.

Edwards first stepped into the acting chief role last October, after former Chief Gerald Smith announced he would be leaving the department. Edwards serves as the department’s fourth chief in two years, after former chief William Smith was forced out of the department in July 2020 and William Blackwell only briefly served as interim chief before Smith took over.

While Edwards will be applying for the job alongside other qualified candidates, Dana Schrad, executive director of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, told 8News that Edwards already getting experience in the position will likely be considered during his application process.

“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.”