Roanoke County, a suburban community in Southwest Virginia, is seeking its next Chief of Police. The County’s current chief will soon retire after 10 years of service to Roanoke County and nearly 40 years in the law enforcement profession. Roanoke County is seeking a law enforcement leader that can advance public safety in the County, continue and expand existing partnerships across the greater Roanoke Valley, and can serve as a champion of Police staff and the resources necessary to keep our citizens safe.
About the Department
The Roanoke County Police Department is nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). For fiscal year 2023, the budget totaled approximately $14.8 million with 140 sworn officers authorized and 16 civilian employees. The Roanoke County Police Department also operates a full-service Criminal Justice Academy.
Direct reports to the Chief of Police include the Administrative Assistant and two Assistant Chiefs of Police, whose responsibilities are as follows:
Assistant Chief - Operations
- Uniform Patrol Division, which includes three patrol platoons.
- Special Operations Division, which includes Community Resource Officers (Animal Control), Traffic Unit, and School Resource Officers
- Criminal Investigations Division, which includes General Investigations, Fraud, Special Investigations, and a task force officer assigned to the FBI.
- Vice Division, which includes participation in the Washington-Baltimore HIDTA and task force officers assigned to the DEA and FBI.
- Crime Analyst
- Ad hoc assignments include K-9, SWAT, Bike Patrol, Honor Guard, Unmanned Aircraft Pilots, and Crime Scene Technicians.
Assistant Chief - Administration
- Professional Standards Unit, which includes recruiting/selection, accreditation, policy development, and internal affairs.
- Services Division, which includes the Records Unit, Quartermaster/Evidence Vault, and Systems Technician.
- Roanoke County Criminal Justice Academy, which is a Department of Criminal Justice Services chartered law enforcement academy.
- Budget Analyst
- Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer
The Roanoke County Police Department is recognized for its professionalism and engages the community in crime-solving and community enrichment strategies. The Roanoke County Police Department is also involved in several partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies including DEA, ATF, FBI and the U.S. Marshals.
Learn more about the Roanoke County Police Department.
Application and Selection Process
Initial review of applications will begin on October 10, 2022. To be considered, please submit a cover letter, resumé with salary history and five (5) professional references, and a completed application through the County’s online application process. All applications will be kept confidential through the hiring process.
The position is open until filled with preference given to application materials received by close of business on 10/17/2022.
The County will review recommended candidates who most closely meet the established criteria and finalists should be interviewed in Roanoke during the month of October 2022.
Reference checks, background checks and academic verifications will be conducted after receiving candidates’ permission. For more information, please contact (540) 772-2004.
The Roanoke County Police Chief is responsible for all aspects of police operations in the County. The Police Chief provides executive-level leadership and is responsible for planning, directing, and managing all programs and functions of the department including but not limited to: personnel, vehicle and equipment maintenance, safety and training, emergency response in all service areas, records and reporting requirements, program development, and planning and budgeting. The Police Chief also plans, evaluates, recommends, implements, controls, and directs the police service functions of the department under the broad direction provided by applicable laws, policies, ordinances, rules and regulations adopted by Roanoke County, the state, or other authorities.
Major duties of the position include:
- Developing and maintaining open and productive lines of communication with personnel at all levels;
- Financial planning and budgeting with a specific emphasis on the aggressive and successful pursuit of state and federal grant opportunities as well as the successful administration of grant funding;
- Providing oral and written presentations on behalf of the department to the County Administrator, the Board of Supervisors, citizens, public and private agencies, community groups, and the media;
- Coordinating with appropriate internal and external agencies to develop strong mutual aid agreements and regional partnerships;
- Planning for long-term department staffing, training, and equipment demands;
- Leading, planning, organizing, evaluating, and coordinating the development and implementation of policies and procedures in accordance with applicable state laws and county ordinances;
- Assuring departmental compliance with all applicable laws, ordinances, certifications, regulations, and standards of good business practice in all department activities and endeavors;
- Leading, planning, organizing, evaluating, directing, and coordinating the work of subordinate personnel in conducting police functions in collaboration and cooperation with other county departments and neighboring communities;
- Managing the recruitment, training, and certification functions of the department;
- Providing for accurate record keeping and ensuring training, safety, certification, incident reports, and other necessary records and reports are complete and up to date;
- Preparing and supervising the development and management of the department’s annual budget;
- Researching and developing recommendations and implementing approved operational policies, expenditures, plans, and administrative matters as they affect the operation of the department.
Current Challenges and Issues
Some of the key issues and challenges that the new Police Chief will face in the first six to twelve months on the job include:
- Maintaining employee engagement and two-way communication among department staff while instilling a strong commitment to "teamwork" within the department as well as with other county departments and regional organizations;
- Maintaining a strong, focused, and accountable management team within the department;
- Assessing the department’s organizational structure and staffing while increasing operational efficiency, responsiveness, accountability, and capability to provide and maintain a high level of service to the County’s citizens and businesses;
- Continuing to evaluate and expand initiatives related to police response to mental health crises;
- Using evidence-based practices to review and respond to crime trends and patterns to maintain safe communities;
- Implementing programs to increase community engagement related to crime and safety issues.
- Maintaining the department’s commitment to employee safety and wellness.
- Implementing and maintaining the department’s 3-year strategic plan.
Education and Experience
Any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in public administration, law enforcement or related field from an accredited university is required. Additionally, a current law enforcement certification from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Service is required, or the ability to obtain certification within a reasonable time period. A master’s degree or other advanced degree from an accredited college, graduation from a nationally recognized police executive training program, and/or other advanced law enforcement executive training is preferred.
The most competitive applicants will have an extensive amount of police leadership and management experience, with a minimum of six (6) to nine (9) years as chief, division or deputy/assistant chief in a comparably sized or larger department. Experience in a progressive and full-service community with a wide range of duties in police operations and management is also sought. A progressive record of strong professional, executive and administrative leadership is also an important consideration and experience with accreditation is important.
Past experience should demonstrate a successful record of collaborative team building with staff and other departments within the organization, including successful management of diversified recruitment and promotion, planning for growth in services and service demand, capital planning and project management, training and certifications, general management, finance, and human resources related to police.
The anticipated hiring range is $130,000 to $150,000 depending on the background and qualifications of the successful candidate. Benefits include, but are not limited to, the use of a department vehicle, participation in the Virginia Retirement System, voluntary deferred compensation, excellent health and dental insurance, short- and long-term disability, life insurance, flexible leave policy, wellness program, professional dues, conference expense reimbursement. Residency within the County will not be required; however, the ability to respond to incidents is important. Relocation expenses may be negotiable.
Roanoke County's Government
Roanoke County is a full-service local government that employs over 1,000 people, spread across 18 departments and five Constitutional offices. The departments provide a wide array of services to residents, including curbside trash pickup, an accredited police department, paid fire and rescue service, planning, zoning, parks and recreation, and social services as well as an excellent Library system. Roanoke County also has budget approval authority and a close working relationship with Roanoke County Public Schools. The Police Chief will play a major role in the management team and partner with other key staff in furthering the County’s goal of providing excellent service to its residents. The position of Police Chief will report to the Deputy County Administrator.
Roanoke County is located in the Roanoke Valley of Southwest Virginia and is home to 96,564 residents over 250+ square miles. The Roanoke Valley includes the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Town of Vinton, and is located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, with a regional population of more than 250,000 people. The physical beauty of the region allows a unique blend of culture, entertainment, and outdoor activities.
The region is served by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, award-winning school systems, modern libraries, museums, and recreation centers, along with varied entertainment and dining options.
There are more than 20 colleges and universities located within an hour’s drive, providing extensive opportunities for life-long learning and employee development. Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke College, Hollins University, and the Roanoke Higher Education Center allow residents to pursue post-secondary educational opportunities close to home.
While the atmosphere is vibrant, the residents are friendly and relaxed. Commute times are short, leaving plenty of time to take advantage of a large range of outdoor activities.
Both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail run for miles through the County, while the Roanoke River provides the framework for an extensive greenway system. Family-friendly activities, such as recreation club sports, festivals, and abundant outdoor recreation, make the County an ideal place to raise children.
At the same time, the exciting pace of the downtown Roanoke restaurant scene and nightlife provides options for evenings and weekends. There are many spectator sports, too – from Virginia Tech football and basketball to the minor league baseball and ice hockey franchises to dozens of youth sports tournaments each year. There is something for everyone in the Roanoke Valley.
Roanoke is home to many high-profile companies including Carilion and LewisGale Health Systems, Allstate Insurance, Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation (TMEIC), and Wells Fargo.
Recently, Virginia Tech and Carilion created a Roanoke health sciences and technology campus centered around the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, which is rapidly transforming the region’s economy. This dynamic initiative is expanding research and innovation that adds to the growing medical services cluster taking shape in the region.
Talent development solutions are provided through Hollins University, Virginia Western Community College, and the Roanoke Higher Education Center, with resources and customized training from entry-level to top management. The region’s local governments partner with a regional economic development agency to attract new businesses to the area.