RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Former assistant Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic is coming out of retirement to take over as Richmond’s new police chief.
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones made the announcement Tuesday morning after he announced former Chief Bryan Norwood’s resignation. Mayor Jones called Norwood’s departure a mutual decision.
“I’m very thankful to him [Norwood] for four years of his dedicated service to the city,” Mayor Jones said. “He [Norwood] has offered leadership that has brought us a little bit further in our endeavors to improve public safety.”
Tarasovic, who served under former Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe, left the department in 2008. The mayor said Tarasovic’s experience made him a good choice for the job.
“Chief Tarasovic is a person who will bring a degree of professional, leadership and knowledge that we need to move forward,” the mayor said. “He possesses over 30 years of management and executive experience that range from the states of North Carolina, Georgia and of course D.C.”
Despite leaving the Richmond Police Department to follow Monroe to North Carolina, Tarasovic and his wife maintained their home in Richmond’s Fan District.
“Nothing would’ve brought me out of this fifth retirement, nothing other than public service in the city of Richmond,” Tarasovic said. “From day one I fell in love with this city.”
“My methodologies are not unique and yet I try to make them unique,” Tarasovic said when discussing his leadership style. “I believe in intensity and energy in everything we do we will work hard and we will work smart and we work focused.We’ll never let smart get in the way of working hard, it will just permit us to work harder.”
Tarasovic said he has established relationships in the community, government and law enforcement circles from his time in Richmond and he looks to grow and deepen those relationships.
“That’s my promise to you,” he said closing his prepared remarks.
The mayor noted he would like the chief to focus on the city’s murder rate.
“Presently we’ve got some work to do where our crime statistics are concerned. Certainly we want to keep trending positive in the areas that are moving up, but we also want to make sure that there is no further slippage in the areas that are going down,” Mayor Jones said. “During the years that Ray was the assistant chief in the city of Richmond we experienced a 34% reduction in major crime, a 43% reduction in homicide. I’m really looking forward to some strict attention paid to the homicide rate.”