‘It’s not easy to leave!’ Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic to retire in February

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic will retire in February, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones announced during a Friday press conference.

"You've carried yourself like a  young man: energetic, enthusiastic, committed and interested," Mayor Jones said about the police chief. "He has had the community at the very heart of his work and I think that he has done a fine job."

Tarasovic, who served under former Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe, retired in 2008. Mayor Jones brought Tarasovic, 66,  out of retirement and hired him as chief in February 2013.

Tarasovic said the decision to leave was not an easy one.

"There's a lot of selfishness in this decision to leave. I want to begin the next part of my life. I want to be a better husband a better father and a better grandfather," Tarasovic said. "These two years have been the most gratifying and rewarding of my career."

While the city planned to post the police chief job opening, the mayor indicated he did not want to hire someone who planned to change direction. He said he anticipated being able to promote from within the Richmond Police Department.

"Whoever is going to be our chief has got to have a strong commitment to community policing. I might venture to say that we have not had some of the problems that other cities have had because of our connection to the community," Jones said. "We are not looking to change courses, we are looking to make sure that we continue the same kind of progress that we have. And those persons are on the team. So that's what we are looking to do, to keep this good thing going."

The mayor conceded while homicides were up last year, all other city crimes stats were down. The mayor also said he would be opened to putting body cameras on Richmond Police officers.

This is a developing story.