Outgoing Richmond police chief strived to be ‘honest, open and transparent’

RICHMOND,Va. -- Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham, who is now less than two weeks away from retirement, is reflecting on his four years overseeing the department.

Although Durham is looking forward to spending more time with his family, he said the decision is still bittersweet.

“It seems like... the stress, the struggles and the pain and struggles that felt in my heart over these past four years, trying to make a difference in the community, there was not that many thanks," Durham said. "But once I announced my retirement, everyone's saying , 'Chief, you’ve done a good job.'”

The 55-year-old law enforcement veteran is readying for his next chapter with just 11 days left until retirement.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham

“As a man, my integrity and credibility means everything to me," Durham said. "I’ve tried to be as honest, open and transparent that I possibly could be.”

Durham believes the public's perception of the Richmond Police Department has changed during his tenure thanks to new tactics like transparency and community engagement.

“I would just hope that whoever replaces me will continue to be transparent," Durham said. "When you look at polling today you can see there are troubles across the country, but I believe we have done a lot over the last four years.”

As Durham prepares to exit, he said the department is working on becoming for efficient when it comes to data.

"Right now we’re in the process of looking to get a new data management system,” Durham explained.

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham

Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham

The department is working to figure out the most accurate way to track, record and analyze the thousands of emergency calls that come in every week.

“Whatever folks in the community, whatever we’re looking for from a staffing standpoint, investigative standpoint and service standpoint," Durham said. "We can bring all of that information together.”

Additionally, Durham said the department is readying for red-light cameras in the city.

“Getting a procurement or contract in place where we can start installing photo enforcement, red light violation cameras throughout the city,” Durham said.

Durham is hopeful the city's 19th police chief will keep the momentum going.

The Richmond Police Department

The Richmond Police Department

“This legacy is not mine alone to share," Durham said. "Its my wish and my desire that the men and women of this police department stay the course, because there's always room for improvement.”

Durham said he will appoint an acting chief until the mayor selects an interim one.

Durham, who retired from the Washington, D.C. Police Department, but also worked in Richmond for two years under former police chief Rodney Monroe before he became RPD chief, said he will split his time between RVA and our nation's capital.