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Crime

Mayor Stoney appoints interim Richmond Police Chief William Smith to permanent post

Chief Smith, 51, began his law enforcement career with RPD in 1995 and has risen through the ranks of the department over a 24-year career. Since January 1, he has served as Interim Chief of Department following the retirement of former RPD Chief Alfred Durham.

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Mayor Levar M. Stoney on Wednesday announced the appointment of Richmond Police Department Interim Chief William C. Smith to become the next chief of the department.

Chief Smith, 51, began his law enforcement career with RPD in 1995 and has risen through the ranks of the department over a 24-year career. Since January 1, he has served as Interim Chief of Department following the retirement of former RPD Chief Alfred Durham. He is the 18th chief to lead the Richmond Police Department and is the first chief to be promoted internally since 1967.

“Chief Smith is thoughtful, detail-oriented, accountable, compassionate, and fair,” said Mayor Stoney, who announced the appointment at a press conference this afternoon at RPD headquarters. “Over the last six months as interim chief, I believe he has demonstrated the dedication to duty, willingness to confront challenges head-on, and commitment to serve the community that our city needs and our residents deserve. I believe he has what it takes to lead the men and women of RPD in a positive direction to protect and serve our community in the spirit of inclusivity and equity that are the foundation of One Richmond.”

After being introduced, Chief Smith said he was humbled and grateful for the support he has received from the city and the community.

“I would like to thank Mayor Levar Stoney and CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn for their leadership of the city, their support of the Police Department and their faith in me,” said Chief Smith. “I am humbled by the opportunity to serve this city in the capacity of Police Chief.  I, likewise, am overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from the community and I am dedicated to providing the best service to all of Richmond. We are a transparent, community policing organization committed to developing relationships within the city we serve,” Chief Smith continued. “As Mayor Stoney frequently states, we are One Richmond.”

The Mayor’s appointment follows an extensive national search and recruitment process that included, for the first time in recent memory, weeks of community engagement to provide public input into the selection process.

“The chief of police is one of the most important jobs in any city government, requiring skills that go well beyond policing itself,” said Mayor Stoney. “Community engagement is one of the core functions of policing in our city, so that is why it was important that we listened to our residents and prioritized the public input we received in our process. Our search for the best candidate led us back to our own backyard.”

Chief Smith was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1998, lieutenant in 2003, captain in 2007 and major in 2016. He was promoted to deputy chief in 2018. He has served the department in virtually every capacity during the course of his career, from Emergency Communications (2007-2009), to commander of the Third Precinct (2009-2011), to running the Special Operations Division (2011-2016), to the Business Services Division (2016-2017) and serving as chief of staff (2018).

“Chief Smith knows this department inside and out – and he knows and respects the Richmond community he has served for nearly a quarter of a century,” the mayor said.

Chief Smith holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond, as well as the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston.
A date for a formal swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled in the near future.

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Crime

Four charged for throwing objects at restaurant patrons, rocks at police car, and assaulting officer Tuesday night

On Tuesday night a group of individuals walked through Richmond, eventually damaging vehicles and buildings in several areas in the city and causing unrest. Four were arrested.

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On Tuesday night a group of individuals walked through Richmond, eventually damaging vehicles and buildings in several areas in the city and causing unrest. Four were arrested.

After leaving Monroe Park, the group headed west along West Main Street. At approximately 9:54 p.m., individuals in the group were observed throwing objects at patrons at a restaurant. Soon after, officers observed an individual throw a large stone and damage an RPD K-9 vehicle. A photo of the stone that was recovered is attached. Later, that same individual was seen throwing an object against a business. As officers moved to arrest this individual, a group member assaulted an officer.

An unlawful assembly was not declared and no chemical agents were deployed.

The Department consulted with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney on possible charges and charged four individuals. Their photos are attached.

Paxton Chapman was charged with obstruction of justice, carrying a concealed weapon, and pedestrian in the roadway.

Saraswati Rowe was charged with obstructing free passage.

Harrison Sellers was charged with inciting a riot and throwing a missile at an occupied vehicle.

Michael Toney was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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Crime

Arrest made in Chamberlayne Avenue homicide

Richmond Police detectives have made an arrest in the homicide of Estelle Pugh that occurred earlier this month on Chamberlayne Avenue.

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From Richmond Police:

Richmond Police detectives have made an arrest in the homicide of Estelle Pugh that occurred earlier this month on Chamberlayne Avenue.

Louis Ellis, Jr. surrendered to authorities in Florida after Richmond Police Department detectives, investigating the homicide, originally charged Ellis with felony credit card fraud in connection with the murder. His booking photo is attached.

Ellis has now been charged with first degree murder and felony assault after a welfare check was conducted and Pugh was found murdered at approximately 8:22 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6, in an apartment in the 3600 block of Chamberlayne Avenue.

Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to call Detective A. Sleem at (804) 815-7123 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

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Crime

VIDEO: Police seeking suspect in armed robbery at convenience store on Mechanicsville Turnpike

Just after 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 20, an unknown male entered the 804 Market in the 1600 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike. He displayed a handgun, gave the clerk a plastic bag, and told him to fill it with money.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify the individual in the photos and video who is the suspect in a commercial robbery that occurred earlier this month.

Just after 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 20, an unknown male entered the 804 Market in the 1600 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike. He displayed a handgun, gave the clerk a plastic bag, and told him to fill it with money. The suspect then fled with an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen running east on Fairfield Avenue.

Anyone with information about his identity is asked to call First Precinct Detective D. Jones at (804) 646-0689 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used.  All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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