RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A change in leadership will soon be underway at the Richmond Police Department.
Mayor Dwight Jones held a news conference Friday morning to announce that Chief Ray Tarasovic is stepping down.
Tarasovic took over as Richmond’s top cop in February 2013. He had been assistant chief under Rodney Monroe until 2008.
Tarasovic retired but came back to take Chief Bryan Norwood’s spot. Norwood’s sudden departure in 2013 had many asking questions but it was known he and Mayor Dwight Jones had a rocky relationship.
That’s not the case with Tarasovic and Jones.
According to multiple sources, they get along very well and, two years ago, Jones asked Tarasovic to lead the police department. Sources tell 8News both understood it would be temporary and now Tarasovic’s ready to go back into retirement.
“Ray has been an excellent police chief. I’ve appreciated all of the energy and effort that he has put into the job,” Mayor Dwight Jones said at Friday’s news conference. “He has worked with a real heart for the community of Richmond and the public that he serves and loves. When I think about my time as Mayor, I know I will always think fondly of Ray Tarasovic.
Tarasovic has been a visible chief – showing up at crime scenes, going to community meetings, and conducting neighborhood walk-throughs.
His first year in office, 37 people were murdered. That number jumped to 42 last year.
Sources tell 8News Tarasovic took several weeks off in December to use up his vacation time before retirement.
Friday, Mayor Jones will announce Tarasovic will be gone by the end of February.
Many believe RPD Deputy Chief Alfred Durham will take Tarasovic’s place. He worked with Tarasovic years ago and was Monroe’s chief of staff.
In October, Durham retired from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department and a month later, he was back at RPD.
Insiders tell 8News Jones won’t name a new chief right away. That will likely happen within the next two months.
Stay with 8News for the latest on this developing story.