Henrico County introduces new police chief

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Humberto Cardounel was introduced as the new Henrico Police Chief on Tuesday.

Cardounel is a Freeman High School graduate and was born and raised in Richmond. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Richmond and a master’s degree in public administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Before being named chief, Cardounel was Deputy Chief of the department’s investigative unit and was part of the police chief’s executive staff.

The incoming chief says he lives by a simple philosophy, “Do the right thing.”

He adds, “We here in Henrico value honor, professionalism, commitment, compassion and accountability, so I hope I bring all of that wrapped up in one package.”

Cardounel joined the Henrico Police Division as a patrol officer and a SWAT Team medic in 1988. He has risen through the agency’s ranks from officer and investigator to sergeant, command sergeant, lieutenant, captain and major, a position assigned in 2015. He also has served as deputy chief for the Patrol Bureau, led the Criminal Investigations Section, developed and implemented the Homeland Security Section and provided leadership and service to the Training Academy, Internal Affairs Unit, Media Relations Unit, Organized Crime Section and Personnel Unit.

As police chief, Cardounel will oversee an agency responsible for providing law enforcement for Henrico’s more than 325,000 residents and a community covering 244 square miles. The department has 624 sworn police officers and a budget of $69.2 million for fiscal year 2015 to 2016.

Cardounel will be sworn in during a ceremony April 15. He will become the 16th individual to serve as Henrico police chief since 1915. Cardounel doesn’t anticipate making any sudden changes. He says, “We have a lot of good things in place so the trick is to look, listen and then move forward.”

Outgoing Henrico Police Chief Doug Middleton will now be taking on a new role as Deputy County Manager of Public Safety. He served 43 years on the force.

It is a bittersweet time for Chief Middleton who explains, “”I’m leaving with a lot of fond memories as I bid the men and women here farewell, but it’s with a lot of love in my heart also.”

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