From the City of Roanoke: Roanoke Chief of Police Chris Perkins announced his retirement today after more than 23 years as a member of the Roanoke Police Department. He will retire on March 1, 2016. Chief Perkins joined the department on October 12, 1992. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1 999, lieutenant in 2004, captain in 2006, and deputy chief in 2008. He became chief on October 13, 2010. “Chief Perkins was one of my first hires when I arrived in Roanoke and I couldn’t be more proud of the work he’s done,” said Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill. “His contributions, which are many, will have a lasting impact on not only the Police Department, but our entire city for generations to come.”
Click here to read Chief Perkins’ letter.
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During his tenure as chief, the Police Department began working together with other city departments and neighborhood volunteers to conduct regular community walks. He initiated the Drug Market Intervention in the Hurt Park and Melrose neighborhoods, which has reduced crime and quality of life concerns in those communities.
It was also during Chief Perkins’ tenure that the innovative Growth Through Opportunity (GTO) Cadet program began. The program helps adults with unique challenges hone their job skills so they can seek employment. All four of the first class of GTO cadets now has jobs. The second class of GTO cadets started in November.
Chief Perkins oversaw the creation of ISTAR (Intelligence, Statistics, Technology, Accountability, and Research), ensuring greater efficiency and accountability in the department. Chief Perkins worked together with command staff and officers in 2013 to reorganize the entire department, creating the Community Response Bureau, which allowed the department to focus on specific concerns within neighborhoods.
Chief Perkins worked with Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell to create a Public Safety Summit, which meets monthly and is an opportunity for the different agencies and organizations to work hand-in-hand to better the entire region.