Charlottesville city manager recommends new police chief

May 15, 2018 GMT

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A former George Washington University police chief has been tapped to lead the city of Charlottesville’s police department after its previous chief departed in the aftermath of a white nationalist rally.

Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones announced Tuesday at a news conference that he had recommended RaShall M. Brackney of Arlington for the job. In addition to having led George Washington University’s department between 2015 and 2018, the 55-year-old Brackney is a retired 30-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, according to city officials.

During her tenure as a law enforcement official, Brackney has overseen SWAT teams, hostage negotiations, special events, patrol operations and major crimes, the city said in a statement.

She was the top choice out of 169 applicants, Jones said.

“Chief Brackney is very mindful of the expectations of modern police departments and I’m confident she will work diligently to ensure the men and women of the Charlottesville Police Department continue to live up to those high standards,” he said.

Brackney will be the first permanent successor of Chief Al Thomas, who retired in December. Thomas, who was 50 at the time, left after the release of a scathing report about the August “Unite the Right” rally that found serious police and government failures in responding to the violence that erupted.

The City Council will formally consider Brackney’s appointment at a meeting Monday. The council members participated in conducting interviews for the job and spoke favorably about Brackney at the news conference.

She is expected to begin work on June 18. Her starting salary will be $140,000, city spokesman Brian Wheeler said.

Charlottesville’s four top officers will jointly supervise the department in conjunction with Jones’ office in the meantime, Wheeler said.