NORFOLK, Va. — Another big change is in store for Norfolk’s Police Department. An assistant police chief is retiring this weekend, just three weeks after Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone announced his own retirement.
Michael Lynch, head of the Norfolk Chapter of the Virginia Police Benevolent Association, said it’s Assistant Chief T.C. Williams who is retiring.
On Tuesday night, Norfolk City Council will vote on two compensation packages for Boone and Williams that is worth more than $480,000 combined. If approved by council members, Boone will receive a lump sum of $307,931. Williams will receive a lump sum of $179,494.
Lynch said he doesn’t think council should approve the payout. He said police morale is low because of staffing shortages, high crime, and for what he’s calling "unfair promotions."
“I feel like they don’t need it. I feel like they’ve ran this city into the ground,” Lynch said. “Morale is... it’s not even low. It’s beyond low. It’s like, you’re scraping the ground to even get morale is how low it is.”
But Preston Carraway, the vice president of the Downtown Norfolk Civic League, said he’s not too concerned about the loss of Boone and Williams because Interim Police Chief Mike Goldsmith has a lot of experience.
“I look at it as an opportunity for new ideas," Lynch said. “Sometimes when a change comes in like this, you have some fresh ideas.”
Carraway said things are getting better Downtown; there are more police officers on the streets and more cameras on the way.
“You always have a little bit of concern whenever you lose a lot of experience, especially with your two top leaders like that. But the police force has a lot of experience to draw from down below, people who have been here for a long time,” Carraway said.
Norfolk city documents show Boone's and Williams’ retirements are effective on the same day, which is May 1.