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Portsmouth Police Chief resigns, interim named

The Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya D. Chapman resigned.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Portsmouth Police Chief resigned on Monday.

Portsmouth City Manager L. Pettis Patton accepted Police Chief Tonya D. Chapman resignation on March 18, and Assistant Chief Angela Greene has been named interim Police Chief. 

Greene will begin as chief effective immediately.

The reasoning for Chapman's resignation has not been announced. She has served in law enforcement for over 29 years. Chapman became Virginia’s first African-American female chief of a municipal police department when she was sworn-in in 2016.

Throughout the years, many people said Chief Tonya Chapman made her mark on the community. 

“With her coming to the meetings and being involved and making sure we had representatives kind of changed our image of the police department,” said Historical Truxton Civic League President Chester Benton.

Over the phone to 13News Now, several civic league presidents said they’re surprised Chapman is stepping down.

“She was very personable. She came out the first time she came to one of our meetings, she was sitting there and she just fit right in, and we didn’t even know it was Chief because she fit right in,” Benton said.

They said Chief Chapman helped start new programs benefiting the community. One program was the reset walks.

“They went through and went door to door and they talked to people in the neighborhood, and it calmed people down and let them know what the shooting was all about,” said Benton.

The interim chief, Greene, has served on the Portsmouth Police Department since 2016. She started her law enforcement career with the City of Richmond Police Department in 2001.

Greene became a patrol sergeant in 2005, with the implementation of sector policing starting in the Richmond Police Department. As a sergeant, she supervised the personnel and recruitment unit, cadet program and the training academy. 

In 2009, Greene was again promoted to the rank of Lieutenant where she served as a sector lieutenant for Richmond’s Southside area. In 2012, she was promoted to the rank of Captain where she served as a watch commander in charge of high-risk operations, major crimes and significant events or incidents.