Richmond police chief resigns

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Richmond police chief calls homicide clearance report misleading
Richmond police Chief Allwyn Brown.

Richmond’s police chief resigned on Tuesday.

Allwyn Brown informed Interim City Manager Steven Falk of his decision to resign one week after the police rank-and-file overwhelmingly voted no-confidence in his leadership.

Richmond police Assistant Chief Bisa French has been appointed as Interim Police Chief, according to Falk, who made these announcements at the Richmond City Council meeting Tuesday night.

“I have been in conversation with Chief Brown and the first thing I did is thank him for 35 years of distinguished service to the city,” said Falk. “He accepted a noble and difficult assignment and he performed it with grace.”

Falk said he would not provide any further details into Brown’s resignation.

Falk said a permanent police chief will eventually be recruited, but not until after Jan. 15, when Falk’s position as interim city manager comes to an end. Falk assumed the city manager’s position nearly a month ago after former City Manager Carlos Martinez was fired amid a dispute with city unions.

“It is not my intention to initiate a recruitment for a new police chief during my tenure,” Falk said. “Interim Chief French and the police department will have an opportunity to perform at the highest level.”

Falk said he was impressed with Assistant Chief French and “pledged to her all of my support.”

Brown’s resignation comes as the city’s “crime rate is at its lowest point in decades,” Falk said.

Last week, however, it was announced that the Richmond Police Officers Association voted 117-19, or 86-percent, for no confidence in the chief’s leadership. In a statement, RPOA President Ben Therriault said the chief has failed to address management problems identified last year by an independent review of RPD, and that it has led to the departure of veteran officers to other departments.

Brown has yet to publicly respond to the RPOA actions or his resignation.

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