Richmond police react to chief’s resignation, replacement

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– The Richmond Coalition of Police is reacting to the resignation of Former Police Chief Gerald Smith as questions remain as to what led to his resignation.

8News spoke with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney Wednesday after the fallout of Smith’s resignation.

Reporters asked the mayor the reason for Smith’s resignation and if he asked Smith to resign.

“I respect the chief’s decision and I support and endorse Acting Chief Edwards taking the role over as Chief,” Stoney said. “All I can tell you — because this is a personnel matter right here — is that the chief tendered his resignation with the Chief Administrative Officer.”

According to Stoney, a meeting was planned on Tuesday between Smith and Lincoln Saunders, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer.

Saunders said Stoney was in favor of his recommendation to name Edwards as Acting Chief.

“I am looking forward to his solution-based leadership and team-building style which will be key to advancing the department,” Saunders said in a statement.

President of the Richmond Coalition of Police (RCOP), Brendan Leavy said the change presents “a bright future.”

“We’re looking for the next chief to restore faith and trust within the police department,” Leavy said.

RCOP said they are encouraged by the changes and will be meeting with Edwards next week.

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