DANVILLE, Va. – After fourteen years as chief of the Danville Police Department and more than forty four years in law enforcement, Col. Philip Broadfoot is hanging up his badge.
"It's time, and you know it. I think everyone knows that, when it's time to retire," said Broadfoot.
In Danville, Broadfoot leads a department with 238 employees in three divisions, with 153 (131 sworn) in law enforcement, 36 (34 sworn) in adult detention and 49 in juvenile detention.
While some people may speculate that the increasing gang activity in the city and last year's record sixteen homicides may have been a factor in the decision, Broadfoot said homicides are cyclical.
"We had a record low in 2014 and a record low in 2012," said Broadfoot.
City manager Ken Larking says the city will likely look for police chief candidates that have experience dealing with increasing gang activity and the number of homicides the city has had.
But, he says it's too early to say if there will be any public meetings for people to offer their thoughts on the qualities they want in the new chief.
"The exact specifics of our plan have not been laid out yet, so I'm not sure I can answer that question. Certainly, I would be interested in hearing that feedback," said Larking.
When asked if he has recommended any current members of the police department for the job, Broadfoot would only say that the final decision is up to the city manager.
Larking said the city will scour the country for the best candidate and he's confident the job will attract a lot of attention.
"It is a challenging environment, but it's a rewarding environment as well because I think we've got a lot of great things happening," said Larking.
The city's goal is to have a new police chief named by the time Broadfoot retires.