Retirement luncheon held to honor Danville police chief

Chief presented with mementos from elected officials, police department

DANVILLE, Va. – As Danville Police Chief Col. Philip Broadfoot wandered around Tuesday, talking to people attending his retirement luncheon, he had mixed emotions.

First and foremost, he was excited.

"First, family and friends are here to celebrate my retirement, and second, my retirement is in sight," Broadfoot said with a big smile.

He became chief in 2003 after 13 years as chief in Waynesboro, Virginia, where he began his law enforcement career in 1973.

He said the conduct of the officers of the Danville Police Department is what he'll remember most from his tenure as chief.

"I think the thing that sticks out in my mind is the dedication and resolve that I have seen in police officers. It's been an honor to work with them, to count them as my friends and to count them as my colleagues," Broadfoot said.

Dean Hairston has been deputy chief for Broadfoot's entire 14 years as chief.

He said Broadfoot has the best temperament of anyone he knows.

"You just can't make the guy mad. He has a wonderful disposition. He's very fair, he's very honest," Hairston said. "It's just been a pleasure working with him all these years. I've learned so much from him."

Danville city manager Ken Larking said the search for a new chief is about finished.

"We've got some top candidates we're taking a closer look at. Hopefully, we'll be able to make an announcement here in the next couple of weeks," Larking said.

Broadfoot said he offers his support to whoever the city manager decides to hire.

"I encourage everyone else to do that. The new chief is going to need it. There are a lot of challenges that we have to face," Broadfoot said.

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