ROANOKE, Va. – After serving the city for more than 39 years, Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones is set to retire.
Jones' retirement will go into effect Feb. 1, 2020.
Below is a statement Jones sent to 10 News:
"On Tuesday August 20th, I submitted to the Office of the City Manager a letter advising him of my intention to retire effective February 1, 2020 with 39 years of service. It has been a privilege to serve the City of Roanoke, especially the last three years as Chief of Police. I am thankful for the continuous community and business support of the Roanoke Police Department. I ask that the community continue to support these men and women of RPD who work tirelessly each day to keep this community safe. It has been my honor to be their Chief of Police."
Jones was named acting chief after the retirement of Chris Perkins on March 1, 2016. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education, the 232nd class of the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia, and the Senior Management Institute for Police Executives at Boston University.
City Manager Bob Cowell will soon initiate a national search for a new chief. He said he will consider candidates at the department and across the country. The process will involve an executive search firm and will, as in similar searches in the past, include extensive community engagement.
Jones has been the center of attention for his controversial comments on rape, shootings and the city's needle exchange program, though Cowell said he doesn't think that impacted Jones' decision to leave.
"You arrive at that point where you say, 'I've done what I can do. The chief had indicated in conversation, he said, 'it's time for somebody that's got a little more gas in the tank.' So, I think he's recognized he wants to do some more things with his life and what a great time to do it," Cowell said.
Cowell added that the search will be tough to find a qualified chief and he will be looking for certain qualities.
"Making sure they're interacting with neighborhoods. Making sure that they've involved the community in policing and what goes on," Cowell said. "It's a tough job, so I"ll be looking for someone who feels comfortable with the toughness of that job."
Over the next few weeks, additional information regarding the search and the associated timeline will be provided.