Roanoke community meets police chief finalist, Scott Booth

Chief Booth is credited with a lot of the violence reduction during his time down in Danville

ROANOKE, Va. – City leaders along with members of the Star City community got to meet the frontrunner for Roanoke Chief of Police.

Scott Booth currently serves as the Police Chief for the Danville Police Department. Over the course of his five years of work down in the river city, Booth has been able to reduce violence.

At one point, Danville had the state’s highest homicide rate per capita. Booth was able to mark a 35-year low in all crime in just two years on the job.

Now Booth is the finalist to become Roanoke’s next Chief of Police.

“I’m pretty confident in not only my abilities and my leadership but also in the organization that you already have on the Roanoke Police Department,” Booth said.

On Wednesday, city leaders and residents got to hear firsthand from Booth on his philosophy in policing. It’s one with a heavy focus on community policing.

City Manager, Bob Cowell, will be the ultimate person in charge of hiring the new police chief. He says after looking at Booth’s resume, it was a no-brainer to make him a finalist.

“It’s about executing on those approaches and what Danville demonstrates is that he has with his officers, with his city officials, with his Commonwealth’s attorney … all of those folks … he’s been able to bring everybody together and execute to a point at which they’re seeing real results. That was a big deal for us,” Cowell said.

Vice Mayor Joe Cobb who also is the Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Commission took some time to talk with Chief Booth about all the perspectives he’s gained by working in different places and at different positions.

“I’m just excited about the energy he brings, the knowledge he brings not only from working in Dulles but Richmond … some different scenarios,” Cobb said.

Booth said if he were to get the job in Roanoke, in week one people would immediately see him walking through the community to try and build more trust.

While Danville will be losing out on one of its leaders, Booth is confident the system he has in place will still work.

“I don’t know if they really want me to leave ... but part of me is drawn to another challenge. Part of me is drawn to the opportunities that Roanoke has to offer as well as those challenges. Most of all I’m drawn to the very comprehensive model that’s already in place in this community when it comes to problem solving,” Booth said.

City Manager Cowell told 10 News he plans on giving Booth an offer on Thursday.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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