ROANOKE, Va. – Following a long search for Roanoke’s next top cop, the City of Roanoke has announced a new chief of police.
Scott Booth is stepping down from his role as Danville’s Police Chief to be Roanoke’s new police chief.
In July, former City Police Chief Sam Roman left the police force after being appointed to serve as an Assistant City Manager. Now, the City of Roanoke is looking to Booth to lead the way.
This isn’t Booth’s first rodeo and he’s already a well-known figure within the community. Currently serving as Danville Police Chief, Booth has seen much success in his efforts to reduce crime in the river city.
In previous years, Danville had the highest homicide rate per capita in the Commonwealth. In fact, from 2016 to 2018, Danville was rife with violence, with 800 reports of crimes like homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
However, after Booth took charge in 2018, Danville saw a significant improvement in gang and gun-related crimes. Within just two years, Danville was able to mark a 35-year low in all crime.
Booth hopes to bring his success to Roanoke, a city that has seen an uptick in violence in recent years, especially gun violence. Given that Danville has a system in place that works, Booth feels comfortable with stepping away for a new job.
“While I am disappointed that Chief Booth will be leaving us, I am incredibly thankful for what he and his team have accomplished under his leadership,” Danville City Manager Ken Larking said. “I am happy for him to have this new opportunity and for the people in Roanoke. Scott and the department have built a winning system in Danville.”
Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones mirrored this notion, saying, “He’s done a great job for the City of Danville, and he deserves praise for the work he has done. To see crime at the lowest rates in years, the partnerships between the police department and the community that are now in place, and the high level of engagement and trust with citizens speaks volumes for Chief Booth and the entire department.”
Last week, Roanoke City Manager Bob Cowell told 10 News that it’s a no-brainer that Booth is the perfect fit for the role.
“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,” he said.
Booth’s last day as police chief in Danville will be Oct. 31.
Jenna Zibton talked to Danville police chief Scott Booth last year about how they found success battling gun violence. As he is back in the spotlight—up for the new job as Roanoke’s chief—his track record could mean positive changes for the Star City.