DANVILLE, Va. – Many people in Roanoke are hopeful the new police chief is going to make a big difference when it comes to violent crime.
In a 10 News exclusive, our own Jenna Zibton sat down with Scott Booth one-on-one to learn more about his plans for Roanoke City.
Booth officially accepted the role as Roanoke’s new chief of police. He starts on October 31. This comes after a long search for a new top cop following former City Chief Sam Roman’s departure back in July.
Booth is no stranger to law enforcement. He is currently serving as the police chief for the City of Danville. For about five years, Booth has had success in his efforts to curb crime in the river city.
In previous years, Danville had the highest homicide rate per capita in the Commonwealth. 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.
We asked Booth what concerns he was walking into the police chief job in Roanoke.
Booth said some of the same things he faced in Danville are concerns.
“There’s always going to be some organizational challenges there just because I am going to call on them [officers] to do some things different. I am going to ask them to be more in the community. I am going to ask them to be more focused and I’m going to ask them to be more accountable and all those things sometimes are hard. It involves change and any organization, especially any police department, change comes hard. But I’m relentless. I will never give up on how if I believe and this is a course of action that’s going to make our department and our community better, then that’s the course we’re going to take,” Booth said.
You can see more of our interview with Chief Booth starting Monday morning on Virginia Today from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.
We talked for more than an hour about:
- His biggest challenge coming into Roanoke and his vision
- How he’s going to get the trust from the community of police
- Overcoming skeptics
- His plan for reducing gun violence and violent crime
- His greatest achievement in Danville
- Staffing challenges
- How Danville continues fighting crime effectively when he’s gone
- Why he decided to take the Roanoke job
- How Danville continues its success with community engagement and the drop in violent crime