10 NEWS EXCLUSIVE: New Roanoke City Police Chief responds to department report

ROANOKE, Va. – A new report is revealing some of the strengths and weaknesses inside the Roanoke City Police Department.

The over 200-page report has 145 recommendations for the department. 10 News spoke with incoming police chief Scott Booth exclusively about his thoughts on the assessment and recommendations made.

“One of the things that was probably most concerning to me that I think on Day 1, I know on Day 1, that I can impact is when it talks about trust and communication within the organization,” Booth said.

Staffing was identified as another challenge the department is facing. At the time of the report, Roanoke City PD was down 38 police officers, causing the department to have to decrease patrols and other proactive crime measures.

Booth said when he officially takes over he’ll take steps to boost morale so recruitment will follow.

“When they see the things that we’re doing in regards to reducing crime, when they see what we’re doing in regards to community engagement, they’ll want to be a part of that team,” Booth said.

The summary states that the Roanoke City Police Department, overall, provides quality law enforcement services.

A Roanoke Police spokesperson released a statement on the findings Tuesday saying in part,

“The report shows us that there is work to do, but by and large we are providing professional service to our community. We acknowledge that there are recommendations in areas that need improvement, and are committed to making the necessary changes to make our agency thrive and succeed.”


City manager Bob Cowell also spoke out.

“While as with any similar assessment, the report identifies areas for improvement and enhancement, it also identified areas of excellence and best practices and concludes that the Department continues to provide quality law enforcement services for the residents and businesses of Roanoke,” Cowell said, in part.

About the Author:

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.