English sworn-in as Harrisonburg police chief

Published: Sep. 10, 2018 at 6:45 PM EDT
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Eric English was sworn in as the new Chief of Police in Harrisonburg during a ceremony Monday morning.

The new head of law enforcement brings with him


Chaz Haywood, Clerk of the Rockingham County Circuit Court, administered the oath of office in council chambers. City leaders, former colleagues from the Richmond Police Department and some of English's family were present.

English told the room he looks forward to increasing engagement with the community and introducing innovative ideas and methods of operation.

English said one thing he plans to explore in-depth are parts of the agency's protocol.

"I'm trying to make sure that our policies are sound, they're policies that are not going to get our officers in trouble and we just want to make sure they are simple and easy to follow so that everyone understands them," he said. "That's one of the areas I feel like we can improve."

City Manager Eric Campbell announced his pick to lead the city's police force

— the leader's first major hire. His starting salary is $120,000.

English steps into the position less than a week after the bodies of Elizabeth Rodriguez Rubio and her 12-year-old granddaughter were found — a case which city police dedicated many hours to help solve.

He said the department will do what it can to provide closure.

"Your heart just bleeds for that family. My thoughts and prayers go out to that family. You can't help but think that family is really reeling right now, and we just have to have some support for them."

English said he would reach out to investigators to get more details on the case.