Harrisonburg announces new Chief of Police

Published: Jul. 31, 2018 at 1:09 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

UPDATE (1:33 p.m. July 31):

The City of Harrisonburg announced Eric D. English as the new Chief of Police on Tuesday afternoon.

At a 1:30 p.m. press conference in City Hall, City Manager Eric D. Campbell named English, the former deputy chief of police for the Richmond Police Department, as chief.

English is a 28-year law enforcement veteran who, until now, had spent his time entirely in Richmond. He worked for years as a patrol officer and as a bike officer before being promoted to deputy chief in April 2011, which saw him commanding about 400 patrol officers in four precincts.

Harrisonburg's police force consists of 112 full-time positions and 26 civilian posts, according to the city.

His experience ranges from patrol to property crimes to narcotics to the training academy to internal affairs.

“Chief English’s passion for community policing, officer development, and leadership will continue to inspire the superb level of service residents of Harrisonburg expect,” explained Eric D. Campbell, city manager. “I am excited to have him as a member of our executive team.”

Harrisonburg's search for police chief began after Stephen Monticelli resigned almost a year ago.

The search utilized a public survey, which Harrisonburg used to gauge what the community wanted to see in a new Chief of Police.

"It looks like we are off to a very good start," said Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed in the press conference announcing English's appointment Tuesday afternoon.

“I look forward to having the opportunity to work with the men and women of such a fine department,” explained Chief English. “I hope to help these officers continue to make a positive impact within the community, while also sharing and implementing strategies and lessons that I’ve learned through my career.”

Chief English will officially begin his role on Monday, September 10, and will receive an annual salary of $120,000.

Steve Sellers, who has served as Harrisonburg's interim Police Chief in recent months, will step down from the position at the end of the workday Tuesday.


City leaders in Harrisonburg have scheduled a press conference for July 31 to announce the selection of the city's next Chief of Police.

The press conferences comes almost a year after former Chief Stephen Monticelli

from the position.

Following Monticelli's departure, the city

last November. Sellers had retired from the Albemarle County Police Department in 2016 and is set to step down from the interim Harrisonburg position with the end of July.

In January, the city announced it would

to conduct a nationwide search for the next police chief.

The city then gave Harrisonburg residents the opportunity to weigh in on the decision through a survey that asked what qualities an ideal candidate for the position should have.

The most frequent traits people wanted were honesty, inclusitivity, fairness and a strong commitment to the community.

Building morale, recruitment and building trust within the community were atop the list of items the new chief should be focused on. You can find those survey results


Based on that feedback, the city had to narrow down a list of 67 applicants.

Harrisonburg's police force consists of 112 full-time positions and 20 civilian posts, according to the city.

The press conference is planned for Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall.