police organization calls on Richmond chief to resign | Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The police organization that represents about half of Richmond’s sworn officers is calling on Chief Gerald Smith to resign after a membership poll showed “no confidence” in his leadership.

Leaders of the Richmond Coalition of Police announced the results of the investigation at a press conference on Thursday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Mayor Levar Stoney said through a spokesman that he would not fire Smith. The police department has not commented.

Rank and file members of the department have lost faith in Smith’s ability to lead, said coalition vice chairman Carl Scott. Of the 328 members of the coalition, 261 responded to the survey and 96% said they had lost faith in Smith, he said.

“On behalf of the majority of our membership, we respectfully request Chief Gerald M. Smith to resign immediately so that his replacement can continue to restore the RPD to its former glory,” he said. If Smith doesn’t resign, Scott said officers are asking Stoney or general manager Lincoln Saunders to fire him.

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The investigation comes after nearly a year of complaints about low pay and morale. In October, Smith told board members the department had 102 vacancies and more than 70 officers were furloughed. This left the department operating at approximately 75% of its authorized strength of 750 sworn officers.

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Aubrey L. Morgan