NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - "So my last day is tomorrow," said Norfolk Police Chief Bruce Marquis as he sat in his office, walls bare, with boxes stacked on the floor.
His retirement came three years too soon.
"My plan, personal plan, family plan was to remain chief of City of Norfolk for at least 10 years and take a look around after that. I wanted to stay with the city quite frankly. I had advised a couple of people I wanted to put the badge and gun up and move into city administration, but that's obviously not going to happen now," said Marquis.
He admitted he was caught off guard when City Manager Marcus Jones called him into his office in February.
"He wants people who can build better relationships. I guess my question to him was relationships with whom? My relationships with the community are fine, never better. My relationships with peers other department heads are fine," said Marquis.
Over his head though, clouds of controversy. He admitted he got too emotional with 10 On Your Side's Andy Fox during a news conference regarding the death of police recruit John Kohn.
"I let the reporter get to me with his insistence that he thought I should have read, and in fact I didn't answer his question as correctly as I should have answered the question and I let my emotions get the best of me. I'm an emotional person but all I can say is he got the best of me and it wasn't the right time. I was merely trying to explain the circumstance behind what took place and I lost my cool and I regret that," Marquis said.
Marquis received a lot of criticism for failing to read the full report on Kohn's death. Most importantly the punches he received from an instructor. "Go and ask the people you have already. Again if I have another assistant chief sitting on this floor who didn't know until January when he saw it on television, I can't provide any more any answer for that."
Earlier this month 10 On Your Side asked acting police Chief Sharon Chamberlin about the head blow. 10 On Your Side obtained an email stating she knew December 21st. She didn't want to discuss the issue.
During his seven year tenure, Marquis said he's made a lot of positive changes. Officers have improved communications, better working conditions, better equipment. Most importantly, he's proud to get the department state accreditation.
"Make no mistake about it. I'm not a happy camper leaving here under the circumstances of how I'm leaving. There's some bitterness in me, there's some anger in me and there's some sadness in me, make no mistake about it but as the saying goes, it is what it is," Marquis said.
And as far as his replacement?
"There's a lot of fine individuals here, high quality individuals, very intelligent individuals, educated individuals, I think some would want an opportunity to interview for the chief's spot here, quite frankly some of them deserve it. I also don't think its bad for the city to look outside," said Marquis.
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