PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The most recently fired Portsmouth police chief has been rehired by the department, this time to serve as assistant chief, sources tell 10 On Your Side.
10 On Your Side’s investigative team has learned that former Police Chief Renado Prince will start as assistant police chief on Monday under his successor, Stephen Jenkins.
Jenkins shared the news in an email to staff on Wednesday.
This is the second time Prince has served as an assistant chief for the Portsmouth Police Department. He was initially hired in that role in 2018, then was promoted to chief of police in August 2021. He’s worked in law enforcement for about 40 years, with more than 15 years operating at the command staff and executive levels.
Prince was fired in July by the woman who brought him on to the Portsmouth Police Department – ex-Police Chief and former City Manager Tonya Chapman. Jenkins was appointed as interim police chief after Prince was fired. Jenkins served as interim for six months until he was officially appointed to the job in January.
Prince was terminated after only 10 months on the job. The city issued him a severance of more than $77,000, which was paid on July 22, 2022, according to city spokesperson Dana Woodson.
Chapman fired him on her third day on the job as city manager. In a statement, she said she didn’t take the decision lightly:
As the City Manager of Portsmouth, like any other leadership position, you must be able to make difficult and unpopular decisions. Whenever I am considering terminating an employee, I do not take this decision lightly. I hired Mr. Prince when I was the Chief of the Portsmouth Police Department. I realize that you have many questions, but this a City of Portsmouth personnel matter, and I cannot comment about the reason or any details due to privacy rights.Ex-City Manager Tonya Chapman
Chapman served as police chief from 2016 until 2019 when she said she was forced to resign by ex-City Manager Dr. L. Pettis Patton. Chapman joined the city again, this time as city manager, in June of 2022. That tenure was short-served when she was fired by the Portsmouth City Council in January.
City Councilwoman Lisa Lucas-Burke told 10 On Your Side that Chapman said Prince was fired due to a “breach of trust.”
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