HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – The Hampton branch of the NAACP hosted an achievement recognition reception Tuesday at the Soul-N-the-Wall Restaurant to honor outgoing Police Chief Mark Talbot.
Talbot was sworn as the city’s first Black police chief 21 months ago in July 2021. Hampton NAACP President Gaylene Kanoyton said Talbot was able to successfully implement new tactics to better serve the city.
“He changed the culture of the Hampton Police Department,” she said. “In Hampton, he was the best. He mirrored what the NAACP stands for in terms of policing and what We support.”
Last year, the civil rights group reports under his leadership the city reduced homicide rates by 30% and non-fatal shootings by 25%.
Whalan McDew, Do Gooders of Hampton Roads President commend Talbot’s transparency on major cases in the city.
“He was that chief that didn’t mind letting you know what was going on in his department, whether it made him look good or whether it made him look bad,” said McDew. “Taking responsibility for some of the things that did not go right, he let you know that instead in most places you would have never heard about it. Those were the types of things we are appreciative of.”
McDew said Talbot also improved relationships with Black and Brown communities.
“Most people of color, especially men of color, our interactions with the police are mostly negative,” he said. “He has changed the way police are seen in the neighborhoods.”
Talbot will be taking over as Norfolk’s new police chief May 1, despite the concerns of the Norfolk NAACP branch and that of faith leaders with the hiring process of excluding the community.
During the April 11 Norfolk City Council meeting, Stacie Armstead, the Norfolk NAACP branch president, called on City Council to remove City Manager Dr. Larry Clip Filer. Armstead told 10 On Your Side she stands by the above statement today.
Talbot’s last day as the Hampton Police Chief was April 21.
The City of Hampton announced Apr. 18 in an email to HPD that Deputy Chief Orrin Gallop will become Interim Police Chief. Hampton also says they are beginning their search for the next permanent police chief.
Talbot will be taking over as Norfolk’s new police chief on May 1.