Hampton’s first Black police chief officially starts new job on Tuesday


Chief Mark Talbot was sworn in July 9, 2021 by Honorable Judge Michael Gaten. (Photo courtesy: Hampton police)

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton’s first ever Black police chief is officially stepping into his new role on Tuesday.

Mark Talbot, who came to Hampton after working in Norristown, Pennsylvania, was the “top choice after each round of the comprehensive interview process, which included more than 35 community leaders and staff,” said Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting.

While he was being introduced last month by the Hampton NAACP, Talbot said he wants everyone to be treated the same no matter their background, and wants to build trust in the community through a “minimum dose” approach.

Talbots says that includes not “arresting people and ruining their lives for minor violations” and prioritizing more serious matters.

“Policing must dramatically reduce the coercive mechanisms that we’re using to keep our communities safe,” Talbot said.

He also said he supports a citizen review panel.

“We have to do a better job of building systems that not only deliver public safety but identify police officers that behave in ways that are deeply inconsistent with the oath that he or she swore,” he said.

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