Former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman to be nominated as Montgomery County’s next chief


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WAVY) – Former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman has been nominated by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich to head the police department there.

The nomination was announced Wednesday, July 19, through Bethesda Magazine with the possible confirmation expected in September.

“We’re going to have discussions and she’s going to be meeting council members,” Elrich told the magazine. A majority vote from the nine member council is needed for the confirmation.

Chapman has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years. She served with the Arlington and Richmond police departments before becoming Portsmouth’s police chief from February 2016 to March 2019.

Chapman, the first black woman to lead a municipal police force in Virginia, claims she was forced to resign.

Her departure as Portsmouth police chief met some controversy after Chapman claims that some in the department “quite frankly did not like taking direction from an African American female.”

However, the Portsmouth Police Department said they separated from Chapman due to leadership issues.

Marc Elrich told the magazine he was impressed during Chapman’s interview, referencing how she was the head of three previous police departments.

“You have to have a lot of confidence. And she did,” he said.

Stay with WAVY News 10 for updates on Chapman’s nomination.

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