Former Portsmouth Police Chief withdraws name from consideration to become next Montgomery County chief


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WAVY) – Former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman has withdrawn her name from consideration to become the next police chief of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Chapman had been nominated by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich on July 19. She was seen as a front runner after Takoma Park Police Chief Antonio DeVaul removed his name from consideration in July.

Elrich released a statement late Tuesday on Chapman’s withdrawal:

I have received a letter from Tonya Chapman stating that she has withdrawn her name from consideration to be Montgomery County’s next chief of police. She brought a wealth of experience and knowledge that would have been good for the County. I wish her the best in her future endeavors. Public safety remains a top priority for me and my administration; and I will move expeditiously, and carefully, to identify a new candidate for police chief for our County. Over the course of the past few months, I have received significant input from the community, and I am confident I will be able to select a new police chief soon.

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

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

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.”

Portsmouth Police say they separated from Chapman based on leadership issues.

Stay tuned to for updates on this developing story.

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