PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Angela Greene, who has been serving as the interim chief for the Portsmouth Police Department since March, was sworn into office at City Hall Friday morning.
The city announced Greene as the new leader of the department last week.
Greene has spent 19 years behind the badge and joined the Portsmouth Police Department as assistance chief in August 2016.
Most of her law enforcement career has been served in Richmond.
“The fact that she has so many chiefs from across the state being here is a credit to her leadership and how she’s respected in the state.” said Mayor John Rowe at the ceremony.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew, another Richmond veteran, was among her supporters. He says, “Angie has a compassion for people and…you can’t teach that, and I think that’s where she leads from her heart and she will do wonders here in Portsmouth and the community and the department are very blessed.”
Greene took over as interim police chief three months ago after the abrupt resignation of Tonya Chapman — the first black woman to lead a municipal police force in Virginia.
Chapman says she was forced out of the position, alleging acts of systemic racism and discrimination that has launched an ongoing FBI investigation into the department.
Greene says she never saw the racism that Chapman alleged and addressed the investigation following her oath of office on Friday.
“While these accusations would have caused most police departments to be in turmoil and further divide officers amongst the ranks, our officers proved themselves to be above reproach,” said Greene.
She explained how she is moving the department forward. “We had mandatory training for the entire police department, sworn and civilian, for cultural diversity, as well as implicit bias training.”
Greene says that training will continue, but her first priority is reducing crime. “So, you’ll see the officers a lot more on bicycles and walking in those areas, but that’s our number one priority is making our community safe and then strengthening, internally, our relationships with each other.”