‘Seeking progressive, innovative, experienced leader’: VB lists police chief position as 42-year veteran retires

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — With the current police chief set to retire in just two weeks, the City of Virginia Beach has posted the position for hire.

In an online listing posted Wednesday, the city says it’s looking for a “progressive, innovative, experienced leader.”

Candidates must be highly innovative, collaborative, visionary and empathetic with experience in leading and managing large, complex operations,” the online post reads.

The position will pay up to $166,900 and will remain open until it’s filled.

The current Virginia Beach Police Chief James A. Cervera is required to retire by age 65 under city code. His birthday is this month.

Cervera has been with the department for nearly 42 years.

Some members of City Council, including the mayor, pushed to change the mandatory retirement age back to 67 last year.

At the time, Cervera said he would gladly stay if he was able to.

Under the chief position job description, the city said the chief will lead a full-service police agency with about 1,059 sworn and non-sworn personnel. The department also has 12 captains 26 lieutenants and 94 sergeants.

Candidates for the police chief position will “ideally” have a master’s degree in criminal justice, public administration, business administration of another related field, as well as at least 12 years of experience as a sworn law enforcement officer with leadership roles.

The priority screening date is May 18. Applications filed by that date will be guaranteed for review.

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