Norfolk police chief promoted to deputy city manager

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk Police Chief Michael Goldsmith has been promoted to the role of deputy city manager.

Police spokesman Daniel Hudson confirmed to 10 On Your Side Friday morning that Goldsmith was taking the position.

Goldsmith will be responsible for police, fire, emergency operations and neighborhoods. He will be the liaison between public safety and the city manager’s office.

Read: Goldsmith Letter to Police

“I fell like it is going to be a good thing for the city,” Goldsmith added.  “It is going to be a great thing for the police department to have Larry running it he will build on the base we have and take us to the next level.”

Current Norfolk Chief of Police Michael Smith stands with City Manager Marcus Jones. Credit: City of Norfolk
Current Norfolk Chief of Police Michael Goldsmith stands with City Manager Marcus Jones. (Photo: City of Norfolk)

Goldsmith had served in the Norfolk Police Department for 27 years, and currently serves on several regional and national law enforcement boards.

Deputy Chief of Police Larry Boone will take over as chief on Dec. 1, 2016.

“I am thrilled to pass the baton to Deputy Chief Boone,” Goldsmith stated Friday. “…Not only has Deputy Chief Boone demonstrated operational excellence, he has grown the diversity of our force and developed strong community partnership and
outreach programs.”

Boone started his career with Norfolk police 27 years ago — on the same day as Goldsmith.

“My background is full of challenges,” Boone said. “I’m not going to blink. I might lose some sleep, but I’m not going to blink.”

“He understands, certainly, what the job is,” Goldsmith added. “He understands the pressures of the job and I think he’s ready for it.”

Both Goldsmith and Boone know how difficult is it is to be a police officer in 2016. They say it’s even harder to be a chief.

“I think we are at a time in police where we have to act quickly, rather than being parochial like we have,” Boone added.

Part of that is building trust with the community.

“One of the things I’ve learned when you are able to build authentic partnerships, people will reach out and touch you,” Boone said.

Goldsmith has come under some fire in recent months. Since Mayor Kenny Alexander took over, he has been critical at times with the police department.

“It’s not uncalled for,” Goldsmith said. “It’s the mayor’s job to represent the people of the city. If there is an issue there, I would expect the mayor to comment on those things.”

Some of those things involve recent police-involved shootings and how the police department would investigate itself.

“You can’t go to any city with the stuff that is happening and the pressures that are placed on policing and not see where people can become frustrated and express their opinions,” Goldsmith said.