Officer claims new police chief was called ‘hatchet man’

Posted at 12:07 AM, Feb 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-14 00:14:14-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—Tuesday, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones replaced Police Chief Bryan Norwood  with Ray Tarasovic, who came out of retirement to take the postion.

CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones sat down with the mayor to find out if the new police chief is here for the long haul.

"He can hit the ground running and that's what I expect him to do,” said the mayor.

With Ray Tarasovic now on the job as Richmond`s police Chief, some are raising questions over whether or not he was the right choice.

CBS 6 asked why Tarasovic--brought out of retirement for the job--would replace Norwood if he’s never really been a police chief.

“Because being number two is a good way to get to be number one,” said the mayor.  He also said that Tarasovic “will be here as long as we need him.”

Tarasovic, who was second in command under former Richmond Chief Rodney Monroe, has decades of experience in cities including Washington D.C. and Charlotte, N.C.

In Richmond, in 2007, he came under fire for his role in removing Richmond School leaders from City Hall.

"I refer to him as a hatchet man, as did many officers while he was with the department.”

Retired Richmond Police Sergeant David Childress describes his relationship with Tarasovic as adversarial at best.  “I met with him a couple of times on various issues and it never went well,” said Childress.

Childress believes it will be a rough transition for Tarasovic.

"Just because of bringing a man in that is not liked by the officers is going to be a lot of low morale, turmoil within the department which will be problems that will be seen by the public,” said Childress.

Other officers on the force saying Tarasovic is an outstanding officer.

Ray Tarasovic was officially sworn in as Richmond’s Chief of Police on Wednesday.