Charlottesville city manager appoints interim police chief

Thierry Dupuis will occupy position following Al Thomas retirement

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Dupuis will begin his term Jan. 2 and serve while the city searches for a new police chief.

Courtesy City of Charlottesville

Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones announced former Chesterfield County Police Chief Thierry Dupuis will serve as Charlottesville interim police chief, according to a Wednesday press release. Dupuis will begin his term starting Jan. 2. 

The announcement comes over a week after former City Police Chief Al Thomas announced his retirement. Thomas had been in the role for a little over a year after taking the helm in May 2016 following former police chief Tim Longo’s retirement. The City of Charlottesville began searching for a new police chief immediately following Thomas’s retirement announcement.

Although Thomas nor the city provided reason for his retirement, the announcement followed the release of the Heaphy report which was presented to City Council two weeks earlier. The report heavily criticized the Charlottesville Police Department, University Police Department, Virginia State Police and City Council for a lack of preparation ahead of the Aug. 12 ‘Unite the Right’ rally. 

Dupuis served as Chesterfield County’s police chief for 10 years until he announced his retirement in September. He had spent almost four decades working in law enforcement in the Richmond area and had been in Chesterfield County since 1979. 

"Chief Dupuis established a distinguished record during his nearly 40 years as a law enforcement official in Chesterfield County," Jones said in the press release. "We have many dedicated officers in our department and I'm confident Chief Dupuis will do an excellent job of guiding them and our civilian staff as we search for a new police chief." 

Dupuis has membership on several associations and boards. According to the press release, these included the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Executive Board of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and Foundation, the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation and the Board of Trustees for the Fork Union Military Academy.

"I would like to thank Mr. Jones and the City Council for this incredible opportunity," Dupuis said in the press release. "Charlottesville is a special place and I look forward to working with the members of the community, the police officers and the staff during this interim period."

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