Michael Gibson, chief of the University Police Department, will be retiring this summer, according to an announcement from U.Va. issued Wednesday evening. Gibson has worked with UPD since 1982, starting as a patrol officer, then as a general investigator, narcotics investigator, sergeant and shift commander. He was appointed interim police chief in October 2005 and was instated permanently in January 2007.
As police chief, Gibson launched the Ambassador Program and joined into a cooperative patrol agreement, where UPD officers are allowed to operate in specific parts of the City of Charlottesville.
Gloria Graham, the University’s associate vice president for safety and security, and Patrick Hogan, the University’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, have created a task force to find candidates for Gibson’s replacement. Dean of Students Allen Groves will chair the search committee, which will include administrators, academic faculty, former Charlottesville Police Chief and director of the public safety administration program at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies Tim Longo, Charlottesville Fire Department Chief Andrew Baxter and third-year College student Devin Willis.
Gibson was by former U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy — who was commissioned by the City of Charlottesville to independently review police actions after the deadly Unite the Right rally last August — for failing to create a “comprehensive plan” to keep white nationalists and counter-protesters separate on the evening of Aug. 11, when white nationalists marched through Grounds with torches.
Gibson did not return a request for comment.