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City of Roanoke Announces New Chief of Police

Scott Booth has been named as the new Chief of Police for the City of Roanoke, effective October 31. Notable accomplishments during Booth’s tenure as Chief of Police in Danville, Virginia, include transitioning from the highest per capita violent crime rate in 2017 to a 35-year low in all crime in 2020.

Roanoke Police Chief Scott Booth

“I believe that what works is community policing and creating an environment that is reflective of the City of Roanoke,” Booth says. “Focused policing, specifically on violent offenders, and accountability at all levels of the organization is what is needed to reduce crime and build trust.”

Five years ago, Danville was experiencing high levels of violent crime, and Booth says that many people thought community policing wouldn’t work.

“Today, the Danville Police Department has experienced a drastic reduction in violent crime and has built strong trust with the city,” Booth says, noting that it was a change that only happened “because the city and police came together as one and moved to make the community better.”

Roanoke City Manager Bob Cowell says that the residents and business owners in Roanoke made it clear that the City needed a Chief of Police with a proven record of community engagement, strong leadership, and crime reduction.

“There is no doubt that Chief Booth has the demonstrated ability to lead our City Police Department—building on a foundation already established, with a continued emphasis on prevention, intervention, and enforcement,” Cowell says. “Chief Booth’s leadership of our officers and our community will ensure Roanoke remains a safe place for residents, businesses, and visitors.”

With more than 27 years of law enforcement experience, Booth not only served Danville since 2018, but he also was Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Washington Airports

Authority; a Police Major, Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, and Officer for the City of Richmond; and a Sergeant in the U.S. Army

Booth holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and leadership studies from the University of Richmond, a master’s degree in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a doctorate in criminal justice from Pennsylvania Western University.

The recipient of numerous accolades, he earned the Frederic Milton Thrasher Award for

Leadership in Law Enforcement from the National Center for Gang Crime Research; the Innovation in Government Award from the Virginia Commonwealth University Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs; and the Excellence in Policing Award from the Radford University Center for Police, Practice, Policy, and Research.

Please direct media inquiries to [email protected].

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