By Jim Smilie
Alexandria Mayor Jacques M. Roy announced plans to replace Alexandria Police Chief Ronney L. Howard in remarks to the Alexandria City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday night.
“There will be a change in the police chief shortly,” Roy said. He added that the search process, which includes advertising the vacancy and conducting a police chief examination, will begin immediately.
Howard, who joined the Alexandria Police Department as a patrol officer in 1990, was named chief by former Mayor Jeff Hall on May 28, 2021, following the retirement of Jerrod King. King retired effective Nov. 1, 2020. Howard served as interim chief until he was appointed to the full-time position.
In his remarks to the council, Roy did not indicate if Howard is still leading the department or if an interim chief would be named. A message left with Howard requesting comment was not immediately returned.
In addition to his plans to replace the police chief, Roy told the council members a new fire chief would be named soon as well. Former Alexandria Fire Chief Larry King announced his retirement in November of 2021 and Curtis F. Beauregard has been serving as the interim Fire Chief.
Howard’s appointment as police chief was met with some controversy. Hall appointed a citizen’s advisory committee to offer input regarding selection of a new chief. Howard was not one of the top three candidates recommended by the citizen’s group, leading to some members criticizing the selection.