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Interested in coming back to VA-Norfolk, Richmond, Henrico


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  • Interested in coming back to VA-Norfolk, Richmond, Henrico

    Hi all,

    I was born and raised in Hampton Roads and am researching my options if I leave active duty; I'm interested in Virginia police departments. I've seen a few recent related posts but I have a few follow-on criteria (I know that realistically these may not all be in the same department):

    -I'm not tied to a specific location, but would like an area with a variety of activity and opportunities, from violent crime, anti-narcotics, and undercover/vice work if possible. Norfolk and Richmond came to my mind for this reason.

    -I'm looking for a good amount of OT opportunities, both since I don't mind working 60+ hours a week to ward off boredom and I'll be taking a substantial pay cut if I leave the Marines, depending on the starting salary.

    -Department morale: I love the esprit de corps in my current job; any departments that stand-out above others?

    I read good things about Henrico PD on here-are they mostly rural or do they get some bleed over from Richmond? Norfolk and Richmond also pique my interest due to the population concentration, so any info on them would be awesome as well.

    Thanks for the info on the wide swath of questions. Semper Fi.

  • #2
    First, thank you for your service.

    When I ETSd from the Army, I applied with Prince George and Chesterfield, as well as a few departments in Maryland. When I did my ride along with Chesterfield and saw how the officers interacted with one another, I knew it was the department for me. The esprit de corps is there, at least it was for the four years I was with the department (left in 2012).

    Chesterfield currently works 12 hour shifts: 2 on, 2 off, 3 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off, repeat. Something very close to that anyway (when I left we were doing 9 hour shifts 5 on 3 off). There were plenty of overtime opportunities - some paid cash, some added money into your county check, and some you were an actual employee of the other business and you received a separate check from them). There was also a fair amount of OT opportunities within the department; you could volunteer for DUI patrol when offered. You could work as much or as little OT as you wanted, the key was being a fast responder to OT messages on your MDC if you didn't have any regular OT gigs.

    I think Chesterfield starts at $39k/year, which is competetive with other departments. Where it falls off is that salary increases are few and far between. You'd probably make more at Henrico from what I've heard.

    I know you didn't ask for info on Chesterfield, but don't rule them out... I had a great time with them. Best of luck to you!
    Chesterfield County Police


    • #3
      I currently work for Chesterfield. Starting salary with them is 40k now, but as Mysticine said, raises are slim. With career development that Chesterfield offers, you are eligible for raises every two years if you make your points. The OT right now is plentiful as we are short staffed all across the board, but even when we are not short, OT is always being offered up for other gigs.

      Morale throughout patrol is hit or miss. The change to 12 hour shifts has had an enormous impact on officer comradery, for the worse. Several of the more senior officers retired if they were eligible and others just resigned. This caused the department to have a hiring spree meaning a vast majority of the officers are young guys and gals. They have also implemented a 4-year plan for officers with 4 or less years on the department. If you are one of those officers, you move to a different shift/platoon every year for 4 years from end of FTO. Chesterfield being a young department, about 40-50% of the officers in patrol fall into this plan which creates a huge divide between the young guns and senior guys because once you build up a good relationship with one another, you move. That being said, when you're on shift, most officers get along and work good together.

      The department has its issues. They all do. Henrico I hear good things about, but they are micromanaged more then we are in Chesterfield, which could be annoying after a while. But they have a better starting salary and better raises and better equipment to an extent, but like I said, have their issues. Chesterfield and Henrico offer both rural and metro type areas so you get a little of everything depending where you work. A nice perk is that both these agencies have take home cars.

      Richmond, those guys run all day every day. They are busy. I don't know much about them but I think its safe to say they have the highest violent crime rate in the area. With Richmond you will get everything you mentioned in the first part of your post but be prepared to work. Richmond does not offer a take home car so its car of the day with them (at least I think).

      I suggest researching departments that interest you till your blue in the face. You may read what someone says, but do ride alongs and develop your own opinion, only you know what you'll like. Don't limit yourself though as this is a very competitive field to get into so apply away. Your service gives you a leg up, but there are several other veterans going for these positions too.

      Feel free to PM me if you have anything you want to ask.
      Good luck and thank you for your service!


      • #4
        Awesome info-thanks for the detailed replies. I'll definitely keep Chesterfield in mind-I met a few people from there when I went to Virginia Tech. I'll have to figure out how to get in on a few ride-alongs; I value the candid responses on here and know that I might get a more rosy picture on a "department-sponsored" activity.

        Please keep the recommendations coming, especially if you've got info on Norfolk or Richmond. I'd be willing to sacrifice some of the benefits like a take-home car if my job satisfaction kept me engaged.


        • #5
          As a chesterfield native, I can speak on this some. Yes there is some bleedover from Richmond into Henrico. A lot of people consider parts of Henrico in the city of Richmond. You have areas like the "east end" which has a reputation of its own, and that is all henrico. A lot of the departments in the area I have been told also have mutual aid, so in Henrico you would be respond could be responding or helping with some Richmond calls. Same with chesterfield, especially around the eastern midlothian area also near route 10. Norfolk has a bad rep for corruption and people hate cops there. I am originally from Norfolk area and I have a lot of family there still, and my mom grew up there. People there still hate cops, however they do fight crime with an iron fist so I have been told, so that could be what you are looking for. Hampton and newport news are good as well, with better benefits as far as take home cars etc.


          • #6
            Last edited by NJFIRSTCLASS_09; 02-28-2016, 10:06 AM.


            • #7
              Henrico is a good department to work for and have a lot things to offer. Henrico is getting a raise right now and its career development is really good. Two years you get a raise as long as you have the college credits and stay out of trouble. (Henrico will pay for 15 credits per year for you if you don't have a bachelor's) You might not see the kind of crazy action in Richmond, but you still have your fair share of drugs and crime from the city coming into the county. IT also depends where you are. IF you are in the East End and Central Henrico you get the drugs, guns and all the cool stuff. West End is the wealthy side of Henrico so there is a lot of fraud and other type crime. There is a lot of change for movement in the department and there is always academies hiring.

              As for the schedule, its pretty awesome. You are 4 on 4 off. Also you get paid OT if you are an evening or midnight guy anytime you step foot into court. As a midnight guy, i get three hours of OT for being in the court for 2 minutes. Day officers only get it, if they have court on their off days. As for other OT, i can't speak to that of yet but I hear there is a lot.

              EDIT: BTW Henrico is hiring right now. They have the 59th academy in now. The 60th starts in a few months and the 61st will start in May. Starting for Henrico is 43032.08 20.69 per hour.


              • #8
                Keaner1476 do you currently work for HPD? Do you know how many officers they're looking to hire for the Academy in May?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Navarretg View Post
                  Keaner1476 do you currently work for HPD? Do you know how many officers they're looking to hire for the Academy in May?
                  Yes I do. I don't know exactly. It seems like they want more officers though soon.


                  • #10
                    They should go back to hiring laterals and I'd peace out of NOVA in a heart-beat. Henrico starting pay is the same as my agency's.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lakerfan91 View Post
                      They should go back to hiring laterals and I'd peace out of NOVA in a heart-beat. Henrico starting pay is the same as my agency's.
                      Are you VA certified? If you are talk to a recruiter.


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