Crime & Safety

After serving the people of Roanoke for more than 10 years , RC Police Chief Howard Hall to retire on January 1

Roanoke, Virginia – Authorities play a crucial role in maintaining public safety and order, as they are responsible for enforcing laws and regulations, protecting citizens from crime and harm, and ensuring that justice is upheld. For more than a decade, Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall has successfully represented the department to the community and government officials while building and maintaining positive relationships with everyone involved in the process, especially with his colleagues. Recently, he announced that he is going to retire, a decision that will be effective on January 1, 2023.

Since starting his police career, Hall has been working in Baltimore, Maryland, for 26 years, until 2012, when he accepted the Roanoke County’s Police Chief role. For more than a decade, Hall has been the head of the department, and he has now decided to turn in his badge. Initially, Hall announced his retirement in September. When he announced his retirement, the Roanoke County PD said they swore Hall in as Police Chief in August of 2012, and in his time with the county, he is credited with the following:

  • Development of an officer wellness program,
  • Construction of the Roanoke County Criminal Justice Academy,
  • Incorporation of a data-driven approach to crime and traffic safety,
  • Officer training for response to individuals in mental health crises,
  • Working with the school system to increase safety measures.

Although Hall is to “blame” for numerous accomplishments over the years, he said that his biggest one is getting better pay for officers. He added that most of the accomplishments are the result of his team’s hard work.

“Particularly in 2020, 2021 retention was an issue. We lost a lot of officers. And that happened across the profession. It’s not a Roanoke issue, a Virginia issue. It’s across the United States,” Hall said to WSLS. “Our officers now have a career path defined… Compensation far, far better than what we had.”

According to Hall, the department seems to be in good shape, but there is still much to be done, and his successor will definitely have a hard time recruiting and retaining officers. Just like hundreds of departments across the country, the department is facing an employee shortage, something that Hall’s successor should focus on the most.

Michael Poindexter becomes Chief of Police January 1, 2023.

Chief Hall said that he will spend most of his time traveling as he already booked several cruises for next year.

Marco Harmon

I was born and raised in Roanoke, VA. I studied Communications Studies at Roanoke College, and I’ve been part of the news industry ever since. Visiting my favorite downtown Roanoke bars and restaurants with my friends is how I spend most of my free time when I'm not at the desk.

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