Tonya Chapman sworn in as new Portsmouth Police chief

Posted at 12:00 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 17:00:10-05

Portsmouth, Va. - The City of Portsmouth has a new police chief and she's the first African-American woman who has been appointed to the position.

Tonya D. Chapman was sworn in as Chief of Police on Monday morning. She had most recently served as the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In her swearing-in speech, Chief Chapman said Portsmouth Police officers will be held to the highest ethical standards.

"The Portsmouth Police Department's values are respect, integrity, service and excellence and I promise to ensure that our officers will uphold these values and I guarantee that our officers will be held to the highest ethical standards," she said.

Inside the Portsmouth City Council chambers, the family of William Chapman watched as the new Chief took office. William Chapman was the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by Portsmouth Police officer Stephen Rankin in 2015.

The Commonwealth's Attorney charged Rankin with murder.

William Chapman's family had a peaceful protest and walked from the Portsmouth City Courthouse to Portsmouth City Hall on Monday morning. They said they wanted to welcome the new chief and also ask for change in the department.

NewsChannel 3 asked the Chief Chapman about their concerns.

"I was not here when it happened so I can't say what those changes need to be. I certainly am open to meeting with the family and seeing what their issues or the changes they'd like to see done," she says.