MONTGOMERY Co., Md. – Former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman has withdrawn her name from consideration to become the new police chief of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Police Department.
Montgomery County Executive Mar Elrich issued the following statement on Chapman’s candidate withdrawal:
I have received a letter from Tonya Chapman stating that she has withdrawn her name from consideration to be Montgomery County’s next chief of police. She brought a wealth of experience and knowledge that would have been good for the County. I wish her the best in her future endeavors.
Public safety remains a top priority for me and my administration; and I will move expeditiously, and carefully, to identify a new candidate for police chief for our County.
Over the course of the past few months, I have received significant input from the community, and I am confident I will be able to select a new police chief soon.
Chapman’s abrupt resignation from the Portsmouth Police Department in March stirred controversy. She became Virginia’s first African American female chief of a municipal police department when she took on the position in February 2016.
On the same day of Chapman’s resignation, the Portsmouth NAACP issued a statement saying black leaders were being eliminated from city positions.
In April, Portsmouth City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton said Chapman’s departure was due to “concerns with the leadership of the department.” Chapman said Patton forced her to resign, and Chapman alleged racism from some members of the department was a factor in the decision.
The FBI said they were investigating allegations of racism, but did not elaborate on exactly what they were looking into.
Angela Greene, who stepped into the role of acting police chief after Chapman’s departure, was sworn in as the city’s new chief of police in June.