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City council votes in favor of outgoing Norfolk Police Chief Boone's retirement compensation

Chief Boone
Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 23:30:17-04

NORFOLK, Va. - In a city council meeting Tuesday night, council members voted 7-1 in favor of outgoing Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone's additional retirement compensation.

Boone will get an $307,931 in additional retirement compensation. Vice Mayor Martin Thomas was absent and did not vote.

This Friday, Boone officially retires from the Norfolk Police Department after 33 years of service. He served as the city's top cop for six of those years.

The ordinance states Boone shall receive money calculated by the city and the account balance he would have gotten if he had entered the city's Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) for sworn police and fire employees on May 1 and took part in the program for the maximum time period of four years.

People voiced support for the funds at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“We all know that what the police do is not easy,” Norfolk resident JP Paige said during the meeting.

Paige spoke to News 3 about why he was in favor of the ordinance for Boone.

“I'm a bail bondsman,” he said. “I've heard from several of my clients, several of people I encounter when I’m out and about that don’t normally deal in the realm of police, that have nothing but great and respectful things to say about the chief's tenure in the City of Norfolk as a police officer.”

The city agenda also confirmed that Assistant Police Chief T.C. Williams will also be retiring on May 1, the same date Boone's retirement goes into effect.

A similar ordinance was on the agenda for retiring Assistant Chief Williams.

The money for Williams totaled $179,494.

“This is a foolish ordinance, and you’d be foolish to approve it,” one Norfolk property owner said.

Some spoke against both ordinances, with recent claims regarding the police department's morale.

“As the leaders of this city, it’s your fiduciary responsibility to spend the city’s capital wisely,” a Norfolk property owner said before the council. “Wasting nearly half a million dollars does nothing to improve the morale of the police department.”

Others had questions about the money for Chief Boone.

“Is this a golden parachute? Is this hush money?” one man said.

Meanwhile, during the vote, city council member Paul Riddick expressed support for Boone's funds.

“I think Chief Boone has done an exemplary job during his time as chief,” Riddick said.

As far as the ordinance for the money for Assistant Chief Williams, the city council removed that item from the docket in the middle of Tuesday night’s meeting.

News 3 talked with Norfolk council member Tommy Smigiel after the meeting. Smigiel said the ordinance for Williams was stricken from the agenda and will not be voted on in the future.

News 3 anchor and reporter Zak Dahlheimer attended the meeting and will have updates on News 3 at 11.