A packed-house gathering in City Council Chambers earlier this week welcomed Scott Booth as Danville’s new chief of police.
At a ceremonial swearing-in on Tuesday, Booth took the oath of office, which was administered by Clerk of Circuit Court Gerald Gibson.
City Manager Ken Larking expressed confidence at the ceremony that Booth was the right person for the City.
“Over the past several months, the City has undergone a thorough recruitment and vetting process to identify the next police chief,” Larking said. “He (Booth) has over two decades of law enforcement experience, including work at local, regional and federal levels. It was his experience in law enforcement and his philosophy on law enforcement that convinced me that Chief Booth was the best person for this position.
“The importance that he puts on working with communities to solve problems will have an immediate and long-term positive impact on our neighborhoods and city as a whole. Our City is focused on making Danville a desirable place to live. A big part of that is ensuring the public safety for those who live, work and visit our community.”
Booth thanked the men and women of the Police Department and other law enforcement agencies for attending the ceremony, as well as elected officials, City staff and members of the community who were present.
In talking about why he chose to seek the position as chief of police, Booth shared he had read a story published about the retirement of Police Chief Philip Broadfoot.
“One of the things that resonated with me was some of the statements that Chief Broadfoot made,” Booth said. “He said, ‘I have 44 years of law enforcement experience. I have a great Police Department that has done tremendous things for the city of Danville, but it is time for me to hand it off to somebody who can take it the next level. We have some challenges, and it is time to hand it off to somebody who can help the Police Department and the community handle those challenges.’”
Then when he first met Larking, Booth said he became inspired by the city manager’s words.
“He tells people, ‘Danville is a city on the move and you can either get on the train or not.’ I will tell you here, I am on the train and I am ready to move forward.”
Booth pledged to do the best job possible.
“I am everybody’s chief of police,” Booth said. “I want us to work together to solve problems and make this the best city we can.”
Booth assumed the duties of chief of police on Monday. He has more than 21 years of law enforcement experience, including 19 years with the Richmond Police Department, where he rose through the ranks to major.
Prior to coming to Danville, he served as deputy federal security director for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Transportation Security Administration in Charlotte, N.C.
Before accepting that position, he served as police chief of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
Booth was chosen from a field of 49 applicants through a national recruitment. The City hired Developmental Associates LLC in Chapel Hill, N.C., to coordinate the search. A 14-member assessment panel vetted finalists for the position. The panel included active and retired police chiefs, department directors and community members.
Booth is a Virginia native. Prior to beginning his law enforcement career, Booth served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant in a combat infantry platoon and a military police squad stationed in the United States, Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for service during Operation Desert Storm.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management and leadership studies from the University of Richmond and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in public policy and administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.