Long-time Prince William County Police Chief “Good Time” Charlie Dean has announced he will be retiring as of Sept. 1. The county better engage in a nationwide search for a new police chief capable of leading a force charged with protecting Virginia’s second largest county and one of the nation’s ten wealthiest. (We certainly don’t need a repeat of the sham search the BOCS conducted for a new county executive that resulted in the promotion of an incompetent underling.)
We need a chief who subscribes to the Giuliani way. Someone who adheres to the “broken windows” theory of law enforcement. Graffiti needs to be wiped away as soon as it appears. Property owners must properly maintain their buildings and land or else face citations. Those loitering or engaging in disorderly public conduct should be made to either move along or be arrested.
I have been calling for Dean to retire / be fired for about four years now as he has not been able to provide the county with the type of leadership our police force needs in the changed environment we have found ourselves in over the past decade. From his ill-advised (and ultimately constitutionally unnecessary) revocation of portions of the county’s Rule of Law resolution dealing with illegal aliens to his lack of initiative on installing cameras in police cruisers to his lax pursuit of petty crimes, Dean has not been a good fit for this county for a long, long time. (The camera issue is especially rich in light of a recent incident where a police officer wouldn’t approach a suspect in a stolen property case because surveillance video wasn’t clear even though the victim identified the alleged thief and used the “Find My iPhone” app to trace the property to the address he was at.)
The rank and file police who go out and risk their lives every single day to protect us deserve much better than this.
Here’s hoping that is what they get with the county’s next police chief.