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Office of the Chief of Police
Chief of Police
Colonel K. L. Wright, Chief of Police, commands a growing department with over 525 police officers and civilian personnel. The Department is responsible for providing police services to over 223,000 citizens within an area of 353 square miles comprising the City of Chesapeake, which is located in the southern portion of Hampton Roads and is bordered by the City of Virginia Beach to the east, the City of Norfolk and Portsmouth to the north, the City of Suffolk to the west, and the State of North Carolina to the south. The Chesapeake Police Department is divided into three major Bureaus, which are Patrol Operations, Criminal Investigations, and Support. Each Bureau is commanded by a Major, reporting to the Deputy Chief of Police. The Department has a strong commitment to Community Policing and provides a wide range of innovative and progressive law enforcement services.
Chief Kelvin L. Wright was born and raised in the city of Portsmouth, Virginia. He joined the Chesapeake Police Department in 1982. Chief Wright began his career as a patrolman then moved on to become a Field Training Officer, Traffic Enforcement Officer, and Defensive Tactics, RADAR, Firearms, and General Instructor. In 1992, his promotion to Sergeant led him to positions as a Patrol Supervisor, Special Investigations Section Supervisor, and Emergency Dispatch Center Supervisor. His promotion to Lieutenant in 1996 placed him in the position of the Executive Officer of the Second Precinct. In this capacity he was instrumental in the continuing development and implementation of the Department’s pilot Community Policing Program in the South Norfolk section of the City.
In 1999, Chief Wright was promoted to the rank of Captain. He served in various positions, including Commander of the Records and Support Section, Commander of the Second Precinct, and the first Commander of the newly opened Fifth Precinct. While a Captain, Chief Wright developed the Department’s current districting and manpower plan, which effectively doubled the number of officers working during the day and evening shifts. He also organized and partnered with citizen groups and civic leagues to address community concerns and implement strategies to reduce crime and improve the quality of life, successfully increasing crime prevention/neighborhood watch programs by 20%.
After his appointment to Major in 2003, Chief Wright commanded the Professional Standards Bureau. His responsibilities included leading, directing, and overseeing Policy & Procedure formulation, Ethics and Conduct, Crime Prevention, Crime Analysis, Animal Control, Intelligence, Gang Prevention and Intervention, and all functions of the Department’s Police Academy including recruitment, testing, and hiring of new applicants. Kelvin L. Wright was appointed to the position of Chief of Police with the rank of Colonel on April 1, 2008.
Shortly after being appointed Chief of Police, Chief Wright created and implemented a department-wide crime reduction strategy that has significantly reduced both property crimes, and crimes against the person in the City of Chesapeake, which has always been associated with the safest cities in the Nation.
Chief Wright’s educational accomplishments include an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tidewater Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Saint Leo University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Troy University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Public Administration with an emphasis in Urban Policy from Old Dominion University. Chief Wright has completed the Southern Police Institute’s (SPI) Administrative Officers Course, the University of Richmond’s Professional Executive Leadership Program (PELS) and the Virginia Beach Police Department’s West Point Leadership Program.
Chief Wright currently serves on the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police Training Committee, which makes recommendations for police executive training. Moreover, Chief Wright has been an Adjunct Professor at the Chesapeake Campus of the Tidewater Community College teaching classes on Police Administration, Juvenile Justice, Police Management & Leadership, Criminology, and Criminal Investigations.
Chief Wright’s professional affiliations include the International Association of Chief's of Police, Virginia Police Chief’s Foundation, the American Society of Public Administrators, the Conference of Minority Public Administrators, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Virginia Area Maritime Security Commission (VAMSC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Hampton Roads Chief's of Police Association (HRCOPA) where he has served two terms as President.
Chief Wright has received numerous letters of thanks and recognition during his career as well as the City of Chesapeake’s Star Performer Award and City Manager’s Award. Chief Wright has also received the Police Department’s Meritorious Police Service Award twice, and the Community Service Award from the American Legion Post #190.
Chief Wright is active in his church where he serves as a Deacon and Sunday School teacher. His community activities include coaching little league athletics, being a youth mentor and speaking at local schools. Chief Wright is a resident of Chesapeake and he and his wife, Janet, have two sons.