Richmond International Airport police chief departs after six years at the helm

Captain Matthew Tenney will serve as interim chief until a replacement is hired.
Richmond International Airport Police Chief Richard “R.J.” Clark has left the department, officials confirmed on Wednesday, but the circumstances of his departure after six years at the helm were not disclosed.

“The Commission, as a matter of practice, does not make comments on personnel matters,” Perry J. Miller, president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Commission, said Wednesday in a statement provided by airport spokesman Troy Bell.

The change in command was announced Monday, and airport police Capt. Matthew Tenney was named interim chief until Clark's replacement is hired, according to airport sources. The airport's police force has 31 sworn officers and one civilian employee.

Christopher Winslow, a member of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors who serves on the airport commission, confirmed Clark's departure but declined to say whether he was fired or left on his own. “As a personnel matter, I cannot comment other than confirm that he is no longer employed,” Winslow said.

Clark, a former Henrico County police lieutenant and tactical services commander, was hired as airport chief about six years ago. His experience with Henrico's SWAT team helped him get the job, which former RIC President and CEO Jon Mathiasen cited in a 2016 interview as an attractive attribute in the post-9/11 world.

“It brought a whole new educational level and training to our department that we felt was needed, knowing what's going on in these days, with a lot of tragedies in public areas,” Mathiasen said at the time.

Clark couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment.

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