Lynchburg police chief announces retirement from LPD to return to active duty

Chief Raul Diaz is stepping down September 1 to take a position with the U.S. Air Force.

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Lynchburg's police chief is stepping down in favor of an opportunity with the military. 

Raul Diaz will lead a United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations mission overseas, he announced Wednesday. He will go back on active duty status and relocate overseas. 

Diaz will retire from the Lynchburg Police Department, effective September 1. The City is now advertising for the position.

Here is the complete statement from Chief Diaz:

In April 2018, I was contacted and presented with an opportunity to lead a United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations (USAFOSI) mission overseas. Acceptance of this assignment would entail going back on active duty status and relocating overseas. The assignment equates to a career-broadening opportunity in Federal Law Enforcement with global impact. Due to the requirements of the mission, I was only given a small window of time for my decision. After serious contemplation and discussion with family and the City Manager, I determined that I would accept the USAFOSI assignment.

I will be retiring from the LPD effective as of September 01, 2018. I have chosen this date to remain as Chief during the Commonwealth Attorneys' (Alexandria/Virginia Beach) offices deliberations on two open cases involving my officers. I will continue as Chief addressing and responding to the findings of both cases once decisions have been reached and published. In addition, I also want to give the City Manager an opportunity to fill my position prior to my departure. I am confident in the current leadership at LPD, they are well equipped to provide stability for the employees and community through this transition and beyond.

It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve as the Chief of Police for the Lynchburg Police Department. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working alongside the men and women of the LPD. I am very grateful to them for their dedication, hard work and sacrifice done on a daily basis to keep our community safe. In my thirty years of law enforcement, I have never seen such devotion to duty as I have seen at the LPD. I will continue to be one of the LPD's staunchest supporters and champions no matter where I am. They are truly Lynchburg's finest.

I am grateful to Ms. Bonnie Svrcek, our City Manager, for her support, leadership and mentorship. Her advocacy for LPD has been and continues to be much appreciated. I am thankful of City Council for their governance and stewardship of our fair city. I would ask that they continue to give their backing and support to the men and women of the LPD, who do the challenging work of policing that is essential and often misunderstood and underappreciated.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the residents and community of Lynchburg. It has been an awesome and humbling experience serving this exceptional community. This is a wonderful community, full of caring and loving folks. Living in Lynchburg has been a blessing for me and my family. My family will continue to reside in Lynchburg during my overseas tour of duty.



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