Tonya D. Chapman
Chief of Police
Chief Tonya Chapman brings visionary leadership and high-quality service to our City and to the Hampton Roads Region. Chief Chapman’s professional career in law enforcement spans over 29 years, becoming Virginia’s first African American female chief of a municipal police department. Prior to her appointment as Chief of Police, she served as the Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia, as appointed by the Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2014. From 2011-2014, she served as Deputy Chief of Police with the Richmond Police Department. Chief Chapman began her law enforcement career as a Police Officer in 1989 with the Arlington County Police Department and aggressively progressed through the ranks, becoming Arlington’s first African American female Captain. Her leadership experience includes the areas of operations, managing patrol deployment, emergency management, criminal investigations, forensic investigations, fiscal management, human resources, policy development, project management, strategic planning, employee development, community policing, public relations, and school resources.
Her educational background includes candidacy for a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Administration/Public Policy with a concentration in Homeland Security. She holds Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Public Administration degrees, in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Education, all from Virginia Tech. She also holds a certification as a Law Enforcement Officer from the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Chief Chapman attended numerous leadership schools to include the Senior Management Institute of Police (SMIP), which is hosted by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and taught by professors at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive’s Mentoring Potential Chief Executive Officers Program; and the International Association of Chief of Police’s Leadership Development Program.
Chief Chapman’s professional memberships include the International Association of Chief of Police (IACP); the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); and the Virginia Chiefs of Police Association (VACP). She currently serves as the President of the Hampton Roads Chiefs of Police Association (HRCOPA) and was appointed as Chair of the Criminal Justice Service Board by Governor McAuliffe in 2017.
With her vast knowledge, professionalism, ethical standards, community engagement and passion for public safety and law enforcement, combined with her demonstrated strengths in communication and collaboration, Chief Chapman will be a dedicated partner in building our New Portsmouth, and a welcome addition to the Portsmouth Family.
CONTACT | 757-393-8257