Ronnie Lewis Jr. sworn in as Town of Bedford Police Chief

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 4:45 PM EDT
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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - There’s a new police chief in the Town of Bedford.

“It still hasn’t settled in,” says Ronnie Lewis Jr. moments after being sworn in. “I’m pretty much speechless.”

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Chief Lewis, a first responder with years of experience wearing a badge.

“I served about 14 years with the Lynchburg Fire Department and really developed a foundation about who I was and what I could do in public service,” he explains. “I had the opportunity a few years later to go to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, and then I was able to move to the City of Fairfax Police Department, where I was able to become a captain. I’ve had a great career, versed career and I think that’s what helped get me to this point.”

Chief Lewis’ vision for the nearly 30-member department has a few key components.

“Some of the goals I’m going to work on is just reviewing policy, making sure our policies match our culture. The second thing is making sure we’re doing a lot of the community events that we say we’re doing. Looking at our staffing. I also have the honor of working with our men and women in the police department in building our new police station.”

Retired Chief Todd Foreman had run the department since 2014, and says taking care of the community you serve is vital to success in the position.

“The advice I have for him is to be patient and calm with the community and build a relationship with members of the community,” notes Foreman.

Bridging gaps within the community is the backbone, Chief Lewis says, of his service.

“We’re here to serve the public as a whole. Everyone. Not just one part of the community. That’s the foundational approach I’m going to take is that we serve the public and that it is up to me to help build that bridge with the public. It’s not just the police department’s responsibility to solve crimes, it’s all of us so it’s my job to make sure we can build those bridges to make that happen.”

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