Chief Scott Booth plans to bring Danville’s proven community engagement model to Roanoke

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:32 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Chief Scott Booth will soon leave the Danville Police Department to become Roanoke’s new police chief.

Chief Booth has won multiple awards for his community policing model and efforts to reduce violent crime within Danville. During his five years at the Danville Police Department, Danville’s violent crime rates went from the highest in the state per capita to the lowest they have been in 35 years.

In 2016, there were 16 homicides. By 2020, there were 5.

“We’ve done some phenomenal things to certainly make it a safer community and a department that the community trusts and views as legitimate,” said Chief Booth. “We put a lot of work into focusing on violent offenders, focusing on where crime occurs, who’s committing crime, and on building positive relationships with the community. So, I’m very proud of that.”

Chief Booth will begin at the Roanoke Police Department October 31.

He says he plans to build a strong team and use community engagement to reduce violence in Roanoke.

“Finding leaders within the organization that were ready to rise up and work with the community and do good things has been very fulfilling for me. I look forward to doing the same thing in Roanoke to make sure that we are addressing crime and building a strong community engagement model,” added Chief Booth.

Roanoke recently hit a record high number of homicides this year at 26.

Chief Booth says Roanoke’s crime levels drew him in the same way Danville did in 2017.

“Roanoke has had a number of challenges this year when you’re looking at the levels of gun violence. I know that good policing combined with working with the community and focusing on violent offenders can reduce crime. So, I’m ready to go there and work with the team and build a team that very much will reach a level of success, like I feel that we did here in Danville,” said Chief Booth.

Chief Booth says he believes Danville will continue to progress after his departure.

“The city itself has transformed since I got here in 2018. I’ve seen so much growth in the city. I think there’s so much positive momentum. There’s a lot of positive momentum in this police department too. So, I think the leadership team here will continue to move things forward.”

As for his next few weeks in Danville, he plans to meet with the people who have helped him grow professionally and do everything he can to make sure the city continues to move forward after he leaves.