'Honored and pleased'; Roanoke's police chief talks tenure, retirement plans

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - After near four decades on the force - Roanoke City's Chief of Police says it is time to retire. Chief Tim Jones notified city leaders earlier this week.
And he sat down withWDBJ7 Friday to talk about the decision.

He said personally and professionally, he feels he just knew it was time to make the decision. Despite controversies during his tenure and even calls for his resignation, Jones said he has no regrets on the decision but did have some advice for the person who succeeds him.

"It's time to end a chapter, and open a new one."

Nearly forty years ago, Tim Jones was fresh on the force at the Roanoke Police Department. It's a chapter of his life that will close in February as he formally retires. It's a decision he says was entirely his own.

"No real mystery there," he said. "No one saying, 'Chief, it's time for you to go.' From any particular office. It was all my choice."

Jones said he hopes people look back on his tenure at chief as one of community investment, enrichment and transparency. He noted his decision early on, to hand some internal investigations over to state police.

"Many would maybe say Chief Jones has been a dinosaur, but I've been in a very fortunate position to see the progressive change come to this organization."

Jones advises his replacement to have thick skin and be prepared to stand their ground.

"That's just part of the business. Sometimes you got to take the heat, you're gonna make the tough calls. And people are gonna be critical, I knew it three years ago, it's proven to be true. But I have no regrets."

Overall, the Chief says he will be miss the department greatly, but says he'll still be part of the fabric of local law enforcement.

"Very honored and pleased, I've got a few more months left- it's been a great career, a great ride."

Jones says during retirement, he's planning on beach time and working on the honey-do list. The start of a nationwide search for his replacement will begin in a few weeks.

We asked Jones if he would prefer an internal candidate over an external. He didn't say which was his preference, but does feel his department has talent to take on the job.