Charleston's new Police Chief hails from Virginia
Associated Press, Aug 5, 2006
- Charleston has picked a Virginia lawman to be its top
cop after a nearly yearlong search.
Gregory Mullen, deputy chief of the Virginia Beach Police
Department, was named the new police chief Friday by Mayor Joe
Mullen, 46, has worked 21 years in Virginia Beach, rising from a
beat cop to become a leader in a department more than twice the size
of Charleston's 368-officer police force.
The search attracted more than 137 candidates from across the
"I found the right person. Law enforcement is in his blood," said
Riley, who interviewed Mullen three times before making his choice.
Mullen, whose father is a policeman and brother is a fire chief
in North Carolina, will start work Oct. 1 at a salary of $129,500.
He replaces Reuben Greenberg who led the police department for 23
years before retiring last August - two weeks after he was accused
of angrily confronting a woman who had called 911 to report the
chief's erratic driving.
Interim Police Chief Ned Hethington, who has led the department
during the search, will retire when Mullen takes over.
Mullen served as a special agent in the Air Force Office of
Special Investigations before joining the Virginia Beach police in
1985. He worked in patrol, investigations, narcotics, training and
has run the department's operations division since March 2005,
commanding 475 uniformed officers.
Mullen will confront a wave of violent crime in his new job.
Although the overall crime rate in Charleston has been dropping, the
city has reported 12 homicides so far this year, compared with 10
all of 2005.
Many of the violent crimes involve guns. There were 65
gun-related assaults in Charleston through May, compared with 52 gun
assaults during the same time last year, police said.
Mullins described himself as a "low-key" person and a "lifelong
learner" who is not afraid of trying new approaches or admitting
The new chief wants to make sure his officers take advantage of
crime analysis to find crime hot spots before they become problems.
He also wants to focus on crime prevention measures and "drill down"
into neighborhoods to identify problem areas and individuals.
"I am willing to do whatever needs to be done to address problems
to make this city a better place," Mullen said. "Every citizen
deserves to live, work and play in a neighborhood and a community
that is safe from crime and the fear that crime creates."