Riley named as Selmas new police chief

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 6, 2008


The search for a police chief is over.

William T. Riley III was named Tuesday by Mayor James Perkins Jr. to replace acting chief Jimmy Martin, as reported earlier on Riley will assume his new post on March 4.

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A native of Virginia, Riley comes to Selma after a 23-year-career in law enforcement with the City of Newport News, Va., police department where he began as a patrol officer in 1984. He said the opportunity and timing led him to seek the job.

Riley, whose salary will be $79,500 a year, has coordinated recruiting functions, worked in internal affairs, investigating police-involved shootings, and trained detectives to investigate white collar crimes and burglaries.

Riley, 46, currently has the rank of captain in the department, and is commander of the Criminal Investigations Division where he supervises 72 officers. He has a bachelor&8217;s degree in political science from Saint Paul&8217;s College in Lawrenceville, Va. He is married and has two children.

During a news conference on the steps of City Hall, Perkins said each of the candidates were worthy of selection.

Perkins thanked the 27-member advisory committee for its input, during the meeting and screening of the top three applicants.

Perkins said Riley was the latter, and the city would need someone with strong communications skills because the new chief would need to be able to communicate between the police department and the citizens. Riley&8217;s involvement in community policing also made him a strong candidate.

Riley said he has ideas that are &8220;outside the box&8221; when it comes to officer recruitment and retention.

Councilwoman Jannie Venter served on the advisory committee, and got a chance to interact with the finalists. She said she thought Riley was a good choice.