Incredible LGBTQ ally, RPD Chief Tarasovic stepping down
Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic announced his resignation at a press conference today. Tarasovic helped create Richmond’s first LGBTQ Liasion program, and attended many LGBTQ related events through out his two year stint as Chief.
Tarasovic was a fixture at numerous LGBTQ happenings around RVA, most recently at Richmond’s 2014 Wold AIDS day celebration in December.
Always humble, Tarasovic was usually seen in the background of these events. At the 2014 Transgender day of Remembrance, he stood quietly among the crowd, but in full dress-uniform along side his wife, to help honor those lost to trans violence in the last year.
“Its a day commemorating lives lost senselessly,” Tarasovic told GayRVA during the event. “I’m in the business of protecting lives and I can’t find a better place to be.”
“Odetta and I are honored to be here.” said Tarasovic before reading the proclamation.
Tarasovic helped establish the first LGBTQ Liaison program in Richmond in 2013, the second in the commonwealth. Major Odetta Johnson, who was given the Liaison post, has been diligently involved with the community ever sense.
“If there are concerns in any of my communities, and we have multiple communities… then I’m looking to foster good relationships with all of these communities,” Tarasovic told GayRVA when the position was announced in late 2013. “I look for positive ends. My job is to reduce crime in this city, and to make people feel safe and be safe. Anything towards those ends I will give it a chance.”
Tarasovic was also seen at both 2013 and 2014 Pride events. In 2013, he was the first RPD Chief to attend the state-wide LGBTQ celebration. He spoke without a prepared speech saying, “This city is a diamond, and each of our communities is a facet of that diamond, and you are one of those shining facets.”
Mayor Jones said in a press conference this morning he had begun the process of selecting a new police chief, and he also plans to promote someone to the position from within his organization. Tarasovic plans to retire by mid-February.
GayRVA will follow up with the new Police chief when the appointment is made public.
Editor’s Note: It has been an honor and privilege to know Chief Tarasovic. In all of the encounters I’ve had with him, he was kind, genuine, and purposeful in his support of the LGBTQ community. Whenever I’d speak to him on record and ask him why he came to these events, he’d almost seemed shocked that a Chief of Police for a metropolitan community wouldn’t attend, often saying “it was the right thing to do.”
Richmond’s LGBTQ community has been incredibly lucky to have Chief Tarasovic as part of its support network, and I will do everything in my editorial power to make sure the next RPD Chief of Police knows they have big shoes to fill.
Head on out to Diversity Richmond tonight, 6:30 PM, and meet Captain Green for yourself!March 8, 2016
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