The small town police chiefs of NoVa are retiring this year, at least around Fairfax County. Vienna’s Robert Carlisle became the latest Monday, announcing he would be stepping down after 12 years overseeing the force of 41 sworn officers. He follows Toussaint Summers of Herndon and Harry Reitze of Falls Church who also stepped down this year, both of whom were succeeded by women.
Carlisle spent 21 years with Fairfax County, retiring as head of criminal investigations, then was an assistant chief in Falls Church for two years before taking over Vienna in 2001. Town Manager Mercury Payton said Carlisle “transformed the way the police department does business” and provided “invaluable guidance” to Vienna in its budget, emergency management and personnel selection. “He will most assuredly be difficult to replace.”
Carlisle is going to serve as vice president of security for Navy Federal Credit Union, which is conveniently located (for Carlisle) in Vienna. He said in a news release that the Vienna department “was under difficult circumstances” when he took the chief’s job, and “In almost every way, this department bears little resemblance to that which I took over; a credit to every employee who works here.” His last day will be Dec. 31.
Of the municipal police departments around Fairfax County, only Fairfax City Chief Rick Rappoport hasn’t retired this year. Will he? I sent him an e-mail five minutes ago and he STILL hasn’t responded. Is there a secret conspiracy among the local police chiefs to retire in the same year? Or just a coincidence? Probably the latter.