Virginia Capitol Police Chief Kimberly S. Lettner will retire July 1 after more than four years as head of America’s oldest police department.

“Her strong and steady performance as chief of the Capitol Police has enhanced the work and effectiveness of this important law enforcement organization,’’ House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) said of Lettner’s tenure. “Indeed, the leadership she has provided to the Capitol Police force has increased its stature, garnered acclaim and earned well-deserved respect and appreciation by lawmakers and others throughout the Commonwealth.”
   Lettner, 51, is responsible for the department's 108 sworn and support personnel serving the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the state government.

Before being appointed chief in 2007, Lettner served more than 21 years with the Virginia State Police.

The Virginia Capitol Police was established in 1618 in Jamestown.

The Legislative Support Commission is responsible for selecting the new chief. Howell chairs the seven-member legislative panel. Other members are: the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Rules, Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington); House Majority Leader M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights); the clerk of the House of Delegates; the clerk of the Senate; the director of the Division of Legislative Services; and the director of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems.

The panel is scheduled to meet this month to begin the search for a new chief.