Prince William County named a longtime cop as its new police chief Tuesday, ending a six-plus-month search to lead a department that serves one of the most economically and socially diverse populations in Northern Virginia.
The Board of County Supervisors named Maj. Stephan M. Hudson, 53, to succeed Charlie T. Deane, who served the department for more than 40 years. The new chief, who joined the department in 1982, is admired by the police department’s rank and file and has dstrong ties to the community, current and former county officials said.
The board met with two internal and two outside candidates Tuesday morning and announced its decision later in the day. The other internal candidate was acting chief Barry M. Barnard, county officials said.
Supervisors said they determined that the department had earned a good reputation, so there was no good reason to bring in an outsider.
Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) said the supervisors think Hudson would continue to enhance the department’s strong national reputation. “Hudson clearly has the ability to meet those needs,” Stewart said in a news release.
Supervisor Martin E. Nohe (R-Coles) said that Hudson was “not afraid to speak the truth” and ”has garnered the respect of the rest of the department.”
Hudson, who grew up primarily in Boston, but graduated from Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge said in an interview that his appointment was “humbling.”
He said he plans to reach out to police staff and the community to learn the job. He has no plans for any major departmental changes, he said. “My job right now is to listen and learn,” he said.
Hudson is just the third chief in the department’s history.