HISTORIC TRIANGLE — ‘Ten Questions with’ is a series that allows readers to get to know local business leaders, volunteers and community members in the Historic Triangle.
This week, meet Tony G. Dallman, James City County Interim Police Chief:
What is your job title and description?
I am currently the Interim Police Chief for James City County. The Police Chief is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the County and is responsible for all of the activities of the Police Department. I work with all members of the Department and other County staff to ensure our community is safe from crime and a great place to live, work and play. We respond to emergency calls and investigate all crimes that are reported in James City County. We also host and participate in numerous community policing programs such as Shop with a Cop, National Night Out and Halloween with Heroes to build community support and improve crime prevention and awareness. We work together to build a safer, stronger, more vibrant community.
Who do you interact/work with on a regular basis?
I interact with community members, county staff members, and members of the police department on a daily basis. We have a great relationship with our community members and I receive compliments and well wishes on an almost daily basis. I also attend community meetings and events quite regularly. I also participate in meetings with other members of the county government, and most frequently, I work together with members of my staff, our officers and detectives.
What is something about your job most people wouldn’t know about?
Many people’s image of law enforcement is driven by what they see on popular television programs. Shows like “NCIS” and “Law and Order” are very entertaining, but they are not reality. Police work takes a lot of time and effort, including time to talk to people and build relationships. We oftentimes spend weeks or even months investigating a serious crime, or working on a community problem. On TV a crime is reported, investigated, and solved in an hour. In real life, it takes weeks or months.
How do you define success?
Success for me is when people feel comfortable walking in their neighborhood. I love to drive through a neighborhood and see lots of kids out playing and people walking their dogs. That tells me that those people feel safe and comfortable in their neighborhood, and that the Police Department is doing a good job. Success is also a conviction for a dangerous felon, and a major drug bust, and reading a story to happy kids. All of those things result in people being able to get out and enjoy their community.
What is your most successful accomplishment to date?
I have had many accomplishments over the 28 years that I have worked for the James City County Police Department, and being named as the Interim Police Chief is a major milestone that I am certainly proud of. It is a tremendous honor and extremely humbling to serve in this capacity.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
My advice to my younger self, and to other new police officers is to always look for the good in others. Many people we come into contact with are having one of the most traumatic days of their life. We need to recognize that trauma and do what we can to help them through that event. If they are treated with respect, compassion, and in a trauma-informed way, we have an opportunity to make connections and work together.
How long have you lived in the greater Williamsburg/York area?
My family and I have lived in James City County for 28 years.
What is your favorite part of living here?
James City County is a great place to live, work, and play. My family and I have always enjoyed Jamestown, Busch Gardens and all the parks. The one thing that has been my favorite is the people. This is by far the friendliest and most supportive community I have lived in.
What do you do for downtime/to relax?
I enjoy being out in nature. I am an amateur photographer who likes to take lots of mostly blurry nature photos of birds and other wildlife.
What is the next step in your journey?
I hope the next step in my journey here is to be named the permanent Chief of Police for James City County. Either way I will continue to serve the communities in the county and work to ensure our citizens are safe and free from crime, our officers and employees are supported and taken care of, and my family is happy.
Do you want to learn more about your community and the people that live and work in the Historic Triangle? We are looking for people with interesting jobs, super volunteers, or community leaders to showcase. Reach out to let us know if you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for Ten Questions.