JAMES CITY COUNTY — Mark Jamison was sworn in as the new James City County Police Chief on June 30 at the James City County Law Enforcement Center.
The ceremony, attended by family, county officials, community leaders, members of neighboring law enforcement agencies and many of Jamison’s colleagues from the Lynchburg Police Department, which Jamison had been a part of since 1997. It was also streamed live online.
Jamison’s selection was announced in May. Tony Dallman had been serving as Interim Chief since the November retirement of Chief Eric Peterson.
County Administrator Scott Stevens acknowledged the morale and staffing challenges the department has faced, and credited Dallman with helping to address those issues.
“I want to begin by thanking our officers for their patience and staying with us through some really difficult times. This past year has been challenging. Staffing — which have never been an issue for our police department — has been, and morale was at an all time low,” Stevens explained while laying out many of the steps the county and department had taken to address those issues.
Stevens added that while the process of finding a new chief may seem to have taken a long time, it was necessary to find the right candidate for the job. Dallman’s popularity with the department and his management of the resources on hand gave him the confidence to do that, he said. He also noted during that period the department had made positive strides in addressing its staffing shortages.
“I feel confident that Mark will be an excellent police chief for James City County,” Stevens said, adding the new chief’s education and experience, feedback from colleagues, as well as the enthusiasm Jamison’s wife had for his new position served to reaffirm the county had made the right choice.
Dallman, who led the ceremony, added, “it has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve as a police chief, and I am further honored by being able to participate in today’s ceremony as we transition to new leadership.”
Jamison thanked his family and made special note of the important role spouses and significant others play in a law enforcement career while thanking his wife, Raquel, for her support. Raquel Jamison had the honor of pinning on her husband’s new badge during the ceremony.
“What a great place to be, and what a great place to work,” Jamison said while complimenting Dallman’s efforts and recognizing the department’s lieutenants and sergeants. “I tell everybody who asks me ‘why do you want to be here?’ — who wouldn’t? This is a great community with great people.”
“I’m proud to be part of this organization and this community,” he added. “My commitment to you is that we will give 100% in everything that we do.”
Jamison last served as Deputy Chief of the Field Operations Bureau in the Lynchburg Police Department. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Government from Liberty University and a Master of Science degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Longwood University. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police and numerous leadership courses, and serves on the Crime Prevention Committee for the International Associations of Chiefs of Police and the Training Committee for the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the county noted when it announced his hiring.
Residents will have an opportunity to meet the new chief in person when James City County hosts a community meeting at 6 p.m. on July 10 at Legacy Hall.