Newport News assistant police chief is leaving to lead department in Florida

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Jessica Nolte, Daily Press
·2 min read
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After 23 years in Newport News, Assistant Police Chief Eric Randall is returning home to Florida to lead the Pensacola Police Department.

“Pensacola is getting not only an amazing leader, but an amazing person. He will be greatly missed by so many people, not only here in the Department but throughout the community he has so graciously served,” Newport News Chief Steve Drew said in a news release.

Randall will take over the Florida department June 14. His replacement in Newport News has not been decided.

Randall joined the Newport News Police Department in 1998 as an auxiliary officer. Two years later he became a full-time officer.

Randall has served as the acting criminal investigations commander and the tactical operations unit commander. He was promoted to captain in 2014 and named as assistant chief of police in August 2017.

He’s also received numerous awards including the two Life Saving Awards, 2014 Homeless Outreach Collaborative Team Outstanding Community Service Award, 2012 William F. Corvello Leadership Award, 2010 United States Attorney Public Service Award, 2009 Federal Bureau of Investigation Top Gang Investigation, NOBLE Criminal Justice Achievement Award and the United States Attorney Award for Excellence in Management.

“Assistant Chief Randall has changed how the Department responds and works investigations. He has made a great impact on this community and me. I have learned a lot from him and consider him a true friend. A man with a huge heart and great talent. He will be missed, but I wish him all best,” Drew said.

Randall and his wife are from Pensacola, and his family still lives there, according to a report from the Pensacola News Journal.

“What greater honor, what greater duty is (there than) to come back home and serve the community that I grew up in,” Randall said when asked why he wanted the job.

He earned his Masters of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University and graduated from the 63rd session of the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police.

Randall was selected for the job after he and two finalists participated in a virtual public forum last week.

“He may not have been as polished as some of the people but what I liked is he had heart,” Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said at a news conference reported on by the Pensacola News Journal. “You can’t teach heart, and you can’t teach passion.”

Jessica Nolte, 757-912-1675, jnolte@dailypress.com