Leesburg Police Chief Joseph R. Price on Monday notified Town Manager Kaj Dentler of his plans to retire March 1, after 16 years leading the department.
“Chief Price’s retirement announcement is a bittersweet moment for the Town of Leesburg and myself,” Dentler said in a statement released today. “Chief Price has faithfully served and protected the Town in his role while being recognized both nationally and regionally. His leadership and guidance transitioned our police department to the professional organization that it is today with a philosophical focus on being a guardian of our community versus just a warrior mentality. His commitment to community policing and positive interactions with our residents and businesses reflect his dedication to serve everyone in our community, and will have an everlasting impact on the Town of Leesburg.”
Dentler added, “From a personal standpoint, I will miss his professional guidance and support, and I wish him the very best as he pursues his next chapter in life.”
Price, who turns 65 this year, was hired to lead the department on March 1, 2000, serving after 25 years with the Montgomery County [MD] Police Department.
Leesburg’s population doubled during his tenure and the police department staff grew from 58 sworn officers to 87.
“The Leesburg Police Department is staffed with some of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” Price said Tuesday. “It has been a true honor to serve with them, and beside them, as their chief. I will always cherish my tenure as their chief and for being a member of this outstanding group of individuals.”
Under Price, the Leesburg Police Department was accredited by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services for the first time in 2006, and achieved reaccreditation in 2010 and 2014. Most recently, the police department received the 2015 Webber-Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Motorola. It was recognized for its Organized Retail Crime Initiative, which focused on curbing theft at the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets. In addition, the department received Community Policing Awards from the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2014 and 2006.
Price also has been a regional law enforcement leader. He is the chairman of the Northern Virginia Chiefs and Sheriffs Group, former chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, and a member of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.