Capt. Mike Goldsmith promoted to Norfolk police chief

When a police recruit named John Kohn died in the academy, the police chief then, Bruce Marquis, didn’t tell the full truth of what happened.

NewsChannel 3 dug it out using the city’s records. In the end, Marquis was forced out and today, the city appointed a 23-year veteran to take over the department.

This morning, the city’s 16-month search for a police chief ended. After sorting through about 100 candidates, City Manager Marcus Jones picked one from inside. He promoted Capt. Mike Goldsmith.

Jones picked Goldsmith over Sharon Chamberlin who headed the department during the search.

“This is Chief Goldsmith’s day. I am honored to share that with him. I am going to offer him every bit of my support,” says Chamberlin.

Chamberlin, the city’s first female chief, took over during one of the department’s rockiest episodes.

A police recruit named John Kohn died during police-academy training.

The chief at the time, Bruce Marquis, blamed the death on a simple collision between two recruits running into a room. But a NewsChannel 3 investigation showed that was not the truth. Kohn endured several head blows during training. He died not after the collision, but after an instructor punched him into unconsciousness.

Marquis blamed his staff for not telling him the full story and later accepted responsibility for not revealing the details. City leaders forced him out. Today, the city manager praised Chamberlin’s leadership while, at the same time, saying Goldsmith was the candidate that impressed him most. He joined the department after college and pursued master’s degrees while climbing the police ranks.

“When I graduated college, this is the job I wanted. This is the job I took. I love being in law enforcement, and particularly love being in law enforcement in Norfolk,” says Goldsmith.


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