Winchester names new police chief

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John R. Piper, Winchester Police Department’s new chief. /Courtesy photo: WPD

WINCHESTER, VA – The Winchester Police Department will soon have a new leader at its helm, following the City Council’s unanimous confirmation Tuesday of John R. Piper as the City’s new police chief.

During its August 8, 2017 meeting, City Council unanimously confirmed the appointment of John R. Piper as the City’s new police chief. Piper was named by Winchester City Manager Eden Freeman to head the Police Department from a pool of 86 candidates. Five finalists were selected who then participated in a rigorous interview process.

Piper is a 24-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department, most recently serving as the Academy Director of the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy.

“Chief Piper has an extensive background in law enforcement and has proven himself as an approachable and professional public servant,” stated City Manager Eden Freeman. “I have found him to be a clear communicator who understands the importance of community policing, collaboration and transparency in order to provide effective law enforcement services. I am excited to welcome Chief Piper and his family to the City of Winchester and look forward to having him join the City’s Leadership Team.”

Chief Piper’s extensive experience covers the ranks of the law enforcement profession. He began his career with Fairfax County Police as a patrol officer in the Mt. Vernon District Station in 1994, followed by assignments as a Detective in the Organized Crime and Narcotics Division; a Task Force Officer for the HIDTA DEA Task Force; Patrol Sergeant; and Patrol Second Lieutenant and Bike Team Supervisor. At the Sully District Station, Piper served in a variety of roles including Lieutenant/Assistant Station Commander and Captain/Station Commander (2008-2011).

Chief Piper has commanded several units and divisions throughout his career, including serving as the Commander of the Criminal Intelligence Division (2011-2013), where he was appointed Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Intelligence Center (NVRIC) and granted a Top Secret National Security Clearance. Piper also served as the Major and Patrol Bureau Commander for Fairfax County Police (2013- 2016), with oversight of the patrol, investigative, and administrative functions of three district stations, and a staff of nearly 400 sworn and civilian personnel. He also helped to develop the Fairfax County Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program in coordination with the community’s mental health providers and key stakeholders.

Chief Piper received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice from George Mason University in 2000, earned a Graduate Certificate from American University in the Key Executive Leadership Program and the Senior Management Institute for Police through the Police Executive Research Forum. .

“I feel truly honored and blessed to have been selected to serve as the next Chief of Police for the City of Winchester,” stated Chief Piper. “My family and I are looking forward to joining this vibrant and historic city, and I am committed to working closely with the men and women of the Winchester Police Department and our community to continue delivering ethical and transparent police services.” Acting Winchester Police Chief Kelly Rice will return to her role as Major for the Department.

City Manager Eden Freeman praised Major Ricer for her leadership during the search for a new leader, “I sincerely appreciate all of Major Rice’s hard work and leadership while serving as Acting Chief over the past several months. During that time, she has improved operations and helped position the department for future success.”

Piper will be sworn in as the City of Winchester Police Chief on September 1.  He will earn $115,000 annually.

A “Meet the Chief” public open house will be held on Wednesday, September 20 from 4:00-7:00 pm in Jim Barnett Park’s Active Living Center Social Hall, 1001 East Cork Street, Winchester.

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