Henrico taps Eric English to become chief of police

Henrico County has appointed Eric D. English as chief of police, effective Monday, Sept. 14.

English, who currently heads the police department for the city of Harrisonburg, will succeed Humberto “Hum” Cardounel Jr.  as Henrico’s chief. Cardounel is retiring Aug. 28 after more than four years in the position and a career of nearly 32 years with the Henrico Police Division.

English comes to Henrico with more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, ranging from patrol to command staff. He served with the Richmond Police Department from 1989 to 2018, rising through the ranks to become deputy chief of operations in 2011 and deputy chief of support and business services in 2016. He was named Harrisonburg’s chief of police in September 2018. 

As leader of the Henrico Police Division, English will oversee an agency with 863 personnel, including more than 600 sworn officers, and a budget of $80.3 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Among its responsibilities, HPD provides law enforcement, investigates criminal activity, operates the county’s emergency communications center and offers educational programs on drug awareness, crime prevention and other topics for the community. HPD is internationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and is a recipient of the organization’s TRI-ARC award.

English earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and sociology from the University of Richmond and received a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He attended the Senior Management Institute for Police and is a certified law enforcement instructor. English is a member of the International and Virginia associations of Chiefs of Police and is president of the central Virginia chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

A longtime Henrico resident, English played basketball for the University of Richmond and is a former coach and official of youth and high school basketball in the Richmond area. He and his wife have two adult children and two grandchildren.

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