Henrico County Divisions of Fire, Police name new Chiefs of Staff

Henrico County is pleased to announce the addition of two members to the Public Safety leadership team – Tom LaBelle and Barbara West.

 Tom LaBelle has been appointed Chief of Staff for the Henrico County Division of Fire, effective immediately.

Tom LaBelle

He joined the Division of Fire in 2018 as the Deputy Chief of Community Risk Reduction. In that position, LaBelle helped develop long-term planning for the department and oversaw activity in the Fire Marshal’s office, the Planning Section and the Professional Development and Training Sections.  

Before joining Henrico County, LaBelle held fire leadership positions in New York and Virginia, including Executive Director of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs. He has served on committees for the International Association of Fire Chiefs as well as the National Fire Protection Association. LaBelle is a graduate of the U.S. Fire Administration’s Executive Fire Officer Program. 

In the newly created Chief of Staff position for the Division of Fire, LaBelle will be responsible for providing strategic support and assisting in the coordination of internal sections of the Division.  

“Chief LaBelle’s commitment to Henrico County, our community, and our members has been evident since his arrival in 2018,” said Henrico County Fire Chief Alec Oughton. “His strategic and collaborative approach, coupled with his ability to effectively communicate, will make him shine as the Chief of Staff.”

  LaBelle is married to Debbie, his wife of over 27 years, and they have two children, both in college.

The Henrico County Police Division is adding Barbara West as Chief of Staff, effective Jan. 16.

Barbara West

West joins the division after 26 years with the Chicago Police Department where she rose through the ranks to become the Deputy Superintendent in charge of the Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform. West was the department’s highest-ranking woman.

As Chief of Staff for the Police Division, she will be responsible for the Professional Standards Unit, Public Information Office and Personnel and Training.

“West brings a wealth of experience related to Internal Affairs, Human Resources, commanding police districts and training,” said Henrico County Chief of Police Eric English. “Her experience will be valuable to the division as we continue to improve our service to our community.”

West and her husband, William, currently live in Chicago with their son, Gyo. West will be transitioning her residence to Henrico County.

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