Oct. 8, 2013 -- Former Police Chief Thomas H. Townsend was awarded Hampton's highest honor by City Council, which also named the police training room in his honor, noting "Townsend provided critical, stabilizing leadership to the Hampton Police Division."
The resolution awarding Townsend with the Distinguished Citizen's Medal praised Townsend, saying he "worked tirelessly to focus the Division’s efforts to actively reengage with the citizens around community-based policing" and "was instrumental in developing a swift and immediate response to an escalation in gun violence with a series of strategies known as the “Safe and Clean” campaign."
Townsend thanked council, "not only for the recognition tonight but also for their support of the Police Division over the past year" and the men and women of the Police Division who remain focused on their mission "to protect and serve the citizens of Hampton."
Townsend, a Hampton native, joined the Hampton Police Division in 1974, serving in a variety of roles including patrol, traffic and criminal investigation, SWAT, crime analysis, Crime Line Coordinator as well as a variety of administrative duties.
Townsend was awarded the Police Division’s Meritorious Service Award for distinguished service and holds the department’s Legion of Honor awarded for felonious injuries suffered in the line of duty.
He served as police chief from 2000 to 2004. A year ago, he came out of retirement to serve as Hampton’s acting Police Chief.