Henrico County names Eric English as its first African American Chief of Police

Henrico County names Eric English as its first African American Chief of Police

Henrico County has named Eric English as its new Chief of Police. It made the announcement at a press conference on Monday making him the first African American to fill the position in the county.

“We all have a lot of work ahead of us but I’m eager to get started,” English said.

John Vithoulkas, Henrico County Manager, said the county worked with the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police to find the county’s new chief.

“Finding the right person to be our next chief was a challenge,” he said. “We wanted someone to continue the work of our former chief while pushing us forward. Someone who would understand and embrace our values and we put a lot of effort into building relationships.”

English previously served as the Harrisonburg Police Department since 2018, and as Deputy Chief of the Richmond Police Department before that. In addition to his past experience, English is an undergraduate of the University of Richmond and played on their basketball team.


“It is a blessing to be back,” English said.

English said he wants to have conversations with Henrico law enforcement and Henrico residents for the immediate future of the county to maintain transparency.

“I think it’s important for me to listen, not only to my staff, but to listen to the citizens of this county… I have a vision. We need to gain trust, and we need to maintain trust,” the newly appointed Police Chief said.


The new chief is replacing Humberto Cardounel Jr., who announced his retirement back in June. Cardounel said one reason he was retiring is that “it is time for me to pass the torch onto the next generation of police leadership.”

At the conference, county officials awarded Cardounel with the Meritorious Service Medal for his 32 years of service with the department. He served as chief for the last four.

“He is a true public servant– I didn’t want to see him retire, but there comes tremendous pressure with being police chief,” Vithoulkas said.

English will formally succeed Cardounel on Aug. 28.

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