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Binner sets retirement as police chief

South Boston News
Binner / August 06, 2020

South Boston Police Chief James W. “Jim” Binner will be retiring at the end of the year after 27 years with the department and 13 years serving as its leader.

“He delivered me a letter on Tuesday stating his retirement,” said South Boston Town Manager Tom Raab, adding that he knew Binner had been considering the move for a while. Binner’s retirement is effective January 1, 2021.

Raab said he expects to soon start the hiring process for a new police chief. “We’ve got five months,” he said.

Binner began his law enforcement career with the South Boston Police Department in 1993 and has been with the town force ever since. In 2007, he was promoted to colonel and chief of police.

“I’m excited, this is a whole new chapter opening up,” said Binner of his impending retirement. He said he plans to pursue other opportunities in the area, and is looking forward to his son’s graduation in May from Radford University.

As chief of police for the past 13 years Binner said, “I am proud of the increased involvement of the police and the community due to requests for participation at schools, civic groups, and town sponsored events.

“These types of events offer a chance for the officers in the department to engage with the community,” he said.

Over the course of his career with the South Boston Police Department, Binner moved up quickly, earning honors as Outstanding Officer of the Year in 1996 and the 1998 Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Employee of the Year, and gaining promotion to captain in 2000 and deputy chief in 2002. As Deputy Chief, Binner was selected to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy at the U.S. Marine Corps Base in Quantico in 2003.

In a press release issued by the Town Office after word of Binner’s retirement became public, the chief said, “I have been blessed to have been given an opportunity, over 27 years ago, to accept a position with the South Boston Police Department, and I [am] proud to call South Boston home. I’m deeply honored to have worked with such great people within the SBPD and been able to serve this community.

“I am able to retire knowing that the members of our department will keep South Boston safe, and continue to serve the Town with professionalism and excellent customer service.”

In the same release, Raab stated that “Chief Binner’s never forgot what it was like to drive a patrol car through the streets in a driving snowstorm, missing family dinners and ballgames. He knows what a difficult job police officers have trying to keep our residents and businesses safe.

“His work ethic and professionalism set the tone for the rest of the department. We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!” Raab added.

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Hopefully the work ethics and tone for the rest of the department will soar under new leadership. A diverse cross section of town citizens should be a part of the hiring process. The new chief should possess the ability to exercise diversity & inclusion in his or her hiring practices, officer promotions, and dept camaraderie. Effective community policing is overdue. Community involvement should stretch far beyond an inner circle. The first order of business must include the creation of an open line of communication with ALL citizens. These days, an “open door” policy statement tends to be words without action. It’s time to go beyond office doors. Meet the citizens where they stand, their frequent places of travel, and town hall meetings. For the Town of South Boston to crossover long standing barriers and promote “oneness,” I strongly encourage an employee search that doesn’t stop within the police dept, but one that stretches beyond the police dept and county.


How about we simply hire the best officers we can and not let the color of their skin matter.

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