Interim Town Manager Barry Thompson has announced that the Town of Vinton has selected its next Police Chief.
Thomas L. Foster, a First Sergeant with the Virginia State Police, has accepted the position and will take over the department in March.
“Foster was selected after interviewing a pool of very qualified candidates,” says Vinton Mayor Bradley Grose. “The Town is very pleased to have someone of his caliber come in and lead the qualified and extremely dedicated officers in our great police department.”
Foster has served three decades in law enforcement, including 27-years with the Virginia State Police.
He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development School. Foster also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Virginia Tech, and graduate certificates from the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University.
“I am looking forward to becoming a part of the Vinton community, getting to work and learning as much as I can about the department and the outstanding people who are already in place here,” says Foster. “Hopefully, the experiences I’ve had and the different roles I have played in law enforcement will serve me well in this new position.”
During his tenure with the Virginia State Police, Foster supervised both uniform patrol operations and criminal investigative units. He also has served as the department’s public information officer and an internal affairs investigator, in the Bureau of Professional Standards. Foster also serves as an adjunct professor in the Administration of Justice program at Virginia Western Community College.
His roots as a public servant run deep as his late father, Sheriff O. S. Foster, served five terms as Sheriff of Roanoke County from 1967-1987 and was also a former Virginia State Trooper.
“Chief Foster brings a wealth of knowledge to our town and we believe we have hired an individual who not only understands law enforcement and public safety, but also the people of southwest Virginia,” says Interim Vinton Town Manager Barry Thompson. “He will be a tremendous asset to our community.”
Foster will be formally appointed and sworn-in at the Town Council meeting on March 15 and his first day on the job will be Wednesday, March 16.
He replaces Benjamin Cook who retired as Chief last October after 14 years with the department.
Law enforcement veteran Jeff Dudley has served as Vinton’s Interim Police Chief since October 26, 2015.
Foster’s wife, LeAnne, is a Special Education Teacher with Roanoke County Schools. The couple has two children, Logan who is a student at Virginia Western Community College, and Reagan who is student at Northside High School.