Police Chief J.J. Craig

Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig talks during a news conference at city hall in August 2018.

Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig is resigning from his position with the city of Victoria.

“I haven’t worked for a better police organization than Victoria’s,” Craig, 58, said Friday. “Being a part of this community is something I am very proud of.”

Craig anticipates starting a new position as the police chief in the city of Richmond. His last day with the city of Victoria will be in mid-June.

“I’m sure he’ll say it’s bittersweet for him, and it’s bittersweet for us, too,” City Manager Jesús Garza said Friday. “He’s been a very active and involved police chief, and we’re definitely going to miss that.”

Craig was selected as the city’s police chief in 2011. Throughout his years with the department, he has “done a great job enhancing the police department from a community standpoint and from a technology standpoint,” Garza said.

Craig has been an advocate of community policing “since day one,” Garza said, taking time to connect with the community. He also has made it a priority to work with kids and help get younger generations interested in policing, he said.

Craig said he is grateful for the professional and personal relationships he’s created in Victoria that he will remember well.

“It feels like family,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult to leave.”

He was seeking a better professional and personal work-life balance, he said, and hopes to get that in Richmond.

The city of Victoria will work with an executive recruiting firm to help with the process of hiring a new police chief, Garza said. He said he plans to take a deep dive into the department and engage with the community throughout the process.

Because of the lengthy process, Victoria’s next police chief likely won’t be selected until late summer or early fall, Garza said.

“There’s a strong leadership core here, and I have nothing but good things to say about the organization,” Craig said. “The department is certainly well-positioned for the future.”

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter

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