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Alexandria Police Chief Don Hayes is stepping down to take a new federal job, the city announced today. His last day is Feb. 9, and Assistant Chief Raul Pedroso will be interim police chief until a replacement is hired in a national search.

Hayes has been police chief since 2022, before which he was acting chief for a year after the departure of former Chief Michael Brown. He started his career with the Alexandria Police Department in 1981.


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After a decade running Visit Alexandria, the organization’s president and CEO Patricia Washington announced today that she’s retiring in June.

Washington took over the tourism agency in 2012 and has overseen a growth in city tourism pre-pandemic and a difficult rebound after Covid. Visit Alexandria receives funding from both the city and state sources.


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Updated at 11:45 a.m. Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley announced his retirement today, and that he will leave the top job on Friday, Jan. 12.

After more than three years at the helm of the department, the 51-year-old Smedley did not say what his next move would be after his retirement. He’s the city’s first permanent Black fire chief, and led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as negotiated the AFD first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the fire department’s union.


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Longtime Deputy City Manager Debra Collins is retiring at the end of this week after nearly 20 years working for the city.

Collins’ 19-year career in the City of Alexandria included helping to kickstart ACT for Alexandria and the consolidation of city services in the West End.


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With packed boxes by the door, retiring Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne gets a little emotional in his office. After all, he’s been wearing a uniform for 43 years.

There’s a large framed poster of the classic 1950 film “Harvey” on the wall next to his desk — a gift from his deputies who share a fondness for nostalgic movies. In the film, Jimmy Stewart’s good-natured character is pressured against his philosophy of being “Oh, so pleasant,” rather than “Oh, so smart,” in life.


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Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown says that he’s on the level about his surprise retirement announcement, and that he and his wife will soon pulling up stakes for the West Coast in the near future to take care of urgent family business.

“This was a personal decision that my wife and I came to manifest in me having to retire,” Brown told ALXnow.


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Mark Jinks isn’t getting any younger, and the Alexandria city manager says he is closing in on the end of his career.

“I turn 70 in 2022,” Jinks told ALXnow. “I am closer to the end than the beginning, that’s for sure.”


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