Richmond has a new head of justice services.

Mayor Levar Stoney has hired Dawn Barber as director of the city department. She started Monday and will make $145,000 annually.

“[Barber’s] experience in both public safety and justice services programming gives her the right balance of discipline and compassion needed for the job,” Stoney said in a news release announcing the hire.

Barber comes to Richmond from Newport News, where she most recently worked as the director of juvenile services for the city. A decade ago, Barber worked as an assistant police chief in Newport News, but was demoted for a drunken driving arrest and subsequent conviction. In all, she has 31 years of experience in law enforcement and justice services, according to a city news release.

She also serves as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Barber holds an undergraduate degree in governmental and criminal justice administration from Christopher Newport University. Additionally, she is trained as a Prison Rape Elimination Act auditor and received a certification from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

She inherits a Richmond department with more than 150 employees and a $9.8 million general fund budget that hasn’t had a permanent director in 14 months. Her predecessor, Rufus Fleming, left the city in June 2018. Rodney Baskerville led the department on an interim basis while the Stoney administration searched for a permanent director.

The Justice Services Department administers services for adults facing criminal charges and children who are either at-risk of entering the juvenile justice system or else already are in the system.

“I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to and partner with the other city agencies and the community at-large to ensure the department provides the highest level of service to the citizens of Richmond,” Barber stated in the news release.

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