Lynchburg City Manager Bonnie Svrcek announced today that she has appointed Interim Police Chief Ryan Zuidema to the position of Chief of Police. Zuidema will assume his duties immediately.
Zuidema has served with the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) since 1997. Since joining the Lynchburg Police Department, he has served in increasing levels of leadership including most recently, Deputy Chief, responsible for the Investigations and Administration Bureaus. He holds a Master’s Level Certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech, a M.B.A. from Averett University and an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from State University of New York at Brockport. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Liberty University’s Helms School of Government.
City Manager Bonnie Svrcek said, “This was the hardest decision I have had to make as City Manager. I truly wish I could have appointed both candidates. At the end of the day, I had to make a decision between two extraordinary candidates who both fit the profile that was created with community, LPD employees, City’s Leadership Team and City Council feedback.”
She further stated, “Deputy Chiefs Mark Jamison and Ryan Zuidema have nearly identical experience as they started their Lynchburg Police Department careers together as recruits at the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. Their leadership is unquestionable, and their dedication and commitment to the LPD and our City is undeniable. Plain and simple, they are a class act, and the City of Lynchburg is quite fortunate to have these two men as leaders in the LPD. I chose Deputy Chief Zuidema based on everything stated above coupled with excellent public presentation skills.”
Zuidema said, “I am both honored and humbled to be appointed as your Chief of Police. Over the past 20-plus years, I have had the distinct privilege of serving with and being mentored by some of the finest men and women in law enforcement. I am very grateful for the exceptional work our officers and civilian staff perform on a daily basis to make Lynchburg a safe community and look forward to leading them for many years going forward.”
“I sincerely appreciate the City Manager’s faith in my leadership abilities and will work tirelessly to ensure we address internal staffing concerns while continuing our collaborative efforts with the community. I must single out Deputy Chief Mark Jamison for both his professionalism and leadership throughout this selection process and during his entire career. On a personal level, his never ending support and friendship have helped prepare me for this position.”
The appointment was the culmination of a vigorous search that included extensive conversations with Lynchburg police officers, City Council and City leadership, as well as various members of the community and others who work closely with the LPD.
The City Manager noted, “With the combined leadership of Chief Zuidema and Deputy Chief Jamison, the Lynchburg Police Department is poised to be a top destination for individuals seeking a career in law enforcement and career individuals who may want to serve under dynamic, dedicated, and innovative law enforcement leadership. I am quite excited about the future of the Lynchburg Police Department.”
A formal swearing in ceremony will be held in the near future.