Norfolk Chief of Police, Mark Talbot
A veteran law enforcement leader with more than three decades’ experience, Mark Talbot relocated to Virginia after a lengthy career in Pennsylvania. Talbot spent his time in Pennsylvania honing his leadership skills and policing philosophies by advancing through roles with multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
Talbot’s career began with a corrections agency in Chester County, Pennsylvania, before he joined the nearby Reading Police Department in 1994. He advanced from officer to become Reading’s deputy chief, then moved on to the state capital in Harrisonburg as director of the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation. He later spent eight years as Chief of Police in Norristown, a small, densely populated urban municipality located approximately 20 miles from Philadelphia’s Center City. While in Norristown, the community saw a reduction in violent crimes and reported measurable improvement in residents’ opinions of their relations with police. Talbot was honored with an NAACP Community Leadership Award. He later moved south to become Hampton’s police chief in July 2021.
In 2022, the City of Norfolk conducted a national search to identify Norfolk’s next police chief. Working with the consulting firm Morris & McDaniel, it obtained public input from residents, businesses and community organizations to determine which characteristics were most desirable for its next top cop. Frequent responses included a record of working collaboratively with residents and community organizations; prior police leadership in an urban environment; increasing law enforcement visibility in neighborhoods; and experience in growing the size and effectiveness of police resources.
Talbot has built strong relationships with the public to foster more effective policing. Mirroring Norfolk’s emphasis on data-driven policing, his departments have identified concentrations of criminal activity, then arrested repeat offenders to stop bad actors from continually affecting their neighborhoods. He has extensive experience combatting gun violence, and is an advocate for crime prevention outside of law enforcement through educational and social services, plus improved access to mental health and addiction prevention and recovery programs.