New town manager, police chief looking to create change in Vinton

Roanoke Valley News

VINTON, Va. (WFXR) — New leadership is coming to the Town of Vinton.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, councilmembers appointed a new town manager and police chief during their town council meeting.

“I mean, I’ve been working a long time toward this goal, and it’s nice to actually finally achieve it,” said Richard Peters, Jr., newly-appointed town manager.

Peters says he’s eager to continue his work. He has served as the town’s acting town manager since August, and previously served as assistant town manager for five years.

Growing up in the Vinton community, Peters never thought he would officially serve as the town manager.

“The fact that I could fully get into the administration part in a town that I knew very well, was kind of a perfect match,” said Peters.

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, Peters is hoping to continue his efforts on several issues, including keeping citizens safe from COVID-19.

“We feel like we have the proper protections in place to keep everyone safe,” Peters said.

The new leader is also looking to help local businesses survive during the pandemic.

Cyndi Baker, owner of Cyndi’s Fashions, says she’s still struggling to keep her doors open but she knows her circumstances could be much worse.

“I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m still here. I fight it every week, but I’m a whole lot luckier than other people that have had to close their store,” said Baker.

Similiar struggles have not gone unnoticed by town officials.

“We were the first to really reach out and provide contact on the different CARES ACT funding, opportunities, and business assistance grant programs,” Peters said.

Police Chief Fabricio Drumond was also appointed by councilmembers during Tuesday’s meeting.

“It’s something that I’ve been working on my whole life,” said Drumond.

He has been a member of the Vinton Police Department since 2009. He says he’s striving to keep his officers trustworthy, while also enforcing traditional law enforcement values.

“We like to balance both and continue to provide an effective service in the community, and continue to do so,” Drumond said.

The newly-appointed chief of police began his new role on Tuesday.

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