Arlington Police Chief Theron Bowman has moved into City Hall -- for now.
Bowman shows up to work these days in a different kind of suit, one without a badge. He was recently tapped to be the deputy city manager of neighborhood services, which oversees the police department, fire and emergency services, code compliance, the libraries and parks services.
"Everybody is focused on public safety," he said. "Everybody is trying to make our community more livable just from a different perspective compared to police."
Bowman is expected to return to his role as chief of APD once the city fills the deputy city manager position. It is currently conducting a nationwide search and expects to land someone by the fall.
Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Will Johnson is overseeing the police department.
"I want to think that me not being there has some kind of impact, but the reality is that the men and women there are so highly qualified. They're so good at what they do," Bowman said. "I take some credit for being chief for 13 years and helping build. I think they're managing just perfectly fine in my absence."
Bowman said that what he has learned with the police department is proving critical in his new role.
"I know from being police chief that making arrests isn't the solution from every problem, and I have here, with exposure and access to all these other city departments, a different tool for addressing those problems," he said.
Bowman said he expects to bring that expanded knowledge of other departments back to the police department.
"It's nice to be able to wear a suit but, I'll tell you, there's nothing like the blue suit with the badge on it," he said.