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Woody Tackles New Role

Woody, 57, accepted. He's now a special investigator and consultant with the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. "For me it's a double dose of a golden opportunity," Woody says about his new role. "I'm out in the community still making a difference but without the acre-size job of being a police officer."

That could change two years from now. That's when Woody plans to run for office to oust Michelle Mitchell and become Richmond's next sheriff.

"It's my long-range goal," he says. "I think I can bring something to the table, and that's teamwork and trust."

At least for now, though, Woody is tackling his job with Hicks' office. "It's a totally new perspective that the office is taking. It's not just about locking people up, it's about social issues, too," Woody says. For example, Woody says, the office will focus on making sure victims are safe, witnesses are located, and criminals behind bars are questioned.

Woody's primary assignment is to "track down witnesses that can't be found." He also helps prosecutors get cases ready for court. He works with victims. He interviews convicts in jail about crimes that haven't been solved.

He says his experience can help make sure some tough cases are prosecuted: "People in the community are familiar with me. A lot of them trust me."

But for now he's focused on his new job as liaison between prosecutors, police and the community. "We share the same goal to make Richmond safe. I am a connector," he says, adding: "I'm making a difference in plain clothes and just loving it."

— Brandon Walters

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