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First female deputy superintendent retiring from state police; new leaders announced

virginia state policeVirginia State Police Superintendent Colonel Gary T. Settle has announced the appointments of three new executive staff leaders in the wake of the retirement of the department’s first female deputy superintendent.

Settle appointed:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Kirk S. Marlowe Deputy Superintendent
  • Major Tricia W. Powers, Bureau of Administrative and Support Services Deputy Director was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed to BASS Director
  • Captain Robert C. Holland was promoted to Major and appointed to the position of BASS Deputy Director

Russillo achieved many ‘firsts’ as woman in state police ranks

Effective today, Lieutenant Colonel Tracy S. Russillo concludes 33 years of service with the Virginia State Police.

Russillo achieved many “firsts” in her advancement through the department ranks. She was not only the first female deputy superintendent, but also the first female to serve as a bureau director and a bureau deputy director.

As deputy superintendent, Russillo oversaw all three VSP bureaus – BASS, Bureau of Field Operations and Bureau of Criminal Investigation  – as well as the Office of Internal Affairs and Executive Protective Unit.

Russillo was appointed to the position of deputy superintendent Aug. 5, 2016. A native of Fredericksburg, she joined the department on May 16, 1989. Her first patrol assignments as a trooper were in Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties, which are within the Culpeper division.

As she progressed through the VSP ranks, Russillo served as an Academy sergeant in Richmond, area commander of the Culpeper Division’s Area 13 Office in Winchester and field lieutenant in the Culpeper division.

In 2008, she achieved the rank of captain serving as the Fairfax division commander in the Northern Virginia region.

Russillo was promoted to major in 2011 following her appointment as BASS deputy director, where she remained until her 2016 appointment to deputy superintendent.

New promotions

Lieutenant Colonel Kirk S. Marlowe

Promoted to the position of deputy superintendent is Lieutenant Colonel Kirk S. Marlowe. Marlowe has served as BASS director since Sept. 10, 2016. As the Director of BASS, Marlowe oversaw the department’s communications, criminal justice information services, human resources, information technology, property and finance and training divisions. BASS also includes the Office of Legal Affairs.

Prior to serving as the BASS director, Marlowe served as the BASS deputy director upon his appointment to that position in Dec. 25, 2015, from division commander of the high-tech crimes division within BCI.

He began his career with state police on Aug. 1, 1988, and spent seven years in the Richmond division as a trooper and special agent before he was promoted to academy sergeant in 1996.

Over the years with state police, he has supervised the violent crimes unit and staff inspection section as a first sergeant.

In 2004, Marlowe was promoted to lieutenant of the Richmond BCI field office and later transferred to the counter-terrorism and criminal interdiction unit. He achieved the rank of captain in 2009 and oversaw the support services division before being assigned to establish and supervise the new HTCD.

Marlowe is a graduate of the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. He also graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security with a master’s degree in security studies and was a valedictorian of the administrative officer’s graduate course at the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville.

Lieutenant Colonel Tricia W. Powers

Prior to her appointment to BASS director, Lieutenant Colonel Tricia W. Powers served as BASS deputy director since her appointment to that position Aug. 10, 2019.

Powers graduated from the VSP Academy in 1994 with the 90th Basic Session. Her first patrol assignment as a new trooper was in the Culpeper division’s area 13 office in Winchester.

In 1997, she was promoted to special agent and advanced to the rank of first sergeant working in general investigations and drug enforcement in the Culpeper and Chesapeake BCI field offices.

She returned to uniform as a first sergeant in 2010 as the commander of the Chesapeake Division’s area 32 office in Norfolk/Virginia Beach.

In 2012, Powers was promoted to lieutenant in the Richmond division and transferred to the CJIS division a year later.

In 2016, she achieved the rank of captain and served as the CJIS division commander until her appointment to major in BASS.

A native of Luray, Powers is a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Bridgewater College and a master of criminal justice degree from Troy State University.

Captain Robert C. Holland

Promoted to the rank of major and to the position of BASS deputy director is Captain Robert C. Holland.

Holland has served as the training officer at the VSP Academy since 2017.

He graduated from the academy in 2000 as a member of the 100th basic session.

Holland’s first patrol assignment was in the Richmond division’s area 8 office in Henrico County.

He was promoted to sergeant in 2006 as a supervisor in the CJIS division’s sex offender investigative unit.

In 2010, he advanced to first sergeant within the CJIS division and then transferred to BCI’s high-tech crimes division.

In 2015, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and served the next seven years at the VSP Academy in that position and then as captain.

Holland, a native of Powhatan County, is a graduate of Longwood College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, with a concentration in criminal justice.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.