Local News

New Police Chief Sets Priorities, Promises To Do The Best Job He Can

Posted June 4, 2001

— The City of Fayetteville has a new police chief. Chief Tom McCarthy was sworn in Monday morning.

In front of a crowd of city employees, McCarthy promised to do the best job he can, to be a listener and make decisions based on thought and prayer.

The new police chief says employee development and community policing are at the top of his priority list.

"The reason we want to get out in the community is [that] crime is everyone's responsibility," says McCarthy. "If you are a member of the community and allow something to continue, it's going to continue. You'll never have enough police offers for every corner when a crime occurs. You can have eyes and ears out in the community."

McCarthy got a warm welcome at his swearing in ceremony, but missing from the room were the five African-American members of the city council.

"I know there were questions and hard feeling, but we've got to move forward for the community," says council member Mark Kendrick.

With racial concerns in the department and in parts of the community, some council members and citizens were upset over the decision to hire a white police chief.

McCarthy, who served as the Gaston County's deputy manager and police chief, says he is here to be everyone's chief.

"I guess I can just be myself and hope that a majority of the community likes what they see and judges me on my performance," says McCarthy.

"As long as he does his job in an unbiased way, I don't think the community will be affected negatively by Chief Mccarthy," says investigator Darryl Whitaker.

Council Member Curtis Worthy told WRAL that he purposely stayed away from the swearing-in. D.J. Haire, Marshall Pitts and Robert Massey say they support the new chief, but had job conflicts.

Mable Smith says she did not attend the ceremony because of a prior committment.


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