Local News

Fayetteville community meets police chief candidates in public forum

Posted June 8

The city of Fayetteville is about to select a new chief of police, and the candidates met with the public they want to serve Thursday night.

City Manager Doug Hewett announced the three finalists for the police chief position of the Fayetteville Police Department on Wednesday during a news conference.

“We have conducted a very thorough search process to identify the best person to be our next police chief in Fayetteville and I believe the three finalists we have selected are all highly qualified and capable of leading our police department,” Hewett said.

Fayetteville Police Department cruiser

“I would like to encourage the public to come out to our community forum on Thursday to meet and ask questions of the finalists. I am interested to see the interaction between the public and the candidates as we move to the final step of selecting our next police chief.”

The candidates answered questions Thursday night submitted by the public online during this Forum. The questions covered topics like community policing, serving crime in a hi-tech world and the art of building relationships and morale within the department.

The finalists are Interim Police Chief Anthony Kelly, who has served as Fayetteville’s interim chief since September 2016; Deputy Chief Gina Hawkins, who oversees the Support Services Command for the Clayton County, Ga. Police Department; and Deputy Chief James Hinson, Jr., who oversees the Patrol Bureau Command for the Greensboro Police Department.

"I think they hit directly on the issues, in addressing the issues that we have here in Fayetteville," Johnnie Farmer said.

This was the final step in the interview process for the candidates. City Leaders said a decision will happen within the month.

"I like where we are as a department," Kelly said. "I like where we are as  a city, and the big thing is, it's not about me, it's bigger than I am."

"There is a desire for economic development, job creation, and I think I can assist with doing that by bringing crime down and establishing those wonderful partnerships," Hinson said.

The successful candidate will replace retired Chief Harold Medlock, who stepped down last year.

"To be part of this organization, in any direction, to be able to take it to the next level, is very attractive," Hawkins said.

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