Local News

Deputy chief to lead Durham Police Department when Lopez retires

Posted December 1, 2015 11:06 a.m. EST

Deputy Chief Larry Smith shows a young boy his police radio at a National Night Out event in Durham.

— Deputy Chief Larry Smith, a 27-year veteran of the Durham Police Department, will serve as interim police chief beginning Jan. 1, the city announced Tuesday.

Smith will take over for Jose Lopez, who is retiring Dec. 31.

“Deputy Chief Smith’s 27 years of service to the police department as well as to the Durham community makes him an excellent choice to serve in the interim chief position as recruitment begins for a new police chief,” Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield said in a statement. “Smith is a well-respected leader in the department, and I’m happy that he was willing to provide continuity until a new police chief is named.”

Smith, a Durham native and graduate of Northern High School, has spent his entire career at the Durham Police Department, rising through the ranks from uniform patrol, special operations, captain of District 2, and assistant chief of investigative services. He was named deputy chief of operations in July 2012.