Local News

Hillsborough police chief resigning to focus on Orange sheriff bid

Posted March 23, 2010 9:46 a.m. EDT
Updated March 23, 2010 12:13 p.m. EDT

— Hillsborough Police Chief Clarence Birkhead will step down on April 2 to "devote all of my energies to my campaign," according to portions of his resignation letter released by the town on Tuesday.

Birkhead, 49, is a candidate for Orange County sheriff. He has been Hillsborough’s police chief since July 5, 2005, and previously spent 17 years with Duke University's police.

In Hillsborough, Birkhead supervises 32 employees and a $2.4 million budget in fiscal year 2010. He earns an annual salary of $92,751, according to a news release from the town.

“For almost five years I have been devoted to the service of the Town of Hillsborough and its citizens,” Birkhead wrote. “During my tenure, the Police Department has markedly improved its service to our citizens. We have experienced successes in all areas of police service. I am confident that I leave the department in a strong position for continued success and excellent service under the leadership of my successor.”

Town Manager Eric Peterson said he hopes to name an interim chief by early next week.

Replacing a department-head level position typically takes about six months, town officials said. The process is lengthy due to the need to develop a selection process, advertise the position, screen applicants, conduct interviews and perform background investigations.