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Cary Police Chief Prepares for New Challenge

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CARY — One of the state's fastest growing towns is looking for a new top police officer. Cary's Chief of Police is retiring after a decade on the force. Whomever the town hires has some pretty big shoes to fill.

After a decade, David Fortson, is retiring as Cary's Police Chief to become chief in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In ten years, he's seen a lot of change.

"The department has over doubled in size," Fortson says. "The population has over doubled, and land mass has over doubled."

Fortson has also created change. Fortson lead the department in getting it's National Law Enforcement Accreditation. He put emergency medical dispatchers in Cary's 911 center. He backed the first combination police/fire substation in town.

Town manager Bill Coleman will choose the new chief. The search will concentrate in the Southeast. He expects hundreds of applicants.

"The policies and organization they develop is a real key to the quality of life in any community," Coleman says. "And because of that, the position is very critical."

Officer Allan Murray says Fortson will be a tough act to follow:

"Whoever comes in, if they take the chief's philosophies that he has designed and continue with those, I don't think we'll have any problems," Murray explains. "But I do hate to see him go." So will a lot of people in Cary.

Fortson's last day is May 29th. The town manager says it may take five months to find a new chief. In the meantime, the town plans to name an acting chief.