Rocky Mount set to hire new police chief | The Enterprise
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Rocky Mount set to hire new police chief

Posted on April 5, 2021

Local news

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

Hassell

Hassell

ROCKY MOUNT — City officials have completed a national search to fill the vacant police chief position.

Robert Hassell, who currently serves as chief of police for the city of Reidsville, has been presented a conditional offer of employment, pending the outcome of a background investigation, according to a press release from Jessie Nunery, the city’s media relations specialist.

If all goes well, Hassell will be sworn into office May 3.

Hassell is an accomplished law enforcement executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience. Since his appointment as Reidsville police chief in August 2014, Hassell has led a department of 50 full-time sworn offers. During his tenure, Hassell headed multiple public-facing programs and policy efforts, including the creation and integration of the Community Policing Philosophy; a response team to combat the opioid crisis known as the Post Overdose Response Team; and Community, Advocates, Leaders and Ministers, or CALM, which builds relationships between officers and the community they serve.

Hassell served as police chief at Fayetteville State University from January 2012 to August 2014.

That time overlapped with Rocky Mount City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney’s tenure as assistant city manager in Fayetteville from 2013-16.

“Robert Hassell possesses the qualities, skills and values necessary to be the city of Rocky Mount’s next police chief,” Small-Toney said in the press release. “From a pool of many well-qualified candidates, I believe Hassell’s experience (and) ability to form positive relationships internally and externally, as well as his proven track record of establishing programs and initiatives, make him the right candidate for this time in our city’s history.”

Hassell also served as police chief for the town of Hope Mills from September 2009 to January 2012. He’s served in a leadership capacity as director of public safety with the town of Fairmont from June 2005 to September 2009.

His career in law enforcement began with nearly a decade spent as a member of the Kinston Police Department from December 1995 to June 2005.

Hassell earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Mount Olive, a master’s degree in public administration from Central Michigan University and a doctorate of education in management and organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix.

He currently serves as chairman of the board for ReDirections and the vice chair of the planning committee for the N.C. Criminal Justice Training and Education Standards Commission. Hassell previously served as the president and regional director of the N.C. Association of Chiefs of Police, which represents more than 250 municipal, state, college and university law enforcement agencies.

If hired, Hassell will take over a department of nearly 200 employees. The department is working toward future accreditation.

Interim Chief Charles Williams will remain in his role until Hassell takes over. Williams is in his second stint as interim chief, twice filling in for retired Chief George Robinson, who returned briefly before resigning last month. 

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