Many career law enforcement officers have an ambition to make a chase to the top … to be a chief. Many local folks wondered why now retired Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock would leave the Charlotte/Mecklenburg P.D. to come to Fayetteville. He was a Deputy Chief in the queen city and had twice as many officers under his command in his area of responsibility as there are in the Fayetteville Police Department. Yet Medlock applied for and was chosen to succeed Chief Tom Bergamine, who was a protégé of former Chief Ron Hansen. It was an opportunity for Medlock to finally make his way to the top.
Interim Fayetteville Police Chief Anthony Kelly, an assistant chief, has decided to toss his hat in the ring to succeed Medlock even though just a couple of weeks ago City Manager Doug Hewett launched a national search for the top cop’s job. Many members of city council and senior commanders in the department hope Kelly will be selected. He’s a hometown man having grown up here. He got his degree at Fayetteville State University and knows the city inside and out. He’s been a policeman for 20 years.
Another top Fayetteville cop, Charles Kimble, has also climbed the law enforcement ladder of success. He was recently sworn in as Spring Lake’s Chief of Police. He succeeded Troy McDuffie, who had been chief of a smaller town, and before that served for years in the Fayetteville Police Department. There’s just something about the lure to be a chief. Like the others, Kimble has been in law enforcement almost all his adult life. He spent three years in the Army, and in 1991 joined the P.D. in Milwaukee, WI, his hometown. He spent four years on the force. Then he and his wife, Yon, came to Fort Bragg in 1995. She was then a recent college ROTC graduate with a commission in the Army. “I was able to join the Fayetteville Police Force as a lateral entry because Milwaukee’s standards at the time were higher than the F.P.D,” Kimble said.
Kimble rose through the ranks over 20 years to become an assistant chief. He regards the late Chief Tom McCarthy and Medlock as his mentors, and hopes to further develop community policing in Spring Lake. In 2015, Kimble left the F.P.D. to become Chief of Fayetteville State University’s Department of Police and Public Safety. He said he “wanted to return to urban policing” and applied for the Spring Lake chief’s post when McDuffie retired. One of his first goals “is to modernize internal operations of the department with emphasis on traffic and accident management and prevention.” Kimble says 60,000 cars travel through the NC 210/87 ‘split’ each day. He says massive construction projects along Bragg Boulevard should be completed in May or June.