City Manager Doug Hewett hopes to name Fayetteville’s eighth Chief of Police at the June 26 City Council meeting. Hewett whittled a field of more than 30 candidates to succeed retired Chief Harold Medlock to six and then to three finalists. They are Interim Fayetteville Police Chief Anthony Kelly; Clayton County, Georgia Deputy Chief Gina Hawkins; and Greensboro Deputy Police Chief James Hinson Jr.
“We have conducted a very thorough search process to identify the best person to be our next police chief in Fayetteville, and I believe the three finalists we have selected are all highly qualified and capable of leading our police department,” Hewett said.
Kelly, who has served as Fayetteville’s interim chief since October 2016, is a Fayetteville native. Former Chief Medlock appointed Kelly as Assistant Chief of Police. Kelly grew up off Strickland Bridge Road in 71st Township. He is a 22-year veteran of the department and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Fayetteville State University. He graduated from the West Point Leadership Program at Methodist University and the FBI National Academy.
Hawkins supervises the Field Operations and Support Services Commands of the Clayton County, Georgia, Police Department. Hewett described her as a multifaceted criminal justice professional with 28 years of experience. Hawkins reports directly to the Police Chief and assists in planning, organizing, directing and overseeing all operations of the Police Department. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree at Georgia State University and a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University. She too is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Hinson serves as the Greensboro Police Department’s Patrol Bureau Commander, having joined Greensboro PD in 1991. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from North Carolina A&T University and a Master’s from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University.
“These candidates have been put through the wringer,” said Hewett of the evaluation process. They withstood numerous interviews plus a rigorous assessment center as recently as last month. The FPD’s annual budget is $52 million in support of 433 sworn officers and approximately 180 civilian employees. It serves a city of 210,000 residents and a geographic area of 148 square miles, larger than the cities of Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. Fayetteville is the sixth largest city in North Carolina.
Hewett decided to launch a national search for a successor to Medlock three months ago, and retained a firm specializing in law enforcement career development in February.
Photo, from left to right: Interim Fayetteville Police Chief Anthony Kelly; Clayton County, Georgia Deputy Chief Gina Hawkins; and Greensboro Deputy Police Chief James Hinson Jr.