Home Local News 4 Rockingham Officers Promoted to Sergeant

4 Rockingham Officers Promoted to Sergeant

From left: Maj. Eddie Grant, Sgt. John Haywood, Sgt. Justin Chance, Sgt. Ronald Brigman, Sgt. Lonnie McCaskill and Chief Billy Kelly.
William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Four of the city’s “boys in blue” were promoted to the rank of sergeant during a ceremony at city hall Tuesday afternoon.

Chief Billy Kelly said the promotions were based on each officer’s years of service, the amount of training received beyond what’s required, commitment to the community and demonstrating the ability “lead, not just dictate” — all while balancing a family life.

City Manager Monty Crump thanked the family members who were in attendance for the support of their loved ones in law enforcement.

“You understand the long hours … they lay their life on the line every day,” he said. “We could never pay any officer enough, or say thanks to any family enough, for the price that you pay in serving our citizens and … our community.”

Crump then turned to commend the officers.

“I want every police officer that comes to work for the city of Rockingham to make it a career,” he said. “If you start here, we want you to end here.”

Crump said it’s presently a tough time to be in law enforcement.

“In any situation that you are in, you’re never right,” he said. “You’ve either done too much or you haven’t done enough. That’s a tough environment to be in.

But, he added, as long as they follow the laws and city policies, “We’re with you 100 percent.”

Kelly called up each officer, giving a brief biography, before pinning on their sergeant stripes.

Officer John Haywood has 26 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the Rockingham Police Department for five years.

Kelly said Haywood “receives many letters of praise from the public for the performance of his duties” and has been awarded Officer of the Year for the day shift the past two years.

Haywood has a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Pembroke and has been through multiple training and management programs throughout his career.

He is married with a daughter and a son.

Detective Ronald Brigman Jr., currently the SWAT Team leader, has been with RPD since 2011. Before coming to Rockingham, he worked with the N.C. Department of Corrections and spent nearly two years with the Wadesboro Police Department.

During his time at the department, Brigman has been a corporal on the night shift and served on the honor guard.

In the past seven years, Brigman has earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College, completed parts I and II of Executive Leadership at Richmond Community College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice/public administration through Liberty University.

Brigman has also obtained his Advance Certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Training Standards Division, and has completed the Tactical Training Certificate Program and Criminal Investigator Certificate Program from the N.C. Justice Academy.


He is married with one daughter, one stepdaughter and one stepson.

Lonnie McCaskill, a former Richmond County sheriff’s deputy, joined RPD in 2005 and has been in law enforcement for 15 years. While at the department, he has been a traffic and patrol officer.

He has completed the Law Enforcement Executive Program at N.C. State University, has an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from RCC and has obtained his Intermediate Certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Training Standards Division.

McCaskill is married with two daughters.

Justin Chance has been with the department since 2012, working on the night shift and was promoted to corporal last year. Chance has also been named Officer of the Year for the night shift four times.

He has an associate degree in criminal justice from RCC and has completed Executive Leadership Part I. Chance plans to apply for his Intermediate Certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Training Standards Division this year.

He is married with a daughter and a son.

His wife, Kouston, and son were at the ceremony.

“It can be hard” being married to a police officer, she said, adding that his being away from the family was the most difficult part.

As the new sergeants were making their way out of the council chamber doors, another officer was being sworn in by City Clerk Sabrina McDonald.

David Gallops is rejoining RPD on Nov. 2 after spending the past two months with the Sunset Beach Police Department. He previously served in Rockingham for six years after two years with the Hamlet Police Department.

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.