Home Local News New Hamlet Police chief leaving ‘acrimonious political environment’ in Hertford

New Hamlet Police chief leaving ‘acrimonious political environment’ in Hertford

Dennis Brown is leaving as chief of the Hertford Police Department and coming to Hamlet. His last day at his current job is March 31.
Contributed photo

HAMLET — The city’s incoming police chief is leaving his current post citing an “acrimonious political environment.”

Dennis Brown, currently chief of the Hertford Police Department, submitted his letter of resignation on Sunday, according to the Perquimans Weekly.

In his resignation, printed in full by the paper, Brown said that the current political climate “is impacting me, my family, and the department.”

“The police department is being used by some as a tool for discord,” Brown said. “This is not our primary function and is placing staff in the middle of political disagreements.”

Brown said his loyalty has always been to the citizens of the town and he has enforced the law equally without showing any favoritism.

“Conversely, it was made public last year of an exploration of a council member into the disbanding (of) the police department,” Brown said. “While the public and most of the council greatly supports the department, I do not believe this goal has been abandoned and could be serving as a motivation for some decisions.”

According to the newspaper, one councilman has been arrested and convicted more than once, and another was recently charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering and trespassing.

There is also an SBI investigation into allegations that the mayor’s personal emails were illegally retrieved from a town computer and used by another councilmember for extortion.

The mayor reportedly said he was “uncomfortable” reporting the incident to the local police department because of “political associations and relationships that had formed between various council members, the town manager and the chief of police.”

Advertisements

However, Brown said his time in Hertford, since being hired in October 2018, hasn’t been all bad.

“During my tenure, the police department has reconnected with our community through a customer service-based community policing model,” Brown said. “This approach has healed old wounds and brought about a positive relationship between our officers and residents. The police department has embraced the 21st Century Model of Policing and made its mandates key fundamental elements of our service plan. The evidence room, which has been a historic point of concern, has been inventoried and property is being managed in a legal and professional manner.”

When he came on board, Brown said the town only had two full-time police officers and one administrative assistant. The department now boasts eight full-time officers, with a plan to hire a ninth, and five part-time officers.

In his two years, Brown said the department has increased response times, incorporated accredited policies and embraced technology, becoming the only department in Perquimans County to use both dashboard and body-worn cameras.

“Overall, I leave a department which is staffed with exceptional members who care greatly for the Hertford community and only want the department to find more success,” Brown said.

Although he did not tell the newspaper where he was going, Hamlet City Manager Matthew Christian announced Monday that Brown had been hired as the new chief, replacing Tommy McMasters.

Christian did not say when Brown would start, but the Perquimans Weekly reports his last day in Hertford will be March 31.

Capt. Anthony Moss has served as interim chief since McMasters’ departure.