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Winston-Salem names new chief of police

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Catrina Thompson

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem Assistant Police Chief Catrina A. Thompson has been appointed to the city’s 15th chief of police, according to a news release. Thompson will assume her duties Sept. 1 at the conclusion of the service of Chief Barry Rountree, who is retiring.

Thompson is a 23-year veteran of the Winston-Salem Police Department and currently serves as the assistant chief in charge of the Investigative Services Bureau. In this position she oversees the Criminal Investigations and Special Investigations divisions. She previously served in the Patrol Division, Recruiting Unit, Training Division and the Criminal Investigations Division.  She also serves as one of the departmental commanders of the Crisis/Hostage Negotiation Team.

She will lead a department with 570 sworn officers and 173 civilian positions, and an annual budget of $74.5 million.

“I am very pleased with the level of feedback that I have received from citizens and police employees regarding our candidates,” Garrity said. “After careful deliberation of all aspects of the chief’s job, I have determined that Assistant Chief Thompson is the best candidate to assume this major responsibility for our community.

“She will provide the leadership to aggressively combat crime while working to enhance the relationships between the department and the community.”

Thompson said, “I am honored to have been offered this opportunity and I take the responsibility for the physical security of our city seriously. Our police department will continue efforts to reduce crime and increase public safety for all residents, businesses and visitors in Winston-Salem, especially our youth.

“I look forward to working with community leaders and organizations in our city to redefine the generation equation for youths in our community whose life challenges stand in the way of their road to success.”

Thompson said she understands the vulnerable state of our country as it pertains to civil disorder and she is proud that members of our community have exercised their rights to protest without experiencing riots.  “We can’t rest on our laurels, we must continue to work to build trust, build bridges and strengthen relationships with all members and organizations within our community.”

Chief Thompson, 49, is a native of Detroit and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wayne State University in Detroit and a master’s in public administration from Appalachian State University. She recently graduated from the 2017 Public Executive Leadership Academy of the School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill. She is also a graduate of the West Point Leadership Program of Methodist University, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Association program, and Leadership Winston-Salem, Class of 2016.

Thompson and her husband, Alonzo, have two children, Alyson and Christopher. Thompson’s salary will be $150,000 annually.

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