WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Catrina A. Thompson, who has served as Winston-Salem’s chief of police since 2017, announced that she will be retiring.
On Friday the city of Winston-Salem announced Thompson’s decision to retire in December after serving the city for nearly 30 years.
“Serving as Winston-Salem’s chief of police is one of the greatest honors of my public safety career,” Thompson said. “I will always love this agency and believe in its mission. My commitment to law enforcement will always be strong as I truly respect, appreciate and support this noble profession.”
Thompson started her career as a police officer in 1994 and rose through the ranks until she became chief of police in 2017. Her efforts to improve police-community relationships gave Thompson national recognition. “I am most certain that even greater days are ahead,” Thompson said. “The future of the WSPD remains bright because of the women and men that are committed to being the guardians of our city.”
City Manager Lee Garrity said that Thompson’s steady leadership served the city well at a time when police-community relations across the nation have been strained. “Our city has been blessed to have a police chief who earned the trust of the citizens and allowed Winston-Salem to weather the sorts of incidents that can set police and community relations on edge,” Garrity said. “Our next police chief will have some big shoes to fill.”
The city will use an executive search firm to search for the next police chief.