By Tameka Kenan-Norman, City of Rocky Mount
Rocky Mount Police Chief James Moore announced his retirement in a letter to City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney. Moore started with the Rocky Mount Police Department January 2, 2012. His retirement from the city will be effective January 1, 2018.
“I appreciate Chief Moore’s service to the citizens of Rocky Mount, the reduction in the crime rate, and his contributions to the leadership and development of the police department staff,” said Small-Toney.
During Moore’s tenure, a number of community outreach efforts were implemented, such as Lunch with a Cop, a program in which law enforcement officers join students at various elementary schools for lunch and talk with officers about a variety of topics. Coffee with a Cop was launched, in which area residents shared concerns with officers over a cup of coffee at restaurants and area churches. Pack-A-Patrol Car was another initiative established to help feed those in our community in need during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Moore restructured National Night Out as well, encouraging various communities to host individual activities engaging citizens and law enforcement. The initiative was structured to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and residents are fighting back.
Under Moore’s tenure, a number of enforcement efforts were also carried out. Operation Blue Heat, for example, included the arrest of 49 individuals and the seizure of seven firearms. Additionally, the Focused Deterrent Violent Crime Reduction Call-In was a way for Moore and his staff to target, and strive to help, career offenders who have long histories of violent crime.
Moore’s commitment to professional development was evident too as he sent officers through programs like Fair and Impartial Police Training, the Police Law Institute, the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, the district attorney’s prosecution course and a West Point Leadership program just to name a few.
Moore and his staff also ensured that residents were well informed through initiatives such as the department’s Know Your Rights seminar, which provided citizens with accurate information about police procedure and policies.
Under Moore, the crime rate was reduced. In 2016, the police department reported that the overall crime rate declined for five consecutive years, the longest continuous drop on record. In the same year, the city experienced the lowest number of Part 1 crimes in 39 years.
Moore has also been committed to having the necessary technology for policing efforts. Not only was police software upgraded, but body worn cameras were purchased for field personnel and rolled out in 2017.
Prior to joining the city of Rocky Mount, Moore served as deputy police chief in Wilmington, N.C. He began working for the Wilmington Police Department in 1988 where he also served in the role of interim human resources director for one year.
The city of Rocky Mount hopes to soon find an ideal candidate to fill the upcoming Police Chief vacancy.
“I will immediately begin the search for an interim chief, as well as the executive search firm that will assist in my appointment of the next chief of Police for the city of Rocky Mount,” stated Small-Toney.