Belhaven’s designated chief is dedicated to serve
Clingenpeel speaks about community policing in town
By GREG KATSKI
The Town of Belhaven finally got its man.
Frederick Price Clingenpeel was introduced as the town’s designated police chief at the Belhaven Town Council’s meeting Monday night.
About 50 town residents, as well as several media outlets, were on hand to witness the introduction of Clingenpeel by Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal.
As has been stated before, O’Neal said, “We are taking a new direction with the police department.” The town has promised to focus on community policing since former police chief George Hayden was fired on March 20.
Interim Town Manager Guinn Leverett believes that Clingenpeel shares this sentiment.
Clingenpeel has served as a deputy with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years. He graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., in 2006 and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He will receive his master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Wilmington “in a matter of 10 days,” O’Neal said.
The town feels that Clingenpeel is ready to serve as chief. His certification is currently being finalized by the Department of Justice, according to the press release.
Clingenpeel was grateful for the opportunity provided by the town.
The police department currently has one officer, Joseph Smith, who spoke with Clingenpeel at length before the council meeting.
Clingenpeel said the decision was easy after he took his first tour of the town.
He cited the gratefulness of town residents while introducing himself.
The first order of duty will be recruiting qualified officers for the department, Clingenpeel said.
Once the department is fully staffed, he said he wants to reiterate community policing and practice crime prevention at the neighborhood level.
O’Neal said he is glad that the chief will be living within the Belhaven city limits.
Belhaven councilman Howard Moore offered to help Clingenpeel in his neighborhood policing and getting familiar with the town.