Reed in the running

Published 1:08 am Saturday, April 16, 2011

Washington’s top cop is one of three finalists for the police chief’s job in Wrightsville Beach.

Glenn Mitchell “Mick” Reed, who replaced Joe Stringer as chief of the Washington Police Department in 2007, was among more than 100 people who applied for the position. Former Chief John Carey retired last month.

“I think the appropriate thing to do right now is to respectively decline to comment,” Reed said Friday afternoon.


Bob Simpson, Wrightsville Beach town manager, named two of the three finalists for the Wrightsville Beach job during that town’s board of aldermen’s meeting, according to media reports. James Varrone, a lieutenant with the Wilmington Police Department is the other known finalist. The third finalist requested confidentiality.

“At this point, I don’t know anything about it. I think it’s probably a good thing for him,” Washington Councilman Gil Davis said Friday. “Everybody should try to better themselves. I really don’t know much about it.”

“Without verifying that information, I could say that I would not be surprised that Chief Reed with be in demand with his qualifications,” Washington Mayor Archie Jennings said Friday. “We certainly would hate to lose him, but we understand his desire to further his career in either staying (in Washington) or looking for another job.”

At some council meetings, Reed has publicly stated his difference of opinion with some council members over some matters, including the city handing over its E-911 service to Beaufort County.

Before coming to Washington in June 2007, Reed served as police chief in South Boston, Va., since 2005. Before that, he worked at the Salem (Va.) Police Department for more than 24 years. Reed has a bachelor’s degree from Bluefield College in criminal justice administration. He attended executive management programs at the University of Richmond and North Carolina State University.

Reed is a strong advocate for community policing. Not long after coming to Washington, Reed was instrumental in setting up Project Next Step, which received an Award of Excellence from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission in December 2010.

The project identifies individuals involved in unlawful conduct and presents a unique manner to deal with them. If successful, the intervention eliminates overt criminal activity while bringing city and community resources available to alter the individual’s lifestyle, according to project spokesmen.

Project Next Step is credited with helping lower the crime rate in Washington.

Washington’s major-crimes rate for the first six moths of 2010 was down about 10 percent when compared to the first six months of 2009, according to data released by the Washington Police Department earlier this year.

That decrease follows a 26-percent decline in the crime rate from 2008 through 2009.

In the first six months of 2010, the number of reported major crimes – murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft and arson – totaled 325, down from the 364 reported for the first six months of 2009 and down from the 442 reported in the first six months of 2008, according to data provided by the department.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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