Faith guides Chocowinity police chief

Published 10:39 pm Friday, February 27, 2015

KEVIN SCOTT CUTLER | DAILY NEWS CHOCOWINITY CHIEF: Todd Alligood, a Washington native, has been Chocowinity's chief of police since 1996.

CHOCOWINITY CHIEF: Todd Alligood, a Washington native, has been Chocowinity’s chief of police since 1996.

CHOCOWINITY — There was a time last year when Todd Alligood knew he could be the next sheriff of Beaufort County.

Chocowinity’s chief of police threw his hat in the ring, campaigned hard and when he had done all he could do he left the decision up to the voters. He fell short at the polls, but any disappointment was short lived.

“I did the best I could and I feel like I put myself out there for the citizens to make their choice; they made their choice and I’ll always respect the voters,” Alligood said. “I look forward to the next few years with Chocowinity and I look forward to how we’re going to progress with the police department.”

Alligood’s career in law enforcement now spans more than 20 years. A 1988 graduate of Washington High School, he later attended Beaufort County Community College.

“I started as a deputy in 1991, working for Sheriff Nelson Sheppard,”

Alligood recalled. “I became an investigator, and then I left in 1995 to work in probation and parole. I was hired as chief of police inChocowinity in 1996, replacing Gordy Edwards.”

Times have changed and the town has grown since Alligood became chief of what was then essentially a one-man department. Today, he oversees a department of 10, which includes three full-time and two part-time officers, as well as five reserve officers.

“Our solve rate is above the state average, and Chocowinity is among the 10 lowest crime rates in the state among towns of comparable size,” Alligood noted, citing 2012-2013 statistics. “We’ve had one homicide in 18 years. But we handle everything from worthless checks to fraud cases, breaking and entering, drug cases … pretty much everything you can think of we handle here.”

Although he’s a Washington native, he’s made a home for himself and his family on the south side of the Pamlico River.

“I enjoy the people here; there are so many great people here in this town who support us,” Alligood said. “The people here come together and work together so well; they’re always supportive and it’s always a friendly atmosphere when we do our jobs.”

And when the darker side of life rears its ugly head in the small town, the chief of police doesn’t take it lightly.

“I take things personally when it comes to Chocowinity,” he said. ” If crime takes place here, I take it to heart.”

When he’s not busy protecting and serving the town, Alligood immerses himself in activities at Haw Branch Church of Christ. He’s been a member of the evangelism team and he’s been involved in the annual Family Fund Day and the church’s Road Warrior  car show, the latter a fundraiser for Haw Branch’s Unity Christian Academy. He served on the school’s original board, and he assists with transportation needs for Sunday school, church and vacation Bible school.

The Alligood family has been a part of the Haw Branch church family for more than 10 years, and the chief shares duties with his wife, Annette, when it comes to teaching “little church” for youngsters of prekindergarten age through first grade.

“To me the church is a way to get into the community and show your faith and share with other people,” Alligood said. “It’s a daily part of my life; my faith is what guides me.”