NEWTON GROVE — Town officials are getting closer to having a new leader for the police department.
During a monthly meeting Monday, Commissioner Alan Herring announced that Greg Warren, a park ranger from High Point, was selected as the next police chief for Newton Grove.
“We’re happy to have him come on board and we’re excited for him to get here,” Herring said.
The search began at the end of last year after Frankie Harrell resigned from the position after a domestic violence incident. Harrell served as Newton Grove’s police chief for 14 years before he was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 28, by Johnston County Sheriff’s deputies on a charge of assaulting a female at his residence in the Bentonville area, near Four Oaks.
Before Harrell joined the Newton Grove Police Department, he served with the Pine Level Police Department, the Johnston County Sheriff Office and was an adjunct instructor for the University of Mount Olive.
A decision was made in favor of Warren during a special meeting last week. He is originally from the Newton Grove area and was previously a police officer with Asheboro. He also served as a deputy with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re happy to have him back in the town and we’re looking forward to working with him,” Mayor Gerald Darden said.
Warren is currently serving the Parks and Recreation department for High Point, a city in the Piedmont Triad region with more than 100,000 people. Missions for the park rangers are to enhance safety at parks and recreation facilities, protecting natural resources and providing security. They are also sworn officers with the authority to make arrests and issue citations for city, state or federal law violations.
An official start date or swearing-in ceremony was not announced at the meting. Herring reported that several more steps had to be made to deal with documents and other standards.
The recent discussion was one of many held regarding police matters. In 2018, concerns were also raised about law enforcement coverage after complaints were made by residents after Hurricane Florence.
In addition to the chief, there’s currently two-full time positions within the department. Suggestions were made to hire more officers, which would raise taxes or to use auxiliary officers. Commissioners agreed to put a new chief in place before a decision is made regarding more officers.
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