Deputy Police Chief Tony Godwin, who was named Cary’s new police chief Monday, said he plans to continue the legacy of retired Police Chief Pat Bazemore by using original thinking to deliver excellent service to Cary’s residents.
“That’s what Chief Bazemore was always so good about doing,” Godwin said Monday, shortly after his promotion was announced. “She was always so good at thinking outside the box and thinking of ways to do things better.”
Godwin, 48, was selected from more than 75 applicants from as far away as Oregon and Nevada to replace Bazemore, who retired July 31 after 29 years with the department. He had been Cary’s deputy chief since 2014.
Since Bazemore’s departure, Godwin has served as interim police chief. In his new position, he will earn $139,000 annually, overseeing a department of 238 people, including 195 sworn officers.
Never miss a local story.
“I don’t have any major changes in mind, but it’s one of those things that we are always looking at, how we can do things better,” Godwin said. “One thing that absolutely won’t change is the way we deliver service to our community.”
After joining the Cary Police Department in 1990 as a patrol officer, Godwin served in numerous other capacities, including leadership positions on Cary’s Emergency Response Team, Field Operations and Criminal Investigations Division.
“I have touched just about everything in the department,” he said. “But the job that I’ve loved the most is just being a patrol sergeant and just being out there working every day on the road. Patrol is the backbone of any law enforcement organization.”
During his tenure, Godwin said, he has faced many challenges, including reacting to the aftermath of recent national tragedies involving law enforcement and the African-American community. But he said the events have given the department the opportunity to build relationships with the community.
“Although it’s born out of a very trying and difficult time and very difficult situations, I think we have built some really strong relationships in our own community,” Godwin said. “I think it’s one of those things we will always strive to do, just to be sure we are serving our entire community in just the absolute best way we can.”
Cary Police Maj. Scott Davis, who has served with the department for 26 years, said Godwin has garnered support from the agency, town and community throughout his tenure.
“I think that Chief Godwin has worked extremely hard,” Davis said. “He understands the climate in which he is working, and he has been a part of this agency and the progression of this agency for years, so we figure it will continue.”
Godwin holds a master’s degree in justice administration from Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from N.C. State University. Before starting his career as a patrol officer, he was assigned to work for the Cary Police Department while completing his degree at N.C. State University.
“It’s been such a blessing to work here,” Godwin said. “I just love the community. I think the biggest thing is the support that we get from our citizens, the support that we get from our Town Council and the working relationship with all of town government.”
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608, @ktrogdon