Deputy Chief Larry Smith will serve as the interim chief of the Durham Police Department after Jose Lopez retires at the end of the month.
“Deputy Chief Smith’s 27 years of service to the Police Department as well as to the Durham community makes him an excellent choice to serve in the interim chief position as recruitment begins for a new police chief,” City Manager Tom Bonfield said in a press release. “Smith is a well-respected leader in the department, and I’m happy that he was willing to provide continuity until a new police chief is named.”
Smith, a Durham native, has spent his entire career at the Durham Police Department. Smith has risen through the ranks from uniform patrol, special operations, District 2 captain and assistant chief of investigative services. He was named deputy chief of operations in July 2012.
Smith graduated from Northern High School in Durham, Campbell University in Buies Creek and the FBI National Academy.
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Bonfield has said that he hopes to offer the position to someone by early April. The hiring process timeline also includes the city holding two community forums in December – including one for Spanish-speakers – and reviewing applications through February.
Bonfield selected Durham firm Development Associates to conduct the search for Durham’s next chief.
Residents interested in providing feedback on what they would like to see in the next chief can do so at http://bit.ly/durhampolicechiefsearch.