A city patrol officer known for his efforts to reach out to people in the community said Wednesday that he’s joining the Holly Springs Police Department because he wants to patrol neighborhoods in the town where he lives with his family.
J.D. Boyd’s announcement came the day after Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall disclosed that more than half of city government jobs will receive a pay hike, with the biggest raises going to police officers and firefighters. Last year, hundreds of police officers and firefighters picketed City Hall for higher wages.
Boyd, who has been with the department for six years, did not mention police salaries as a factor in his decision to leave Raleigh. He stated on his Facebook page that “the best way for me to participate in ‘community policing’ is to actually police my own community.”
Boyd may be best known for using social media to organize a community snowball fight and sledding event at Lion’s Park in February 2015. A News & Observer video of the event has received more than 1 million views on YouTube.
Boyd, who is married, is a native of Detroit, Mich., and graduated from Cary High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he studied airport firefighting, and was employed by the Raleigh-Wake County 911 Center before joining the police department, according to his Facebook page. Boyd wrote that he would soon be sworn in as a Holly Springs patrol officer and that he’s working his “last few days” in Raleigh.
He thanked Raleigh residents who welcomed him into their homes and communities. He described Raleigh as “an outstanding place” where he worked alongside “some of the greatest officers in the country.”
Reached for comment Wednesday, Boyd said he was not allowed to speak to the media without permission from Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown.
Boyd leaves just as his fellow police officers are set to get raises. Hall said he would increase the minimum salaries of 2,101 city positions, 1,182 of which are in the police and fire departments. Raises in the police and fire departments will range from 6 to 13 percent, while most of the other positions will get raises ranging from 2 to 4 percent.
Raleigh pays entry-level police and firefighters the lowest salaries of any local government in Wake County.