New Carolina Beach police chief sworn in

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Lt. Chris Spivey, right, is sworn in as the new chief of the Carolina Beach Police Department at the town council meeting on Sept. 8, 2015. Photo by Hannah Leyva.
Lt. Chris Spivey, right, is sworn in as the new chief of the Carolina Beach Police Department at the town council meeting on Sept. 8, 2015. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

A new police chief was officially announced during Tuesday night’s Carolina Beach Town Council meeting.

Lt. Chris Spivey, a 15-year Carolina Beach Police Department veteran, was offered the top position last week after a search process that started with over 80 applicants and ended with five finalists.

“After going through all of that, we determined that the best candidate that we would recommend would be our existing lieutenant, Chris Spivey,” said Town Manager Michael Cramer in his formal introduction of the new chief to the town council.

Spivey, who was first hired in 2000 as a patrolman, was sworn in in front of a full council room that included Spivey’s family, friends and fellow Carolina Beach police officers. Cramer then presented him with his chief’s badge.

According to Cramer, Spivey was one of three internal candidates who was interviewed by a panel during the last week of August. The other two finalists were from outside the Carolina Beach Police Department.

“Not to besmirch any of the external applicants, but we’re pretty proud to have one of our own advance to police chief,” said Mayor Dan Wilcox, voicing a sentiment that was echoed by other town officials and residents. “We’re glad to have a new police chief who came up through the ranks.”

“We’re looking forward to working with him as we have in the past,” Wilcox added. “And our citizens are pretty happy too, from what I hear.”

Unlike Spivey, the town’s last top cop, Kenneth Hinkle, was a Carolina Beach outsider. He was hired in November 2013 after serving as police chief in Obetz, Ohio. He was placed on non-disciplinary suspension with pay in April of this year due to personnel issues, and eventually fired in May for insubordination and “poor performance in complying with rules and regulations necessary for the proper administration of the police department,” according to his termination letter. He appealed the decision but was denied.

Capt. Harry Humphries has been serving as acting police chief in the interim. Wilcox thanked Humphries on behalf of the town for guiding the department through the summer and through the transition period. Spivey officially begins his first day as chief Sept. 9.