Burlington, NC -- The Burlington Police Department has a new chief, the City announced in a news conference Wednesday.
City officials announced 27-year veteran J. Jeffrey Smythe as their selection for the department's new chief of police.
Smythe comes from Show Low, AZ, where he's served as chief since 2008.
His storied career includes service with the Arizona State University and Scottsdale, AZ, police departments. He graduated from ASU with a degree in justice studies and later earned a Master's degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.
Smythe also successfully completed the Police Staff and Command program at Northwestern University, as well as the FBI National Academy.
He says he's excited about the chance to give back to the state that means so much to his family.
"I look forward to working with Burlington's talented police force in making the City one of North Carolina's safest," said Smythe. "My family has roots in North Carolina, and I'm excited for the opportunity to plant some of my own here in Burlington."
The city's selection came after current Chief Michael Williams announced his plan to retire after spending six of his 27 years in law enforcement with the Burlington Police Department.
City officials combed through 53 applications from candidates across the nation to come to their final decision. City Manager Harold Owen says the city made a wise choice.
"Jeffrey is not only a proven leader in the field of law enforcement, but he is also a man of utmost integrity who possesses the energy and commitment necessary to excel in this demanding position," said Owen. "I am confident that Jeffrey's personality and impressive track record will translate into his success in the role of chief of our highly regarded Burlington Police Department."
Smythe will officially take over as chief May 1.
City of Burlington