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Clayton Searches For New Police Chief - Help Us Make the Hire!


Hiring a police chief is one of the most important decisions any Town will make – a decision that’s critical to the future of a community. That’s why the Town of Clayton is asking the public to participate in the hiring of a new leader to replace Police Chief R.W. Bridges, who will retire at the end of April after nearly 20 years of service at the Clayton Police Department.  

We are hosting a public forum to allow residents, business owners and community organizations to drop by and share their thoughts on what Clayton needs to look for in our next top cop. Please join us

Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 4-8 p.m.
Council Chambers at The Clayton Center/Town Hall
111 East Second Street

Clayton is no longer a sleepy little crossroads. Just 20 minutes from the state North Carolina state capital, we are the fastest growing town in Johnston County, an international biopharmaceutical hub and a community repeatedly recognized as one of the best, safest and most affordable places in the state and nation to live and raise a family. Our dynamic business community, bustling downtown, numerous medical facilities and high-achieving schools are keeping families here and enticing new people every day.  The 2010 Census showed Clayton at 16,193 people. In the just-released 2015 estimates – we’re now at 19,304 and growing. Our 10-year average annual growth rate is about 5%. And not only have we grown in population, we’ve grown in actual SIZE: in just the past year, we’ve added more than 50 acres to the Town through voluntary annexations.

Our largest manufacturing employer is pharmaceutical giant Grifols, with more than 1,600 employees and multi-million dollar expansion on the way.  Last year, Novo Nordisk, a Danish insulin maker, announced a $1.85 billion expansion – that’s the largest private investment in the history of North Carolina AND the biggest pharmaceutical project in the WORLD right here in Clayton! We boast greenways, parks, a popular art sculpture trail and active arts scene. Just over a decade ago, in a showing of partnership and commitment to the community, we took two abandoned school buildings and immaculately restored them into our Town Hall and our performing arts and conference center, The Clayton Center.  Our Law Enforcement Center is state-of-the-art and has won awards for architecture and design.  All of these public buildings  sit in the heart of Downtown Clayton, where a free concert series, popular parades and an annual Harvest Festival attract crowds in the thousands. 
A key aspect of Clayton’s consistently high state and national rankings: our responsive police force of more than forty dedicated men and women sworn to protect our Town. In 2009, the Clayton Police Department became the first law enforcement agency the county and one of only 5 departments of its size in the state to earn the highly-prized recognition for professional excellence from CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. We went on to earn this prestigious honor in 2012 and in 2015, the Clayton Police Department achieved the Gold Standard, the most difficult and most painstaking of the accreditation processes an agency can seek.  In our last available annual report in 2015, we saw more than 25% decrease in violent crimes (mainly due to decrease in aggravated assaults from 26 to 15. Robberies rose from 7 to 13 incidents, but we investigated no homicides or rape cases.  Property crimes went down by almost 4% to total of 14 incidents for the year. 

Last year, in the wake of national events that strained police and community relations, the Clayton Police Department was overwhelmed with an incredible outpouring of support, messages, food and other gifts. For example, completely unsolicited, the local Clayton Rotary began a yard sign campaign broadcasting “We Support Clayton Police.”  Capitalizing on the goodwill, Chief Bridges invited local church and community leaders to an informal gathering, hoping to shed light on emerging issues and strengthen the local bonds and lines of communication between the community with his force.  That informal group has now formed a lasting allegiance, continuing to meet to discuss community safety issues and concerns. This past Fall, the group recognized Chief Bridges for his efforts to start an open dialogue and bring Clayton together. 

Do you want a Police Chief who is proactive in ensuring that relationship between the community and law enforcement continues? Do you have safety concerns about certain areas of town? What police efforts do you support? What areas need more work? Please take a few minutes to share with us on February 7 and help the Town make this vital decision. The more feedback and perspective received, from all segments of the community, the better. 

To aid in the search for a new Police Chief, the Town of Clayton has contracted with Developmental Associates.  Led by Stephen K. Straus, Ph.D., Developmental Associates specializes in public sector searches and has operated predominately in North Carolina for more than 25 years. Just this past year, the firm helped the Town of Clayton in hiring our new Town Manager Adam Lindsay. They’ve also conducted several police chief searches and promotional processes throughout the state, including Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte, and in Spartanburg, S.C.

The first phase of the recruitment process starts with gathering information from community stakeholders, the public, business owners and community leaders. It will also include Police Department employees and other town staff. Candidates are being sought and recruited through Feb. 24. The applications will be sorted and vetted by Developmental Associates and town leaders. On March 30-31, the Town will hold an intensive two-day assessment center, where the finalists will go through a combination of interviews, written exercises and mock scenarios. 

Our growing Town is seeking a visionary who has a demonstrated history of innovative leadership. The Police Chief will be responsible for leading the department that protects a community of nearly 20,000 residents – residents who expect high levels of service and engagement. The Clayton Police Department has a $4.57 million budget, 43 sworn personnel, and three support personnel. The ideal candidate will be a strong leader who will work well with our Town manager, community members and surrounding law enforcement agencies – and who will be experienced and confident in managing all areas of a full-service police department. The department moved into an award-winning, newly-designed facility in 2011.


The successful candidate will be:

  • skilled in developing trust among members of the community and the police department while leveraging opportunities for collaborative problem solving and partnerships;
  • able to cultivate a strong, effective leadership team within the Department, to include succession planning;
  • an outstanding communicator who speaks clearly, assertively, and transparently with internal and external stakeholders;
  • proactive in developing and supporting staff to achieve excellence through increased training, responsibility, productivity, morale, and retention;
  • an innovative partner with other Town Departments and Community Leaders;
  • able to engage and collaborate with surrounding law enforcement agencies;
  • experienced across functional areas: patrol, support services, investigations, and other specialized units;
  • knowledgeable regarding the use of intelligence-led policing, use of technology and data-driven approaches to predict and prevent crime, and community oriented policing;
  • engaged, accessible and visible within and across departments and in the community;
  • consistently updating personal knowledge regarding public policy, public perception, and law enforcement trends (e.g. 21st Century Policing); 
  • appreciative of the significance of diversity within all aspects of the department and community and has innovative solutions to attracting, retaining and promoting diversity;
  • able to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the Department.

The Police Chief job requires a four-year degree in criminal justice, public administration, or other relevant field, and fifteen (15) years of progressive law enforcement experience to include seven (7) years of management/command level experience; or any equivalent combination of training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities of a law enforcement executive. Master's Degree and Advanced Law Enforcement Training preferred. Demonstrated and documented success in both reduction of crime as well as improvement/strengthened/ positive community relations/department reputation.

The hiring salary range is $90,000 to $115,000, with negotiation within the range based on credentials and experience. 

Click here to see the full listing and apply. All applications and materials must be submitted online. The application deadline is Feb. 24. An assessment center will be held in Clayton for selected finalists March 30-31.  

All inquiries should be emailed to The Town of Clayton is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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