15-Year Veteran Named Police Chief
Updated June 21, 2013
The Town of Clayton is excited to announce the appointment of R.W. Bridges as the permanent Chief of the Clayton Police Department. He started as an officer in Clayton almost 15 years ago and worked his way through the ranks to become one of the department’s top leaders. He’s credited with many Clayton Police “firsts,” including the formation of Clayton’s SWAT Team, leading the newly formed administrative division, and championing the department’s impressive international accreditation status.
“It’s a distinct honor to be appointed to lead an organization with this level of professionalism and dedication,” said Bridges. “The men and women of the Clayton Police are indicative of the very best qualities in public service and I look forward to working with each of them to improve upon an already outstanding department.”
Bridges has been serving as the interim Police Chief for about 2 months, after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory appointed former Police Chief Glen Allen as the new head of the State Capitol Police. While Clayton leaders were disappointed to see Allen go, they were equally proud to see Allen take on a high-ranking leadership position in Raleigh after 6 successful years in Clayton and more than 3 decades in police work in the state.
“I hold the success of the Clayton Police Department as a major point of pride for the Town,” said Town Manager Steve Biggs. “The Department has grown in many ways over the past sixteen years and beginning today it takes that next step. Based on years of success within the Department and having shown competence and leadership through the more recent period as Interim Chief, Wayne Bridges has demonstrated the loyalty, experience, and dedication necessary to be successful as Chief of the Clayton Police Department.”
The quality of department staff, equipment, facilities, and training have never been higher and Chief Bridges has accepted responsibility to work with all staff to ensure the Clayton Police Department continues to be one of the most successful law enforcement operations in the region.
“I am so pleased with the selection of Chief Bridges as our Town Chief of Police,” said Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod. “He’s a dedicated law enforcement officer, loyal not only to this town but to his fellow officers. I’m confident he will continue to do his very best for the citizens of Clayton and be accessible to them whenever needed.”
Town leaders were extremely pleased to be able to appoint the position of Police Chief from within the police department’s own ranks and avoid a lengthy and expensive candidate search.
“We have worked for many years to develop our in house staff to meet ever increasing responsibilities,” explained Town Manager Biggs. “Captain Bridges has shown a sustained interest and effort to meet the demands of increasing responsibility. . I feel very positive about his service over the past several weeks as interim. He has effectively led the department and also developed a very impressive physical aptitude test to encourage the fitness and health of his officers. He will make a fine Chief.”
Chief Bridges has pledged to work with his Captains to recruit, retain, train, and promote officers who meet the standard of excellence by which the CPD has come to be recognized.
Raised east of Clayton in Washington, North Carolina, Bridges served four years in the Army in the intense, high-pressure role of air traffic controller. He went on to serve a decade with the Raleigh Police Department, serving as a driving and radar instructor.
He joined Clayton as an officer in 1998, moving up through the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. Bridges led the Patrol Division for almost seven years. In 2003, Bridges formed Clayton’s SWAT Team and has remained the Team’s Commander ever since. Then in 2006, Bridges took over the newly formed Administrative Services Division. He has worked under three different police chiefs in Clayton, including Chief Paul Keene, Gary Ragland and now most recently Glen Allen.
Town leaders are especially proud of the work Bridges spearheaded in earning the department advanced international recognition from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) for the past four years, an honor that has brought a boost to the Clayton Police Department’s already stellar reputation.