Police chief stresses leadership, respect at promotions ceremony
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez emphasized the importance of leadership Thursday during an awards ceremony for Durham Police Department employees who have been promoted since July.
“We need individuals who can mold and lead others for us to be the best police department in the safest city,” Lopez said at the evening gathering at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church on West Chapel Hill Street. “That’s not going to happen by itself.”
Lopez said the department has “a lot of young, impressionable officers. And there’s one thing that they really want – well, pay is one thing – but the second thing they really want is guidance and leadership.”
The chief asked the newly promoted officers and non-sworn personnel to mentor others in the department “and make sure they have the same drive you had.”
He also sounded a warning.
“When you look back at [officers] who got themselves in trouble, who got themselves dismissed from this organization, there had to have been a supervisor who wasn’t watching,” Lopez said. “There had to have been a commander who was not looking or addressing it. And you need to be that person.”
Lopez urged his officers to “embrace the community.”
“This is a time for you to go into the community, and not meet them halfway. You need to meet them where they are, and embrace them, and hopefully, the community will embrace you.”
The chief also suggested that law enforcement has gotten a bad reputation in past years.
“Part of what you also have to do in this day and age as a leader is not to write history,” Lopez said. “You need to rewrite it, because this career field has really brought with it some bad history, and we need to erase a lot of that, and to rewrite it, so that this community can start and continue to truly trust us. That’s important in the leadership that you [display] and the manner in which you lead others.”
He said respect only comes when it’s earned.
“You need to make sure that we deserve respect. I hope the community will give us the [chance] to show that we can be trusted, and deserve the respect that we ask for, and that we give you the respect that you deserve,” he said.
Lopez congratulated his officers for their initiative in seeking promotions, and thanked their families for encouraging them to succeed.
The promoted employees include a deputy chief, the department’s second-highest rank, and two assistant chiefs, the department’s third-highest rank. Those honored include:
Deputy Chief – Larry C. Smith
Assistant Chiefs – Jon M. Peter and Anthony R. Marsh Sr.
Captains – Sharon M. Barringer, Alonzo Z. Jaynes, David W. Addison and Patrice V. Andrews
Lieutenants – Ryan A. Freeman, Felisa L. Francis, Robert E. Gaddy Jr., Terrance G. Sembly, Marianne K. Bond and April N. Browne
Sergeants – Kelly K. Green III, Charles B. Davidson III, Brian G. Bishop, Vincent D. Bynum, Stephen W. Vaughan, Delondon A. Gaither, Brian Massengill, Michael F. Grissom, Melissa L. Bishop, Jay P. Swilley, John S. Tyler and Arlene B. Cheek
Corporals – Daniel J. Kuszaj, Frederick A. Kearns, Daniel M. Leeder, Anthony Smith, Casey J. Lear, Christopher M. Andrews, Tammy S. Hammouma, Leslie C. Bond, Timothy J. Wilson and James J. Cartwright
Crime Scene Specialist – Carina A. Bitticks-Alston