The City of Burlington announces the selection of J. Jeffrey Smythe to the position of Burlington Chief of Police. Smythe was selected from a robust base of nation-wide applicants, including strong internal contenders, as the result of a rigorous assessment and screening process. Smythe will be officially sworn into office during a ceremony to be held at the Burlington Police Department on May 1. Smythe steps into the role of Police Chief after the retirement of Michael I. Williams, who served in that capacity for 6 of his twenty-seven years with the Burlington Police Department.
Smythe comes to the City of Burlington from Show Low, AZ where he has served as Chief of Police since 2008. Smythe, a twenty-seven year veteran of law enforcement, brings with him a set of diversified skills and expertise acquired throughout a distinguished career, including service with both the Arizona State University and the Scottsdale, AZ Police Departments. Smythe is known for leadership and excellence in community oriented policing, staff development, cultivation of inter-organizational partnerships, CALEA accreditation, and implementation of advanced technology to increase organizational effectiveness. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and has successfully completed the Police Staff and Command program at Northwestern University and the FBI National Academy.
“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,” comments City Manager Harold 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.”
“I look forward to working with Burlington’s talented police force in making the City one of North Carolina’s safest,” says Smythe of his new role. “My family has roots in North Carolina and I’m excited for the opportunity to plant some of my own here in Burlington,” he adds. Smythe and his wife, Kimberly, have three children, ages 22, 15 and 10.
Smythe’s acceptance of the position concludes the extensive recruitment and vetting process of 53 nation-wide applicants facilitated by Development Associates, LLC. of Raleigh, NC. Skills and qualities necessary for the position were defined through various input meetings including those held with previous Burlington Police Chiefs, members of the Court system, the public, and police officers. Well qualified applicants for the position participated in online and oral assessments as well as emotional intelligence testing. Finalists moved forward to participate in a vigorous, multi-day assessment center consisting of exercises designed to test candidates’ performance in a variety of roles in which a chief must excel. The center was evaluated by community members and law enforcement executives from across the state. The process culminated in extensive interviews between the city manager and the candidates.
The Burlington Chief of Police serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the agency, comprised of 125 sworn officers and 44 full-time civilian staff members. The Burlington Police Department is committed to improving the quality of life, in partnership with the community, through fair and professional police services. The Department is located at 267 West Front Street and can be reached at (336) 229-3503.