Carthage Promotes Davis to Chief
By Tom Embrey
and John Chappell
Carthage has a new police chief.
Maj. Bart Davis has been promoted from within the department to fill the vacancy, according to a release from Town Manager Carol Sparks. Davis, a 12-year veteran of the department, was the ideal choice, Sparks said Tuesday.
"He's very dedicated, very qualified," Sparks said. "He knows the area, is a terrific family man. and he gets along good with everybody who works here. I had no second thoughts."
Sparks announced her selection to the Town Board last Friday. She said Tuesday that she had planned to hold off announcing the promotion until Aug. 15, but news leaked last week when prosecutors called Davis to testify at the murder trial of Robert Stewart.
When asked his occupation, Davis said he was Carthage's chief of police.
"When he came back (from court), he told me we might have a problem," Sparks said.
The testimony hastened the announcement.
Former Chief Chris McKenzie - who headed the force at the time of the Pinelake nursing home murders - resigned earlier this month. He was promoted to chief of police after the retirement of Chief Craig Goodnight in 2002.
He endorsed Davis, his second-in-command, for the top job.
Davis, 42, is originally from Lakeview. He attended Union Pines High School and Sandhills Community College.
He said the promotion to chief was sudden.
"It was definitely a goal of mine (to become a police chief), but I was definitely not expecting the opportunity to come this early in my career," he said.
Support from family, community and fellow officers played a key role in accepting the position, he said.
Davis will oversee a department that has 10 full-time employees and eight part-time workers. He said he is currently focused on learning the nuances of the new job, hiring personnel to fill out the department and preparing to provide security for the Dixie Youth World Series.
"It's unusually busy for us right now," Davis said.
Sparks said she initially considered looking outside the department for a new chief, but upon further examination, she realized Davis was the right choice for the town.
"Anybody in town who asked me about the search for a new police chief asked me to consider Bart," she said.
In addition, Sparks said Davis is well-respected within the department and by other law enforcement agencies.
" We are very, very happy about the move," Sparks said.
Davis served with the U.S. Coast Guard from 1990 until 1994. He was a deck supervisor and received law enforcement training during his service.
He spent his four and a half years at sea, stationed in Charleston, S.C., for three years and Jacksonville, Fla., for a year and a half. After being honorably discharged, Davis joined the Carthage Police Department in August 1999.
He worked two years in the patrol division and then was moved into investigations. In February 2002, he was promoted to lieutenant over the patrol and investigative divisions.
During those two years, he enrolled in the N.C. Justice Academy's Criminal Investigators Certificate Program (CICP), became certified as a general instructor to teach in the local academy and began work on his advanced education.
In February 2004, he was promoted to captain. He currently holds active certifications as a radar operator, Intoxilyzer 5000 and mobile data terminal operator. Davis completed training and was awarded his criminal investigator's certificate in May 2006.
Davis was promoted to the rank of major July 1, 2008 . In February 2009, he was awarded his advanced law enforcement certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.
Contact Tom Embrey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact John Chappell at email@example.com.
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