Outreach Officer to Lead Southern Pines Police
Robert Temme, the community services coordinator for the Southern Pines Police Department, has been named interim police chief, effective next Monday.
Chief John Letteney is leaving at the end of this week to take the top law enforcement position in the Raleigh suburb of Apex.
“While this is a time of great change for the Police Department, Southern Pines is extremely fortunate to have an individual of Robert Temme’s experience and character available to help in the transition,” Town Manager Reagan Parsons said Tuesday. “His intricate knowledge of our current operation, philosophies and best management practices, in addition to the familiarity that already exists between him and the officers, should be an excellent fit given our current circumstances.”
Temme said it was “an honor and a privilege” to serve as interim chief.
“I’ve some pretty big shoes to fill,” he said. “We’re going to continue to move forward with our crime prevention and crime analysis efforts. If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”
Temme, who also serves as the department’s accreditation manager, added that he will consider applying for police chief once the job description is posted next week and he consults with Parsons.
“I’ll have to give it some consideration. It’s certainly a possibility,” he said.
Mayor David McNeill said he received notice of Temme’s selection as interim chief in an email Monday from Parsons.
“We’re very fortunate to have someone like Bob on staff who can step into this position,” McNeill said.
Letteney also endorsed the decision.
“Bob has a wealth of police experience and has demonstrated his ability to focus on community needs, bringing together police and community resources to solve problems,” Letteney said. “He is dedicated to Southern Pines and has the leadership skills necessary to serve in this capacity and ensure a smooth transition.”
Temme earned a criminal justice degree from Nassau Community College in New York, a Bachelor of Science degree from Empire State College, and an MBA from Dowling College. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Temme worked for the police department in Stamford, Conn., for 22 years before retiring as a lieutenant in 2004.
Prior to arriving in Southern Pines three years ago, Temme worked for the N.C. Department of Juvenile Justice after serving as chair of the Department of Aero-nautical Science and as a professor for homeland security at the State University of New York (SUNY), Farmingdale.
Parsons said the town has hired Developmental Associates in Chapel Hill to assist in a national search for Letteney’s permanent successor.
“The town has been very successful in the use of these types of services in the past,” Parsons said. “In fact, it was a similar firm and methodology that brought us Chief Letteney seven years ago.”
Parsons said he expects the town to name a new chief in April.
Letteney became chief in Southern Pines in 2005 after retiring from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Rochester, N.Y.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or email@example.com.
More like this story