Oxford names new police chief

Aug. 17, 2013 @ 05:57 PM

Alvin Coley is the new police chief in Oxford, the city announced in a statement late Saturday afternoon.

Coley is currently the chief in Sharpsburg, a community of about 2,500 just outside of Rocky Mount uniquely spread across the borders of Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties.

Oxford has a population of about 8,500.

He succeeds John Wolford, who announced his retirement effective Sept. 1.

The statement from the city did not indicate a starting date for Coley, or if an interim chief would be in place should Coley not start at the first of September.

In a prepared statement Randy Hemann, the city manager, said Coley scored well with an assessment center of 15 people who helped in the search process.

“Chief Coley was at the top of the class in our assessment center,” Hemann was quoted in the statement. “Even more importantly, as I walked the streets where he currently serves as chief, I found out that his performance in the field, and his character matches what we experienced in the assessment center. Chief Coley’s vast experience in law enforcement, his ability to work with members of the community and his leadership skills will be a tremendous asset for the City of Oxford.”

Coley was with the N.C. Highway Patrol for 20 years, retiring in 2012 as a major and the director of Troop Operations West. He has had supervisory responsibilities with 1,100 troopers.

Coley is a U.S. Army veteran. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Gardner-Webb University and a master’s in Criminal Justice from N.C. State.

According to the statement, more than 60 applications were received, with 13 receiving pre-screening and five selected as finalists. The finalists met with the assessment center’s panels.

A citizen panel included Bill Allen, Don Jenkins, Tolokun Omokunde, Kevin Otis, Juanita Rogers, Monica Satterwhite, Cecelia Wheeler, Xavier Wortham and Tonya Thomas.

A professional panel from other municipalities included Travis Cowen, police chief in Williamston; Ira Jones, police chief in Morrisville; Allen Lawrence, police chief in Marion; Ann Wall, assistant city manager in Rocky Mount; Eric Pierson, city manager in Williamston; and Bob Boyette, city manager in Marion.

According to the statement from the city, Hemann interviewed Oxford police officers and solicited input from Mayor Jackie Sergent, town commissioners and residents.
Candidates did not see each other during the assessment process.

According to the statement, Coley is married to Stacey Carter-Coley, a vice president at Vance-Granville Community College. They have two daughters, Kayla and Alicia, and two sons, Everette and Keenan.

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.