Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Asheville Police Chief Chris Bailey, who was named to the post in June and started his new job on July 26, is planning to resign effective Sept. 27, according to a city of Asheville press release (see it below).

Bailey was hired following the tumultuous tenure of former Chief Tammy Hooper, whose last day on the job was Jan. 2. Hooper led the department as it handled the reaction to leaked police body camera video showing the beating and choking of an African-American resident by a (now former) white Asheville police officer. Bailey came to Asheville from Indianapolis, where he worked as the deputy chief of investigations at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Here’s the city of Asheville press release regarding Bailey:

Asheville Police Chief Chris Bailey has given notice of his resignation for personal reasons which need his attention. Chief Bailey’s last day of employment will be September 27, 2019.

“I appreciate the opportunity and confidence the City Manager and selection committee had in me to lead the great women and men of the Asheville Police Department,” said Chief Bailey. “I cannot say enough great things about my experience here. The support I have received from the police department, city management and community has been incredible. It has been heartbreaking for me to come to this decision after being embraced by so many.”

City Manager Debra Campbell acknowledges this is disappointing news for the community of Asheville. “While this news is unfortunate, we continue to be committed to hiring a police chief who demonstrates the ability to meaningfully connect with the community and fellow police officers,” Campbell said. “I hate to see Chris go but I respect his decision.”

A new police chief is anticipated to start in January 2020. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) will conduct the search.

In the interim, the City will contract with Chief Robert C. White (Retired) to serve as Interim Chief. Chief White is a former police chief with 40 plus years in law enforcement that focused on increasing transparency, work efficiencies, and key partnerships between police officers and the communities they serve. He served as police chief in Denver, CO, Louisville, KY, and Greensboro, NC.

Chief White will begin Oct. 1 and will continue efforts in the following areas:

implementation of the written consent policy;
rollout of Ethical Policing is Courageous (EPIC) training for officers; and
building a department, from top to bottom, that resembles the demographic makeup of our Asheville community.

The City is aware of the circulation of information regarding charges against Chief Bailey. Chief Bailey was involved in an incident that resulted in a misdemeanor. This information was voluntarily shared by the chief at the beginning of the interview process and is in no way related to his decision to resign. The incident took place 15 years ago and was not associated with his service as a police officer. Chief Bailey has had an exemplary record in his service as a law enforcement officer.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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