Retiring chief praised for improvements

December 31
00:00 2012

Winston-Police Chief Scott Cunningham has announced that he plans to retire at the end of June 2013. Cunningham was sworn in as Winston-Salem’s 13th chief of police on June 30, 2008.

Cunningham,  a 33-year law enforcement professional, spent 24 years with the Tampa Police Department rising through the ranks and retiring as the assistant chief of operations. Cunningham also served as the chief of police in Cary.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished in Winston-Salem,” said Cunningham. “Our community and citizens enjoy an enhanced quality of life and a closer positive relationship with the police department.  The men and women of the Winston-Salem Police Department are truly outstanding, dedicated professionals.  I am honored to have served with them.”

[pullquote]“I am very proud of what we have accomplished in Winston-Salem[/pullquote]Under his direction, the Police Department has grown to a force of 569 officers, while also reducing citizen complaints by more than 30  percent. During his five years as chief, he implemented a new deployment plan that enables neighborhoods to maintain consistent beat officers that work with the citizens to prevent crimes and improve the quality of life. Cunningham also led the effort to deploy Winston-Salem police officers as school resource officers in the schools; initiated a series of “Ask the Chief” chats in neighborhoods around the city and a weekly press conference to keep local media outlets abreast of the department’s goings-on.

“Chief Cunningham has led the department with professionalism and with an unwavering commitment to improving public safety,” said  City Manager Lee Garrity. “He has worked tirelessly to lower crime and improve police visibility.”

A national search that will include “significant opportunities for input from elected officials, police employees and the community” will be launched to find Cunningham’s successor, Garrity said.

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