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City Manager Lee Garrity today announced the appointment of Scott A. Cunningham as Winston-Salem’s chief of police. Cunningham will assume his duties June 30 at the conclusion of the service of Chief Patricia Norris, who is retiring.
Cunningham has 28 years of experience in law enforcement, including 24 years with the Tampa Police Department, where he retired as the assistant chief of operations overseeing 750 sworn officers. Most recently, Cunningham served as the chief of police in Cary, North Carolina, where he enhanced community outreach and increased diversity within the ranks.
“I am very pleased with the thoughtful feedback about our candidates that I have received from citizens and police employees,” Garrity said. “After careful consideration of all aspects of the chief’s job, I have concluded that Scott Cunningham is the best candidate to take on this major responsibility.
“He will provide leadership that aggressively combats crime and improves police visibility in our neighborhoods. He is also committed to continuing the outstanding work of Chief Norris in strengthening the relationships of the department with the community.”
Cunningham said, “I am honored to have been offered this opportunity. I am eager to begin working towards safer neighborhoods and to continue to improve the community’s trust in the department.”
Cunningham said that his immediate priorities will be to support the initiatives of the City Council and the Public Safety Committee in the reviews related to the RMA report and the Silk Plant Forest Investigation, to meet key stakeholders to learn their concerns, to implement a comprehensive community safety plan, and to further invigorate the department’s attack on crime.
Cunningham, 51, holds a bachelor’s degree with a double major in history and forensic studies, a master’s in public administration, and a doctorate in adult education and organizational management. He is a team leader for the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies. Cunningham will be relocating to Winston-Salem with his wife Amy and their three sons. Cunningham’s salary will be $122,000 annually.