City News

Scott Cunningham, Winston-Salem’s chief of police since 2008, 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 is a 33-year law enforcement professional.

Cunningham 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, N.C. Cunningham holds a B.A. in History, a Master’s of Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Adult Education and Organizational Management. He is a team leader for the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies.

Chief Cunningham serves on the boards of the North Carolina Chiefs of Police; The Boy Scouts of America, Old Hickory Council; and YMCA Camp Hanes. He also serves on the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission.

Under his direction, the Police Department has grown to a force of 569 officers, while also reducing citizen complaints by over 30%. 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.

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

Cunningham said, “I am very proud of what we have accomplished in Winston-Salem. 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.”

Garrity stated that he was grateful that Cunningham had given the city plenty of time to search for chief candidates of his caliber. “I plan to conduct a national search that includes significant opportunities for input from elected officials, police employees, and the community. We should be able to announce the details of the selection process in January.”

WSPD web site 


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