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Richard W. Howell, a veteran of the Fayetteville Police Department, will take the reins July 1 as the city’s next chief of police.
He will succeed Doug Carver, who has served as in the position since being hired in 1999.
“I think the committee has made an outstanding selection,” said Mayor John Ed Underwood after announcing the news in last week’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. “I would like to commend our co city administrators and our police and fire committee … They were all good, but someone who has dedicated his life to this community for 23 years is very deserving. Richard, you’ll do a great job, and we look forward to working with you.”
Howell, who is from Fayetteville, currently serves as the department’s commander of operations. He was one of 11 who applied for the position last month, and the top six of those underwent interviews by the city’s police and fire committee and by Ryan Tyhuis and Tonya Steelman, who are serving as interim co city administrators as well as in their usual positions of city planner and director of finance, respectively.
“I’m excited and looking forward to it,” said Howell after Tuesday’s meeting. “We have the finest police department there is, with some of the finest men and women as part of the force and department’s staff … I will do the best job I possibly can as chief of police.”
The department includes 23 officers and two staff support personnel.
Other members of the City Board members joined with Underwood in congratulating Howell on the new assignment.
“I know how the public feels about hiring local people,” said Alderman Marty Pepper, noting that the six candidates who were interviewed were all local. “Richard, I want to congratulate you personally. I know you’ll do an excellent job.”
Describing the six local applicants as all “strong” candidates, Vice Mayor Gwen Shelton also commended the field of hopefuls and then recognized Howell’s 23 years with the department. “I’m proud to have you coming in our chief of police July 1, and I know you will serve this community well.”
Alderman Michael Whisenant commended the committee’s due diligence and thorough process – “I know Richard will do an excellent job, so congratulations, Richard,” he added.
“I can’t add any more than what has already been said,” added Alderman Dorothy Small, also congratulating Howell. Alderman Young also commended the new police chief, saying he knows that Howell will do a good job. Alderman Danny Bryant was not present for the meeting due to his undergoing surgery the same day as the meeting.