HAMLET — Law-enforcement veteran Chad Haywood has joined the Hamlet Police Department as a patrol officer, becoming the department’s only new hire in 2017.
Haywood, 27, who held the rank of lieutenant as a detective for the Scotland County’s Sheriff’s Office, also has worked for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. He met Hamlet Chief Scott Waters at Richmond Community College, where Haywood is pursuing an associate degree in criminal justice.
“I’ve been born and raised in Hamlet, North Carolina, and wanted to get back to my roots,” Haywood said Wednesday. “It almost seems like a step down (to work for a smaller department and begin again as a patrol officer), but I have future plans to move up to the detective division.”
He also said he’d like to become chief when Waters was old and gray, and retired.
Waters said Haywood approached the department, which was glad to welcome him. Haywood was sworn in the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
“He started the day after Thanksgiving,” Waters said, then joked: “We gave him Thanksgiving off. Hey, we (saved) him some money” because he couldn’t go Black Friday shopping.
Haywood is a state-certified instructor in basic law enforcement, in-service and field training. Although he’s still learning the ropes in Hamlet — he has yet to learn how to work an accident — he is able to train new hires who have no policing experience.
Haywood also is working on a bachelor’s in criminal justice at the University of North Carolina Pembroke and plans to continue his studies, seeking a master’s in public administration.
“I hope I’ll be a good asset” to the city, he said. “My goal is to give back to the community and, hopefully, make Hamlet a safer place.”
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]