WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) – A former precinct commander from Baltimore County, Maryland has started work as chief of the Whiteville Police Department.
Jeff Rosier, who took the helm in the Columbus County seat earlier this month, retired from the Baltimore County Police Department in 2011 after 30 years of service.
Baltimore County's 1,900 police officers are charged with protecting 817,000 people, a larger jurisdiction than four states and nearby Baltimore City and Washington, D.C., according to an annual report published by the department.
Though Rosier's previous work was in a community much larger than Whiteville, he stressed that his experience is relevant to his new post.
The chief explained the Baltimore County Police Department is broken into ten precincts, and most of his career was spent in the lower eastern end of the county. The continuity allowed him to develop relationships with area residents and community groups, as he plans to do in Whiteville.
Rosier said one of his priorities as chief will be to implement a community policing model.
"Community policing is really just the police and the community working together," he said, adding communication is key.
"The past was pretty much the police staying inside the cars," Rosier said. "I think community policing is more of police getting out of the cars and communicating with their members and learning what the issues are so we can get right on those issues and it doesn't build to be a bigger problem."
Rosier said Whiteville officers have shared some good ideas with him, like creating a bicycle patrol and getting involved in community youth groups.
The chief explained in meeting with various citizens and community groups, he hasn't identified major law-enforcement challenges aside from drug activity in some parts of the city.
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