Winterville Police Chief Retiring

Applications are in and the process to find a replacement for a police chief in Winterville has begun.

Winterville Police Chief Billy Wilkes gave notice to the town he would retire May1st.

Wilkes has been the chief for 13-years but has 30-years of law enforcement under his belt. He didn't want to comment Monday about his departure, saying he wants to give a public goodbye on April 8th, during the regularly scheduled town meeting.

The town manager, Terri Parker, says the job application process ended on Friday and they've started sorting through dozens of potential new candidates.

Parker says Chief Wilkes has done an outstanding job getting the force prepared for the time he leaves.

Parker says Chief Wilkes will have 3 weeks of vacation in April which takes him into his May 1st last day. She says they do not plan to name anyone as interim chief because she hopes to have someone hired by May 1st.