New Bern's new top cop has reported to his post.
The city's newest chief of police started work Tuesday. Toussaint Summers Jr. comes to New Bern from Herndon, Va. where he was the police chief there. Summers has 35 years of law enforcement experience.
Former New Bern police chief Frank Palombo retired from his position June 1.
The city of New Bern has named a new police chief.
Toussaint Summers Jr. has accepted the position. He will start October 10.
Summers told WITN Tuesday afternoon he believes knowing the community is key.
"It's essential to any safe community, you need to have the buy in with your community," Summers said. "You need to understand what the community thinks is important. Police professionals all the time think they know what is important but until you really tap into your community and find out what they feel is important, I think you're missing the boat."
The chief's position was previously held by Frank Palombo, who retired in June after nearly 14 years at the helm. Palombo is running for Congress.
Summers is from Virginia and has been in law enforcement for 35 years.
According a press release, Summers "began his career as a police officer with the Prince William County Police Department in Virginia. He served in various positions of the department, including Lieutenant as Watch Commander and Commander of the Vice and Narcotics Bureau, and as Captain overseeing the Western District of Prince William County and Director of the PWCPD Criminal Justice Academy. For the past 12 years, Mr. Summers has been the Chief of Police for the Town of Herndon Police Department in Virginia."
The release also reports "Mr. Summers’ background includes extensive education in law enforcement. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from American University and a Master’s Certificate in Administration of Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy, Virginia State Police Administrator Officer Course, and the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. He also holds an Interim Certificate in Adult Education from Washington Bible College."
“We are excited to welcome Mr. Summers to the City of New Bern,” said City Manager Mike Epperson. “After a thorough process to assess several qualified and talented candidates, Mr. Summers stood out, not only to our management level staff but also to our public and professional panels who spent days evaluating the candidates’ skills.”
The release also states "Mr. Summers’ commitment to community and service is evident in his appointment and volunteerism on many boards and committees, including the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission, and the Northern Virginia Community College Administration of Justice Curriculum Advisory Committee. He possesses a strong background in community policing and served as a consultant to the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), where he facilitated several programs to promote community policing through training and involvement to further effective law enforcement."