Asheville Police Chief Chris Bailey to resign, interim chief named

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ASHEVILLE, NC (WSPA) – Asheville Police Department’s chief has given notice of his resignation for later this month, according to a city news release issued Wednesday morning.

According to the release, Chief Chris Bailey has resigned “for personal reasons which need his attention,” and his last day of employment will be on Sept. 27, 2019.

“I appreciate the opportunity and confidence the City Manager and selection committee had in me to lead the great women and men of the Asheville Police Department,” Bailey said. “I cannot say enough great things about my experience here. The support I have received from the police department, city management and community has been incredible. It has been heartbreaking for me to come to this decision after being embraced by so many.” 

In the news release, city officials said they were aware of Bailey being involved in an incident that resulted in a misdemeanor, and said that did not play a role in his decision to resign.

“This information was voluntarily shared by the chief at the beginning of the interview process and is in no way related to his decision to resign. The incident took place 15 years ago and was not associated with his service as a police officer. Chief Bailey has had an exemplary record in his service as a law enforcement officer.”

Bailey’s first day on the job was on July 29.

A new police chief is anticipated to start in Jan. 2020. The search will be conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum.

“While this news is unfortunate, we continue to be committed to hiring a police chief who demonstrates the ability to meaningfully connect with the community and fellow police officers,” City Manager Debra Campbell said. “I hate to see Chris go but I respect his decision.”

According to the release, the city will contract retired Chief Robert C. White to serve as interim chief of the department, and will begin Oct. 1.

City officials said White is a former police chief with 40 plus years in law enforcement, and served as police chief in Denver, Louisville, KY and in Greensboro, NC.

According to the release, he will continue efforts in:

  • Implementation of the written consent policy
  • Rollout of Ethical Policing is Courageous training for officers
  • Building a department, from top to bottom, that resembles the demographic makeup of our Asheville community

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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