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Monday January 24th

New police chief to start in Carrboro

	<p>Captain Walter Horton</p>
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Captain Walter Horton

Carrboro’s newest police chief isn’t so new — he has been a part of the town’s police department for 20 years.

Carrboro Police Capt. Walter Horton was sworn in as chief of police Tuesday and will take over the position Oct. 1.

Horton was selected for police chief out of 101 applicants, said Town Manager David Andrews. He said applicants were from a large span of places, including New York, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“At the end of the day, Chief Horton was our top choice,” Andrews said.

Andrews said he thinks the position garnered a high number of applicants because the town is an ideal place to move and raise a family.

“I think that Carrboro is a great community and we have an excellent staff,” he said. “We have an excellent police department.”

Horton started at the police department as a patrolman in 1993 and has worked in varying positions since then. Andrews said despite Horton’s extensive history with the town, it was not a factor in the decision.

When the applicants were narrowed down to a group of five, they were given tests to determine who was the best candidate, and Horton made the top score.

“There’s always some subjectivity to it,” Andrews said. “Chief Horton came out on top of that also.”

Andrews said it was an added bonus that Horton was a Carrboro native and was already familiar with the town.

“It was also a real plus that he was born and raised in Carrboro,” he said. “He has a very good understanding of the Carrboro community.”

During the Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Mark Chilton said he was optimistic about the future of the department under Horton’s leadership.

“He has been in our community for a very long time. We are very proud of him,” Chilton said. “We have a lot of confidence and a lot of high expectations for Chief Horton.”

Horton said he does not plan on making any major changes to the department once current Police Chief Carolyn Hutchison retires in October.

Hutchison, who was the first openly gay police chief in North Carolina, has served with the Carrboro Police Department for 29 years.

“What I have in mind are just minor procedural changes. We are in very good shape,” Horton said.

He said he plans on discussing ideas with administration before making any decisions, but most will be typical changes expected with shifts in leadership.

“Walter is an excellent person and an excellent choice. He has the greatest integrity,” Andrews said.

“I have no doubt that he will be a successful police chief here in Carrboro.”

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