Robinson named new top cop
BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
A longtime Rocky Mount police officer has been appointed to serve as police chief.
George Robinson, on the job for nearly three decades, is the city's new top cop. The announcement came Monday at the end of a two-hour city council meeting.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Robinson said. “I've dreamed about it for years.”
Robinson said he was apprehensive at first about accepting the position. He didn't apply last year and only put in an application recently after speaking with his wife and family.
Robinson, who has been the interim police chief since January, said he's received a lot of support from Capt. Marty Clay and the other members of the command staff.
To the community, Robinson said it's time to build on partnerships to move forward not the time to look back.
“In keeping with the council and community’s concerns for appointing a chief that is knowledgeable, respected and well known in the community and after re-opening the application process for internal applicants only, I have decided to select George Robinson to serve as the next police chief for the city of Rocky Mount,” City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney said.
A 27-year veteran of the department, Robinson has acquired the knowledge and experience necessary to take the job. He started as a police officer in the Patrol Services Division. Since that time, the Shaw University graduate has climbed up the ranks, working as a community policing officer, police corporal in the Uniform Operations Division, police detective in the Criminal Investigative Division, a Criminal Investigations supervisor, lieutenant and Support Service commander, Patrol Services commander, Patrol Services commander and administrative police captain. Robinson most recently served as a captain in the Criminal Investigative Division before being appointed interim chief.
“I am looking forward to Chief Robinson’s continued focus on crime reduction and maintaining our efforts of working closely with the community to keep our city safe and void of criminal activity,” Small-Toney said.
During public comment, resident Warren Daughtridge said his new mission in life is to help heal the city and will be establishing a new group called Love Rocky Mount. He said he hopes people who divide the city will face to the back while people who want to help come to the forefront.
Resident Lewis Turner stated his support of Curmilus Dancy's appointment to the city's Human Relations Commission, even though Dancy doesn't live in the city.
Turner said Dancy always had a problem that he didn't get to go to college, but Turner said no one in the council chambers was more committed to fairness than Dancy. Turner also said Dancy spends a lot of his time and money to attend and record meetings.
“When he's in Rocky Mount, he's not representing Pinetops, he's representing someone in Rocky Mount who asked him to come represent them,” Turner said.
Resident Morrie Minges said she doesn't understand why the NAACP would want Dancy to represent them on the commission when he is so rude.
Resident Neiamiah Smith said the question of Dancy’s residency is just another manufactured issue. Kim Koo accused the Telegram of dividing the community by telling stories targeting black leadership in the city.
Mayoral candidate Bronson Williams urged the public not to rush to judgment as far as the independent investigations into alleged maleficence in city management. He said he didn't see how someone could see a bright future for Rocky Mount and demand the city manager retire. Williams ended his comments by saying the council meetings should be broadcast in the interest of transparency.
In other business, the council approved the demolition of a dilapidated dwelling at 708 Branch St. The house, which hasn't had utilities since 2003, has been the location of criminal activity over the years.
The council signed off on $5,000 facade grants for downtown properties. A story later this week in the Telegram will detail the program.
The council also approved installment financing for roof repairs at the Senior Center and Judicial Center and Fire Station improvements and a gas main project estimated at a approximate total of $2.8 million. The council approved relocation of CSX mainline utility for water and sewer with expenses to be reimbursed by the state Transportation Board.