Police Chief Robert Hassell was asked by the Telegram on Thursday about his thoughts and ideas about how he wants to improve operations at the police department.

Hassell, who became Rocky Mount’s top cop in May, said that regarding operations, “We’re looking at putting more people out in the field to help deal with some of our issues in the community. So, for right now: Put more boots on the ground.”

There is advertising up seeking people interested in a career in the police department or in the fire department.

A most visible ad on social media features images of Hassell and fire Chief Corey Mercer in their dress uniforms, with the message, “Join Our Team!”

The ad is about a job fair set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday at the Booker T. Theater building in the 100 block of East Thomas Street.

The ad advises job seekers they can speak with recruiters, learn more about opportunities and apply for open positions.

The ad also notes a grab-and-go light lunch will be provided.


The Telegram asked Hassell what he would say to someone possibly interested in becoming an employee of the police department.

Hassell was quick to state that the health insurance and retirement benefits via the City of Rocky Mount are good.

Hassell emphasized that there are opportunities through a career advancement program and that there are a variety of positions one can aspire to, including as a special reaction team member who works in intense situations, as a detective, as a K-9 officer or as a school resource officer.

Hassell said that one of course starts off as a police officer but can move up in non-supervisory roles and go on a track of interest in a specialized position.

“So that’s a big selling point for individuals because they want to know that they have that opportunity to move up and hopefully go into a field that interests them,” Hassell said.

A check of the city’s website on Thursday showed that there is a posting seeking applicants for the position of police officer, with the yearly pay range being from $38,374 to $57,561.

Additional information about the posting can be viewed by going to https://rockymountnc.gov/departments/police/careers and clicking on the “Job Openings” icon.