HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - After a national search, a new police chief was selected for the Hampton Police Division Wednesday.
56-year-old Terry Sult, current director of public safety in Sandy Springs, Ga., will begin leading Hampton Police October 7 with a yearly salary of $150,000, according to Robin McCormick with the City of Hampton.
“I believe that Chief Sult will be an open communicator -- both within the police division and with the community,” said Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting. “I have found him to be -- and his references confirm that he is -- frank, fair, consistent, transparent and collaborative. Chief Sult’s experience has demonstrated that he is genuinely committed to a true partnership with the community."
Sult comes to Virginia with 27 years police experience, beginning at age 14 as a police explorer in Mecklenburg County, Ga. He spend time as a patrol officer and homicide detective, coordinated Charlotte, Ga.'s first street-level drug unit, and has served and led anti-terrorism and preparedness task forces.
“Hampton is a beautiful city with a strong history and a great future. The crime rate overall has been decreasing, and the force has an excellent record of solving crimes. Our foremost priority is to prevent crime," Sult said in a release Wednesday. "We will seek to better understand community concerns by strengthening community partnerships with a priority to stem the recent uptick in youth violence.”
Sult was selected as the result of a process guided by an independent public safety hiring consultant. The selection process also utilized community participants for selection panels, including former Commonwealth's Attorney Linda Curtis, Hampton residents, and Rev. Anderson Clary Jr., pastor at Queen Street Baptist Church.
“This process brought together a very varied group of people – a cross-section that reflects Hampton – as well as police chiefs," Curtis said. "There could be no fix.”
Bunting said the city chose to do a much more extensive selection and vetting process than usual to ensure that the community involvement. For more information on the selection process and Chief Sult's background, click here.
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