On Wednesday, the Town of Sylva announces its new chief of police: Chris Hatton.
"I am thrilled Mr. Hatton accepted the position," said Town Manager Page Dowling in an official announcement. "He will be a wonderful addition to the community, and I look forward to working with him."
Hatton is currently the lieutenant of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Boone Police Department. He will begin working in Sylva August 12.
The Town of Sylva makes this announcement after almost a three-month search for a new chief. A panel of law enforcement and managers from western North Carolina conducted interviews on July 19.
The panel recommended Chris Hatton as the top candidate.
Town Manager Paige Dowling accepted their recommendation and Hatton the position.
The annual salary is $69,000.
Hatton was selected based on his experience, education and exceptional background in law enforcement.
He has been in law enforcement over 21 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lees-McRae College and a master’s in justice administration from Methodist University.
Hatton's official statement is below.
To say my wife, Glennis, and I are excited to join your community, would be quite an understatement. Glennis is a graduate of Western Carolina University, so she is extra excited to return to the area. We came for a visit in early July to learn more about Sylva.
Naturally, we took pictures of the postcard beautiful buildings and landscape. We enjoyed the day walking around and exploring this beautiful place. Our dog, Ellie, especially appreciated the water fountain on the sidewalk that was just for dogs. At the end of the day, it wasn’t the beautiful all-American cityscape that attracted us most. It was the people that made us fall in love with Sylva. We met so many sweet and genuine people during our visit. Some of the people we met were business owners working in their shops, some were running errands in the town and some were walking around enjoying what Sylva has to offer, just like us. It was such a pretty day and we enjoyed lovely interactions with people the entire time we visited. We left that day knowing anyone would be lucky to live and work in this community.
I am honored to have the opportunity to work along-side the awesome men and women of the Sylva Police Department. The citizens are proud of their police department and it’s for great reason. It is clear to me, the Sylva Police Department understands the important role the community serves in achieving the department’s mission. I am proud to join a group of officers who truly value community members and partnerships. I plan to take full advantage of the hard work that has been put forth by leaders like Chief Tammy Hooper. We will take her accomplishments and continue to build on them to help make your police department even better.
I have already had many wonderful experiences with the citizens and employees of the Town of Sylva, particularly the Town Manager Paige Dowling and Mayor Lynda Sossamon. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with such a friendly and competent group of people. I simply can’t wait for the chance to get out in the community and meet more of the good folks here.
We would like to express a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped make us feel so welcome here in Sylva.