Sharpsburg hires new police chief

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SHARPSBURG — The town of Sharpsburg has hired a new police chief.

Michael Thomas, a former assistant chief and lead investigator with the Youngsville Police Department in Franklin County, was hired Monday, according to Sharpsburg Town Clerk Tracy Sullivan.

Thomas, a native of Cordova, Alabama, spent two years working in the Polk Correctional Institution at Butner.

Thomas has a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice from Shaw University and a master’s in criminal justice with a concentration in law enforcement from N.C. Central University.

After completing his basic law enforcement training in 2001, he was hired by the Youngsville Police Department, where he has worked for more than 17 years.

“I am currently working in an administrative role. Until I am sworn in, I won’t be working in a law enforcement capacity,” Thomas said Wednesday. “I am in right now getting paperwork and things like that situated, but I am not on the road.”

Sullivan said there may be about a three-week turnaround on paperwork from the state’s Criminal Justice Education & Training Standards Commission.

She remains hopeful that the necessary documents will be received by the next town meeting Jan. 8.

“The town does plan to have a swearing-in ceremony for the chief once his paperwork is received,” Sullivan said.

Thomas attended Tuesday evening’s Operation Blue Christmas event for the benefit of local families.

“It was an awesome experience,” Thomas said.

Thomas said he entered law enforcement “to make a difference” and because of his desire to “give back to the community.” “My hope and my goal would be to improve on what they already have and take it one day at a time and get out and meet and greet the community,” Thomas said.

The value of community policing is the big thing Thomas has learned in his years as a police officer.

“It is hard to be a law enforcement officer and do everything that needs to be done without community support,” Thomas said.

Thomas is filling a position that has been vacant since the Sharpsburg Board of Commissioners dismissed former chief John Hunt on June 25.