KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Keith Goyette is no longer the interim police chief.

On Thursday, the City of Kinston dropped the interim title and made him the official police chief. Goyette was named the chief after a national recruitment and interview process. The announcement was made by Kinston City Manager Rhonda Barwick.

A ceremony to mark the announcement of Goyette as police chief was held Friday morning.

Goyette has been with the Kinston Police Department since 2001, rising through the ranks from police officer, crime scene investigator, captain and major. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Mount Olive University and a Master of Science in criminal justice from Tiffin University in Ohio. He also has other educational programs and certifications.

“Chief Goyette has been amazing,” Kinston Mayor Don Hardy said. “As the interim police chief, he acted like he was the police chief already.

“If you wanted to be part of an organization or want a title, you act like it, walk like it, and talk like it. So, therefore, he’s put things in place already just like a chief would do.”

Goyette has said that he plans to continue current programs like Kinston Clear Talks and he also looks forward to expanding programs with the department and becoming an accredited law enforcement agency.

“I believe an accredited agency provides a safer agency for our community and a safer community overall,” said Goyette. He added that the biggest challenge nationwide is recruitment. “It’s not just a Kinston issue or state issue, it’s all over the country. Look at our sister municipality agencies, they’re dealing with the same thing we’re dealing with, so we’re going to have to work together.”

Goyette said he plans to continue to work to reduce crime in his city.

“Our goal is to lower crime in Kinston, use evidence-based policing to work with our community members to do just that, get illegal firearms off the street, and lower crime in Kinston,” Goyette said.

To help make the city safer, he is working towards a neighborhood improvement plan, too.

“Whether that’s potholes, street lighting, graffiti, or whatever the issue in that community, we believe a cleaner community is a safer community,” Goyette said.