WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — An Eastern North Carolina police chief is new to his role but he is not new to the area.

You have heard the saying, “There’s a new sheriff in town,” but there is a new police chief in town for Washington. Police Chief Phil Rollinson spoke about his goals for the department, how his new role is going so far, and what he wants the public to know.

“I grew up in Eastern North Carolina. I’m dedicated to Eastern North Carolina,” Rollinson said. “I love it here. I’ve been here my entire career. I started working at the beach, I’ve worked in another agency for a very long time, all right here in the East.”

Rollinson comes to this position after spending time as captain in Washington, as well as many years at another agency. He said that he wants to maintain what was already in place and stay dedicated to community policing among other goals.

“The evidence-based policing, the hotspot policing is something that is a top-down strategy as well. So we have to believe in it and believe in the science as well.”

Around 28 officers work with the Washington Police Department.

“We’re a small town where people know everybody, they know each other,” Rollinson said. “So we want to maintain that fit with the police department, have our police officers be part of the community,”

“I just want to reiterate how professional our agency is, how dedicated the men and women of this department are, how dedicated they are to this community and these people. So you know, our officers are really second to none. They come in, they work hard. Every day, they do a great job, and we’re proud of them. I’m proud of the job they do every day,” said Rollins.