Cape Carteret names interim police chief

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CAPE CARTERET, N.C. (WNCT) — Cape Carteret has named Wrenn Johnson as the interim police chief after firing former Chief Tony Rivera two weeks ago.

Johnson worked in the Morehead City Police Department for more than 30 years before retiring as that department’s police chief in 2015. Tuesday, she stepped back into the role she left three years ago.

Johnson replaced former Cape Carteret police Chief Tony Rivera, who was fired two weeks ago Tuesday by a vote of the town’s board of commissioners.

“I don’t think there was any one thing,” said Cape Carteret Mayor David Fowler. “There was a lot of smaller things and a few not so small things. They wanted to change in a new direction I think.”

Mayor Fowler said he has confidence that Johnson will be the solution to the department’s problems.

“Wrenn Johnson probably has the best reputation of any municipal law enforcement agent anywhere around,” ,” said Fowler. “And it’s hard to argue that she wouldn’t be a very positive impact out here.”

Johnson is excited to get the opportunity to step into her old role to help the town.

“There’s a lot of anxiety involved when there’s a loss of a leader,” said Johnson. “Especially a leader that they liked and respected. And so I’m just providing an opportunity for them to have somebody to lead them from point A to point B.”

Mayor Fowler and the Board of Commissioners are in the process of finding a permanent police chief. Fowler says he will take Johnson’s opinion into consideration.

Johnson is allowed to work just over one thousand hours during her retirement. Mayor Fowler says they will make the most of that time to ease the transition when they do find a permanent chief.

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