Elizabeth City police chief next NC public safety secretary

North Carolina

Eddie Buffaloe (Elizabeth City Police Department via WGHP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The police chief in a northeastern North Carolina city whose agency helped keep the peace there following a fatal shooting this spring involving the local sheriff’s department was named Tuesday as Gov. Roy Cooper’s next public safety secretary.

Cooper appointed Elizabeth City Public Safety Director Eddie Buffaloe to become his secretary of the state Department of Public Safety. He succeeds Erik Hooks, who was nominated in July by President Joe Biden to become deputy administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. An interim secretary was in place for the past two months.

Buffaloe is also the current president of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police and the interim city manager for Elizabeth City. The former National Guard member also served in several law enforcement agencies in North Carolina, including what was previously the Department of Correction.

Buffaloe’s “experience, vision, leadership, management skills and strong law enforcement credentials make him ready for this critically important role and I’m grateful he is willing to take it on,” Cooper said in a news release. “As an officer, he has walked the beat on our streets and in our prisons and as a chief of police his leadership has shown that he understands the importance of building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

Buffaloe had a high-profile role in Elizabeth City while his officers responded to protests following the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies. Elizabeth City is the Pasquotank County seat.

Like other gubernatorial Cabinet secretaries, Buffaloe will be subject to state Senate confirmation to keep the job permanently.

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