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City names interim police chief

Hendersonville City Manager John Connet has named an interim chief of police to head the department as the city searches for a new chief to replace Herbert Blake, who starts a new job Monday as chief deputy of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

The interim chief, Bill Hollingsed, is a former longtime chief of the Waynesville Police Department and currently executive director of the NC Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Bill Hollingsed brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position,” Connet said. “We believe he will be a great fit for the department and the community as we begin our search for a permanent successor.”

Hollingsed retired from the Waynesville Police Department last year after more than 20 years of service as chief. He previously served as Western Carolina University’s police chief after more than a decade of law enforcement experience with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. He is known throughout the state for his professionalism, community policing innovations and continued support of strengthening relationships between officers and the people they serve.

"I am looking forward to working with the men and women of the HPD, local officials, and the community at large,” he said. “The transition period between Chiefs in a Police Department can be looked at as an opportunity to examine and analyze ways to increase communication and cooperation between the agency and the community that we serve. I truly look forward to meeting and working with individuals throughout the City of Hendersonville."

Chief Hollingsed is scheduled to begin as interim chief on Monday. Connet will present details of the selection process for a new chief to the City Council at their meeting on Sept. 3.