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Chief King: Making History in Edenton

Edenton has always been a small town with deep historical roots.

Buildings, cemeteries, roads, and homes tell the story of generations of people who have called this town home.

The history here makes this place an idyllic place to live.

But, we aren’t trapped by our history either.

Edenton is filled with cutting-edge manufacturing. 

We have an innovative entrepreneurial community always pushing the envelope here in Edenton.

As more and more people discover how wonderful Chowan County is and decide to put down their own roots here, community safety demands leadership that is progressive and proactive.

Edenton’s police force, led by Chief Henry King Jr., is always on the hunt for the best and latest technology, tools, and training to equip the officers charged with protecting our community.

He has wisely invested in cutting-edge, non-lethal technology designed to give his officers the tools they need no matter what situations they encounter.

And he is always looking for new and innovative ways to keep Edenton’s police force sharp and ready to handle anything that comes their way.

Chief King has worked diligently from day one to build a diverse police force that represents the community it is charged to protect.

The whole philosophy of “community policing” is that police departments must work with community organizations to build deeper ties in the community they are supposed to protect.

When you know your police officer by name and when they know you, it is much easier to trust them.

Naturally, being in a small town makes this way easier for every police officer who lives and works here.

But, Chief King has been intentional about making sure that the police department is a part of the daily life of the town.

Everyone who lives in, works in, or spends time in Edenton knows Chief King. 

On Halloween, he is standing downtown watching over everyone as businesses hand out candy to kids dressed as clowns, princesses, and zombies.

Chief King, and members of Edenton’s police department, are at every festival, party, and event in town, smiling at residents, chatting with friends, and giving kids high fives.

Chief King is often at town events and at town council meetings, standing silently to the side watching the proceedings.

Chief King is even driving our high school teams to their games, helping out the Edenton-Chowan Schools Transportation Department.

Now, when it comes to keeping communities safe, one of the most important things is having a police force that is present, has good relationships with the community, and enforces the law with humanity and fairness.

Having a police department that has the hearts of the community it serves takes more than fair procedures.

It also requires that every interaction between a police officer and anyone in the community is governed by dignity and respect.

When the community knows that those charged with protecting them actually believe they should be protected and that they deserve to be treated fairly and humanely, it sets the stage for good relationships between police and their community.

As police departments realized the benefits of non-lethal methods of control like tasers were effective, they became standard issue.

But, Chief King has seen the need to put even more tools into the tool chest of his officers. This is why Edenton’s police department is the very first in the state to equip their officers with the Bolawrap.

It is priorities like this that show just how committed Edenton’s police department is to the humanity of the people they serve.

But, Chief King also puts a premium on being available to the community.

Our police officers are always around, they are always available, and they are fixtures in the community.

Throughout his tenure, Chief King has also put a premium on increasing the diversity of Edenton’s police department. African-American, Hispanic, Caucasian, male, and female, the officers of Edenton’s police department literally look like this town.

And now, thanks to the visionary efforts of Chief King, law enforcement officials from across the state are looking to Edenton as an example of how to police a community in ways that uphold core values such as justice, transparency, fairness, dignity and trustworthiness.

In fact, this year Chief King is making history by becoming the first Edenton Police Chief to be sworn in as President of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police. 

Chief King has been an active member of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police since 2018, serving in a variety of positions including Regional Director, Sergeant at Arms, Secretary, and Vice President. 

In addition, he has served in other capacities as Chairman of the Training Committee, board member of the North Carolina Locksmith Licensing Commission, and member of the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission.

Now, as NCACP President for 2024-25, his goal is to “[bridge] the gap with our community partners, citizens, and legislators to ensure our communities as well as our officers remain safe” both in Edenton and throughout North Carolina. 

This type of dedication to community safety is one aspect that makes living in Edenton and Chowan County so attractive to businesses and residents. 

Our community is proud of Chief King and the legacy he has built through the Edenton Police Department, a legacy built on a history of community involvement with a progressive and proactive vision for protecting our community. 

If you’re looking for a community where you can relocate for a new job, invest in building your business, or find peace and safety during your retirement years, we invite you to come check out Edenton and Chowan County.  

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