GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s a big day for the city of Greenville, as the new Chief of Police officially begins serving in the East. Mark Holtzman takes the helm at the Greenville Police Department Monday.
Until just a few days ago, Holtzman served as the Chief of Police in Hagerstown, Maryland. He’s worked in law enforcement for more than 24 years.
The new chief says he was attracted to the position here due to Greenville’s location, growing population, diverse community, East Carolina University, and the quality of life.
Today also means Interim Chief Ted Sauls resumes his position as Deputy Chief. After filling the interim role for the past 10 months, Sauls says he’s excited to see where we’re headed under new leadership.
“We will have to wait and see what new programs he brings, what new strategies he offers. But I can promise you that to land a job with an agency like ours that is a progressive law enforcement agency, he’s got to have his ducks in a row. So I’m looking forward to working with him,” Sauls said.
We spoke with Holtzman when the city first announced him as chief at the beginning of the month. He says he wants to bring intelligence-led and community-oriented policing to Greenville. Chief Holtzman tells us violent crime is the issue he wants to focus on first.
He says he wants to tackle crime with community policing and intelligence led policing. Chief Holtzman says he wants to build relationships with people in the community.
“Police don’t do this job by ourselves, and so reaching out to partners is a strength of mine,” Chief Holtzman said. “Building partnerships where they’re not there or rebuilding them, is what I’ve sort of built my career around.”
We asked people what they want from the new chief.
Community member, Judy Bright said, “we need help with traffic and crime.”
Community member, Hattie Hopkins, says she’s hopeful Chief Holtzman can help with some of the community’s crime.
“You know a new eye brought to a situation can see it a little bit better,” Hopkins said.
Chief Holtzman says he’s impressed with the departments current tactics and will look to keep them in place, while adding his own twist.
“I think there are always some adjustments that we can make and I told the staff we are not going to be making major adjustments overnight,” Chief Holtzman said.
Chief Holtzman says he wants to bring city and community leaders together, along with the police department, to discuss the city’s issues.