River Bend police chief passes away; patrol car placed on display as memorial

RIVER BEND, N.C. (WNCT) – The River Bend Police Chief passed away due to a heart attack Sunday night, according to a family member.

Chief Ryland Matthews served with the department since 2012. He was 57 years old.

Matthew’s patrol car has been placed on static display as a memorial to him in the Town Commons.

Prior to his service with the town of River Bend, he served for 13 years with the New Bern Police  Department.

While with the New Bern PD, he rose to the rank of lieutenant. Chief Matthews also served in the United States Marine Corps for 10 years. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant and served as an aviation mechanic before beginning his career in law enforcement.

“Chief Matthews loved his job, his department and the Town of River Bend. He was loyal, dedicated, responsible and dependable,” said Town Manager Delane Jackson, in a statement released by the River Bend Police Department.

“We will miss his leadership and contributions to the Town of River Bend.” Mayor John Kirkland said, “I agree with the manager’s comments related to the chief’s dedicated service. In this town of 3,000, there is a close bond between citizens and their policedepartment. Chief Matthews valued that bond and worked tirelessly to maintain that trust.”

Chief Matthews is survived by his wife and his two adult sons.

The police department does not have any details about funeral services at this time.

The town of River Bend said they will be mindful of the family’s wishes regarding funeral and/or memorial services and will make announcements in accordance with their requests.

Several posts on social media from family members and friends are remembering him and thanking him for his service.

Sgt. Sean Joll has been appointed acting chief until a new police chief is appointed.

The River Bend Police Department has seven officers serving the town of 3,155 people.

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