Kinston interim police chief makes first public appearance at Coffee with a Cop event

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – Kinston police hosted a Coffee with a Cop event just days after the city welcomed its fourth police chief in the past two years.

The event gave citizens the chance to speak with law enforcement about any community concerns. One of the many people in attendance was Tahron Cannon.

“I think it’s good to have these conversations in an environment that is outside the typical norm,” Cannon said.

Another notable attendee was Interim Police Chief Keith Goyette, who entered the job just a few days ago, after former Interim Police Chief Jenne Spencer retired following 30 years of service.

Goyette says he’s been with the department for 21 years and he’s more than qualified for the position.

“I’m just ecstatic and honored to be the interim chief of Kinston and I hope to serve the citizens and our officers well,” Goyette said.

Goyette says one of his first objectives is to prevent violent crimes from occurring; he believes that starts with an open dialogue with the public.

Goyette says he would like to be considered as the permanent chief, but Kinston City Councilman Chris Suggs says the search is ongoing.

“I do know ideally we do want someone by the end of the year,” Suggs said. “The search process could take anywhere from weeks to months.”

The City of Kinston has had three police chiefs since Alonzo Jaynes left in 2020. The other chiefs were Tim Dilday, Jenee Spencer, and now, Keith Goyette.

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