Wesley Waters sworn in as new Chief of Police in Belhaven

BELHAVEN, N.C. (WITN) – An Eastern Carolina town welcomed its new Chief of Police in a special ceremony and many turned out for his heart-warming homecoming.

Wesley Waters was sworn in at the Belhaven Civic Center surrounded by family, residents and community leaders on Friday.

Mayor Ricky Credle says the town is buzzing with excitement at his return to his hometown.

“The morale of the citizens has picked up, as you can see from the room and the amount of support from having a D.A. to an Assistant D.A. here, all the sheriff’s that he worked with and his other constituents, goes to show you the character that we have of the person leading the town, ” says Credle.

Waters was born and raised in Belhaven. He began his law enforcement career as part of the town’s police department in 2003. He says one issue he plans to tackle head on is recruiting and retention within the police department.

“The city council has decided to up the salary for officers to $55,000 a year, that is one step that they are using to try to help gain more officers to try to work here and we are currently accepting applications, we do have some openings,” says Waters.

Before becoming Chief, Waters was with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office where he served as the Captain of Criminal Investigation.

20-year resident Karen Wahab says she extends her gratitude.

“Welcome back home. I hope everything goes well for you and I hope you move forward with great enthusiasm and a lot of care,” says Wahab.

Mayor Credle says former Police Chief Chris Kelly stepped down from his role in February to focus on family.

Waters took over the role effective April 15th.