Black Mountain police chief meets with community members, explains plans for department
Black Mountain Police Chief Steve Parker met with community members Nov. 9 in Town Square, explaining his plans for the department as he becomes its new leader.
"Number one goal, especially in law enforcement today, is building relationships and trust," Parker said. "What we do is protect and serve, and investing on the serve part is what we're going to do."
Parker said he observed the solid foundation of relationships established between the town and the police department and plans to further enhance trust within those relationships. His second goal entails investing in staff.
"They're the ones doing the job, and its a tough job," Parker said. "Making them feel appreciated as a police chief is important to me."
The new chief said he was immediately welcomed by the department and felt very comfortable working with the staff. He said staff members have been interested in his plans for the department and actively engaged with his ideas.
Three major challenges exist currently, according to Parker, no matter what jurisdiction of law enforcement. He said recruitment and retention of staff, dealing with mental health issues correctly and handling drugs stand out to him as primary areas of focus.
Parker said he was drawn to the Black Mountain area because of the community, the small town location and the mountains.
"It's a wonderful area, and I'm just so excited to be here," Parker said.