BROOKFORD, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A small town in Catawba County has what very well could be the youngest African American police chief in the country.
At 24, Will Armstrong was appointed the Town of Brookford’s Chief of Police at the beginning of this year. He’s spent the past two months trying to build up his new department in the Hickory suburb while making a name for himself.
Not only is Armstrong the chief, but he’s also the department’s only full-time employee. Since Jan. 1, he’s grown the department from six officers to nine. He says firming up round-the-clock staffing is one of his biggest goals.
“Right now, our local sheriff’s office takes over when no one is in completely, and they handle a lot of our major stuff for us,” Armstrong said. “I want to get us to a point where we’re handling our own investigations. Our own wrecks.”
On Friday and Saturday, he and Brookford PD officers were featured on REELZ’s On Patrol Live and voted ‘Department of the Weekend’ by fans on social media.
“I think over the weekend. We assisted with a pursuit from the county. We also had our own motorcycle chase Saturday night,” Armstrong said.
Before becoming Brookford’s top cop, Armstrong worked full-time at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Statesville Police Department, and part-time at Brookford. Still, gaining trust and acceptance has sometimes been challenging for the young chief.
“Age can be one of those things where people look at you and go, ‘He’s too young. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ I’ve heard that a million times, too,” Armstrong said. “But I just kind of come out here and do what I do, and hopefully, everybody sees the good work that I put on.”