New police chief looking forward to starting duties in Whiteville Oct. 14
By Allen Turner, The News Reporter
A Craven County native with 24 years of progressively-responsible law enforcement experience says he is “excited and looking forward” to becoming chief of the Whiteville Police Department next month.
Douglas W. Ipock starts work on Oct. 14.
He’s anxious to begin here.
“I’m looking forward to getting in there and getting to know everybody,” he says. “The Whiteville Police Department seems to be doing an outstanding job, and I’m fortunate to land there and I want to help move along with my colleagues there. I think it’s imperative for any leader to come in and do an assessment and make sure everything’s working the way it should work, and that will be my first priority.”
Because his entire career has been spent with the New Bern department, coming to Whiteville marks a major move.
“I’m not apprehensive, but you always have some concern that you’re doing the right thing,” he says. “I know that will go away once I get there because learning and working with everybody gives you the ability to develop relationships within the department and earn the trust of the people in the department.”
Developing those relationships, not only with his colleagues but also with the people of Whiteville, will be of paramount importance to him. “Building those relationships over the years will be my fondest memories,” he said. “You work with someone and build trust. They’re going to protect you and you’re going to protect them. That’s the kind of relationship that you cherish. It’s like guys in the military who work together and develop relationships and friendships that last for life.”
Ipock was the recipient of the New Bern Civitan Club’s first-ever Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award. His favorite part of police work is helping citizens. “That’s always number one,” he says, adding that the most satisfying case he has been involved in came in his role as a member of the FBI’s computer crime force.
“Our group worked to help find an 11-year-old that was abducted from West Virginia and was in New Bern,” he remembers. “We were able to get that child returned home safe and unharmed. That was a very good case and we were all very appreciative of the outcome. Anytime you can save a life, or something like that, that’s number one, for sure.”
The long-time youth baseball coach thinks he will fit right into the baseball town atmosphere of Whiteville.
He spent this entire last weekend on the road with a New Bern team at a tournament in the Raleigh area. “I was on the field all weekend,” he says. “I love being on the field with the kids. Even though we didn’t win the tournament this weekend, we’re real big on sportsmanship and, after the tournament, one of the other coaches told us that our team was a class team. To me, that was a win.”
While Ipock was coaching youngsters in Raleigh this weekend, his wife was checking out what will soon be their new hometown. The new chief will find temporary housing until the end of the school year, when they plan for his wife and daughter to move to Whiteville. “My wife spent a good part of the weekend kind of getting the lay of the land in Whiteville so she can figure out where we’re moving to,” he says.
City Manager Darren Currie announced Ipock’s appointment last week. He was one of more than 20 applicants for the position. Six finalists were interviewed face-to-face and Currie said, “Many of the applicants were excellent, but Mr. Ipock just stood out among them all. I am real happy that he has accepted the position.”
Since 2015, Ipock has been operations lieutenant with the New Bern police department, where he has served his entire law enforcement career. In that role, he provides leadership to the department’s sergeants and leads a leadership council consisting of officers who displayed exceptional leadership qualities. He has held nearly every position in the New Bern department and been responsible for management and budgeting. He also holds multiple certifications in various areas of law enforcement. In addition to leading a youth sports program in New Bern, he has participated in the “Badge, Faith and Community” faith-based program to advocate for reduced violence, community involvement and youth engagement and has brought local stakeholders together to discuss strategies to reduce crime through traffic enforcement. He also participated in a “Coffee with a Cop” program to positively connect citizens with law enforcement, helped establish community watch programs and served as a member of the state Police Officers Memorial committee.