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City of Graham announces new police chief

Before her promotion, Mary (Kristy) Cole was the interim Chief.

GRAHAM, N.C. — The Graham Police Department announced that interim Chief Mary (Kristy) Cole had received a promotion to become the Police Chief Thursday. Chief Cole will be succeeding Chief Jeff Prichard who is retiring. 

According to a release from the Graham Police Department, Chief Cole has been serving as the interim Chief since June 30, 2020 where she was challenged to maintain the City’s high level policing services, grow the public safety outreach programs, and provide valuable input as part of the City’s management team. 

First starting in January 1997, Chief Cole served in both the Patrol Division and Administrative Division holding the ranks of Sergeant, Captain, and most recently Assistant Chief. In addition, she also served as the Accreditation Manager helping achieve the advanced accreditation honor current held by the department. 

Chief Cole holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice degree from Western Carolina University and a M.S. degree in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University. 

When she learned of her promotion, Chief Cole stated she was “very excited to be able to lead this team of talented professionals who share a commitment to public service and excellence in an internationally accredited police department; but we can’t rest on our successes, we must continue to work to build trust, build bridges and strengthen relationships with all members and organizations within our community.” 

The Graham Fire Department also congratulated Chief Cole on her accomplishment. 

"The citizens of Graham are so lucky to have such a professional person working for them. We look forward to a wonderful working relationship with Chief Cole and her staff as we continue our mission of keeping Graham safe!" The Facebook post read.