Stanley was a Brunswick County sheriff's deputy for 25 years before retiring at the end of March. He spent eight of those years as a school resource officer, running programs like D.A.R.E. that made early interventions in kids lives.
Shallotte is set to double in size. Here’s how the next police chief will handle the growth.
Looking back on Adam Stanley’s career to date, it would seem he was destined to one day become Shallotte’s chief of police.
“I think when I was born, I came out with a siren,” he said. “The roots of public safety and being in the community run deep in our family.”
For three generations, the Stanley family has lived in Shallotte and worked in public safety. His grandfather, Marvin Stanley, was the first police chief of Ocean Isle Beach when it incorporated in the 1950s, he said.
Both of his parents were on the Shallotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue squad while he was still in the womb. At 14, he followed in his parents’ footsteps and joined the volunteer squad himself and has been in public safety ever since.
Now Stanley’s stepping down from his role on the Shallotte Board of Aldermen to become the town’s next police chief, starting May 2. The town has been looking for a replacement for Chief Scott Branning, who retired Feb. 1 after 25 years on the force.
“Chief Branning was a great guy, he got the department up to speed and where it needed to be with technology and started adding some additional staff,” Stanley said.
“I hope to keep that tradition going but now I’m gonna probably have to worry about a city that’s going to double in size over a five-year period.”
Stanley said one his biggest challenges as chief will be handling the crime that’s expected to come with the town’s growth.
Crime in Shallotte now is mostly nonviolent: petty larceny, domestic disputes and disorderly conduct. But with an influx of new residents, there’s no telling how that may change.
Stanley said he’d like to create community programs that get police into neighborhoods and having positive interactions with residents, particularly people newer to the area.
“That’s not to say the agency hasn’t done that in the past, but when you’re potentially doubling your population in the next couple of years we need to have that positive interaction with our community,” he said.
Stanley was a Brunswick County sheriff’s deputy for 25 years before retiring at the end of March. He spent eight of those years as a school resource officer, running programs like D.A.R.E. that made early interventions in kids lives.
“Getting the opportunity to go into the school and be with those kids one-on-one, it makes … a difference,” he said. “(D.A.R.E.) is not necessarily about drugs like when it started back in the ’80s, it’s more about communication skills, building relationships and being responsible for being a good citizen.”
Stanley said programs like that targeted at kids and the elderly will go a long way to ensuring Shallotte retains its small town feel even as it doubles in size.
“The biggest thing about community relations and policing is actually getting to know your town,” he said.
“Because I have been here a long time, I can walk into a few stores and they know who I am. The people that are moving to the town won’t know who I am but hopefully they get to know me for positive reasons.”
Stanley said getting this opportunity is like a dream come true. He remembers as a 16 year old at West Brunswick High School being the first student to sign up for the newly-created Shallotte Police Department explorers program.
Even then he never dreamt of one day becoming the town’s police chief, he just wanted to make a difference in his community.
“At 14 years old, you don’t really know what you want but I knew I had a love for helping people,” he said.
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Copyright © 2022 D.A.R.E. America.
All Rights Reserved.