WARSAW — The search for a replacement for Eric Southerland ended last week when Warsaw named Patrick Giddeons as its new chief of police.

Town officials didn’t have to look far to find Giddeons, who was named interim chief on Jan. 11.

Giddeons has been Captain of Operations at the Warsaw Police Department since July 2014 where he oversaw service delivery and developed goals, objectives and policy, as well as performing personnel and departmental evaluations. He was also involved heavily in the department’s annual budget.

The Willard native has been in law enforcement for 19 years, and has worked at the Warsaw Police Department for six.

“We’re truly fortunate to have him on our team,” said Town Manger Scotty Summerlin.

Before coming to Warsaw, Giddeons worked as the program supervisor of the Guardian Ad Litem for the 4th Judicial District, which covers Duplin, Jones, Sampson and Onslow counties.

He also spent time with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office as a detective and K9 handler.

Giddeons earned a B.A. degree in psychology at The Citadel in 1998 and a masters in administration from Methodist College in 2012.

He taught criminal justice at the University of Mount Olive, and is currently an instructor at James Sprunt Community College.

He is a member of the North Carolina Training Officers Association, National Tactical Officers Association and the International Association of Firearms Instructors.

Giddeons and Southerland’s mutual philosophy should ensure the department is operating from the same blueprint. Southerland, retired as chief and became the full-time director of JSCC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program.

Giddeons, a recipient of an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate, and his wife, Teresa, have four children: Nathan, Naomi, Natalie and Nadine.

Warsaw’s Board of Commissioners also approved a measure that would reduce the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph on Elm Street and Dogwood Drive.

Michael Jaenicke can be reached at mjaenicke@ncweeklies.com