FARMVILLE — Jeffery Spencer is officially Farmville’s police chief.
Spencer has been serving as interim chief following the retirement of Donnie Greene in December 2020. He was sworn to the new post on June 7.
“It’s surreal. It is definitely something new. I think I am going to enjoy it,” Spencer said about his new position. Spencer also thanked Town Manager David Hodgkins and Farmville commissioners for the promotion and faith in him.
“I look forward to serving the community as I have been.”
Wanting to work in a challenging environment where no day was ever the same, and having a passion to help people, Spencer said he was drawn to a career in law enforcement.
“It’s always something I wanted to do. We do something different every day. You’re not stuck behind a desk. You get to get out in the community and deal with people from all walks of life,” Spencer said.
“It’s something different every day you get out and you can help people. It feels really good to be able to go on a call for somebody in need and you can help them out in any way they need.”
Having made his way through the Farmville school system, from Little Red School to graduating from Farmville Central High School in 1999, Spencer knew he wanted to help make a difference in his community.
“Farmville is a great place to work. I enjoy the small-town feel where most people are on a first-name basis. I considered leaving to go to a large agency in the beginning of my law enforcement career and I am glad I stayed in Farmville. We have always had good management, great equipment and training opportunities,” Spencer said.
He got his start with the Farmville Police Department as a police officer on Jan. 9, 2003. As a patrol officer, Spencer got to know the community he represented.
He was promoted to sergeant in January 2008 and to major in June 2016.
As chief, Spencer wants to continue the community outreach efforts at the Farmville Police Department. This includes Shop-with-a-Cop, National Night Out and community outreach efforts at the schools and local churches.
“We have been in a pandemic over a year now, it’s put a damper on us getting out in the public doing events like we normally do,” Spencer said.
“I’m ready to get back out in the community and get involved.”
Through community policing, officers and residents are able to interact and get to know one another, he added.
“When we go to calls, most of the time something bad has happened. When the police are called normally it’s not a good situation,” Spencer said.
“When we put on our own events, we can show people we’re human and we enjoy doing things with the public as well. I think it develops our relationship between the police and the community. It shows the community here that our officers are human too. It’s good to get out in the community and have fun with everybody.”
Spencer is joined at the Farmville Police Department by his brother Jason. Their father, Woody, also a sworn in police officer. All three were sworn into service in 2003, with Spencer being the first. Jason was sworn in the middle of 2003 while Woody was sworn in at the end of 2003.
“My dad was in television for years. He got out of that and went to work with the Kinston fire department doing media. He was offered the opportunity to go through the police academy when he was older,” Spencer said, of his father becoming a sworn as a police officer with the Kinston Police Department.
As police chief, Spencer is responsible for 19 full-time Farmville officers.