CMPD major a finalist for Durham chief

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Maj. Michael Smathers is one of the finalists to become chief of the Durham Police Department, Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield said Tuesday.

Smathers oversees one of CMPD’s field services groups, a total of three divisions and 315 police officers, according to a news release from the city of Durham.

While serving as captain of the Charlotte Eastway Patrol Division, in one of the city’s most ethnically diverse areas, he received a community policing award for leadership and for reducing crime, including closing a crime-plagued hotel, while successfully managing two federal crime-fighting grants, the release said.

The other finalist is Atlanta Police Department Deputy Chief Cerelyn Davis.

Durham has been searching for a new chief since Bonfield asked then-Chief Jose Lopez to resign late last year.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

What’s next

The finalists for police chief will meet the public in a community forum from 7 to 8 p.m. April 6 at City Hall. It will be televised live on Durham Television Network (DTN), which is available on Time Warner Cable channel 8 and AT&T U-verse channel 99, on DTN’s live stream from the city’s website, and live streamed from the city’s Facebook page.