LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Huntersville's new police chief is wrapping up his first day on the job.

Cleveland Spruill now runs the 93-member police department and is tasked with protecting and serving a fast-growing suburb.

He spent 26 years with the Alexandria, Virginia, police department, and is credited, in part, with bringing that city to its lowest crime rate in 43 years. He plans to implement some of those successful measures in Huntersville.

Monday, Spruill already had pictures and plaques on the wall of his office-- plus reminders to get office supplies.

He put in 26 years with the Alexandria Police Department, which is more than enough to retire from the department. He most recently headed up the investigations bureau as deputy chief.

Spruill says he wanted to try to become a police chief, but felt that might not happen in Alexandria for several more years.

The Huntersville job has been open for about nine months since Phil Potter unexpectedly retired last year.

Spruill says the interview, which included a ride-along, went well, and his family encouraged him to pursue the Huntersville job.

It seemed like a place I really wanted to live and work in. I let my wife take a look at it and as they say, the rest is history.

The Huntersville area has been named one of the 50 safest cities in North Carolina. The town is growing like a weed with more than 50,000 residents. It has below average violent and property crime rates, but is currently trying to solve Peter Michael Jordan's murder, which is the first murder in Huntersville in five years.

Spruill says the Strategic Response System he helped implement in Alexandria, which lowered the crime rate and increased the quality of life, will work in Huntersville.

It's heavy on technology.

Efficient use of resources to address crime trends and patterns, Spruill said.

The town already implements some of that strategy with community-oriented policing.

It's good, but I think I can make it better, he said.

Spruill wants to get the whole town involved in protecting and serving.

My view is public safety isn't just a police function, it's a city function where everyone can identify problems and solutions, he said.

Spruill is married with two sons and a daughter. He's known for turning around youth football teams and says he would like to find time to coach kids as well as being police chief.

Read or Share this story: http://www.wcnc.com/story/news/local/2014/07/04/11130164/