HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- After a 39-year career in law enforcement, Huntersville Police Chief Philip Potter announced his retirement this past week.

Potter served as chief in Huntersville nearly nine years after 30 years in Piqua, Ohio, where he served as chief for 12 of those years.

During his time in Huntersville, town officials said Potter oversaw a department that grew alongside the town s population which now exceeds 50,000 as well as an increasing commercial and retail base.

Officials also credit Potter with the police department being accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies since 2008.

Community-based programs such as National Night Out, Safety Town and the Citizen s Police Academy were launched during Potter s tenure. He also helped guide the department through a move from its former Gilead Road location to a renovated headquarters in The Park Huntersville, rather than constructing a new building, which saved the town millions, officials said.

Town Manager Greg Ferguson said a national search for the next chief will likely take about four months. Assistant Town Manager Gerry Vincent will serve as interim director of public safety during the transition.

The town will hold a retirement reception for Potter at a future date that has yet to be decided. Ferguson said details will be posted on the town s website.

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