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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Council members in Fair Bluff have named Justin Hewett as the town's new police chief.
Hewett, 26, is currently listed as a detective for the Holden Beach Police Department, which he has been with for six years.
He's also been helping the Columbus County sheriff's office patrol the Fair Bluff area, making him familiar with it.
"I worked my way up to detective and an operations manager," said Justin Hewett. "I've helped them get a lot of the equipment they have."
He is the son of former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett, who spent time in jail after pleading guilty to an obstruction of justice charge in 2008.
Justin Hewett's name was mentioned in a petition to remove Ron Hewett during the investigation. The petition says Justin, who was not a sworn officer at the time, responded to a SWAT call with his father when he was 17 years old.
The document went on to say Justin used a BCSO vehicle for personal use and spent $1,622 on fuel for that vehicle. The petition says he continued to use the vehicle after graduating from BLET and landing a job with the Holden Beach Police Department.
A month ago, Hewett married a woman from Columbus County.
Mayor Randy Britt says that some may question the hire, but after getting to know Hewett and hearing several law enforcement officers from different agencies talk about his character, he knows town council members hired the best person for the job.
"After meeting and getting to know him, I am pleased with him, and a lot of people around Fair Bluff are, too," said Britt. "Plus, you'll be surprised by the number of people who have called giving him a thumbs up, and who speak highly of his character."
Former police chief Marty Lewis and former town clerk Tamika Packer were fired last month after being arrested for drug charges.
Hewett says he realizes he has big shoes to fill in the wake of Lewis' departure.
"I know that's been a tough pill for many people to swallow," said Hewett. "I plan to restore and gain their trust by visiting businesses and people, doing background checks on all officers, and doing community policing."
Mayor Britt says once necessary paperwork is completed in about a week, Fair Bluff citizens will see their new chief on the job.
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