Assistant Chief of Police Kemberle Braden has been selected as the new Chief of Police for the City of Fayetteville.

The City of Fayetteville announced that Kemberle Braden will be the next Chief of Police for the Fayetteville Police Department.

Braden, has been with the Fayetteville Police Department for 26 years. He was most recently the Assistant Chief of Police, and has previously served as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain and major as well.

“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity to continue to serve the residents of Fayetteville which I have called home for more than 45 years,” said Chief of Police-select Kemberle Braden. “I look forward to bringing what I have learned throughout my career to lead the police force as those have done before me.”

Braden was selected over another internal candidate, Assistant Chief James Nolette.

“We know, based on community input and feedback, that our next Chief should be fully invested in our community and uniquely prepared to build on the foundation in place,” City Manager Doug Hewett when announcing the two finalists earlier in December. “Which is why I’m pleased that through a rigorous process using community members and external reviewers, we’ve identified two candidates who understand Fayetteville, along with our strategic goals and priorities for moving forward.”

According to the City of Fayetteville, Braden was named Officer of the Year in 2002, and earned a Police Purple Heart that year as well. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UNC Pembroke, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Leadership Development course.

“We are truly fortunate to have identified exceptionally qualified candidates through the search, and making an internal hire exemplifies how well we cultivate and nurture talent from within,” Hewett said. “Throughout the entire process, Chief-Select Braden has shown us his authenticity, professionalism, leadership, desire to serve and dedication to our City and this police department. I am confident in his ability to lead the Fayetteville Police Department into the future with innovation and collaboration.”

Braden will replace Gina Hawkins, who announced she will soon be retiring, after serving as Police Chief since 2017.