CORNELIUS – The dean of police chiefs in north Mecklenburg is stepping down at the end of the year. Bence Hoyle, who has led the Cornelius Police Department since 2007, has notified town officials Dec. 31 will be his last day on duty.

Hoyle originally planned to leave his post in early 2017, but agreed to remain with the Cornelius department to help guide Major Kevin Black through an 18-month transition to prepare to replace Hoyle as the town’s top law enforcement officer. Black will begin duties as chief Jan. 1.

Hoyle holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University and a master’s from Methodist University. He has 33 years of law enforcement experience and has supervised many changes in Cornelius during his decade-plus of service, including the introduction of a Citizen’s Police Academy, an improved law enforcement presence on Lake Norman and the implementation of multiple technological improvements such as an integrated network of community cameras that has played a direct role in solving local crimes.

Hoyle has served 10 years on the board of directors for the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police and was elected president of the organization in 2015. He has also served on the board of directors for the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the only active police chief to do so. His service with the organization included duties as chair of the General Government Legislative Action Committee.

He also served on many state boards and committees, as well as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service LinX executive board, which facilitates the sharing of data between agencies. Hoyle, known for his innovations in technology use, plans to continue serving public sector technology advancement through consulting.

Regarding the future of the Cornelius department, Hoyle said, “One of the most important responsibilities a police chief has is to develop its staff into strong leaders at every level of the organization. We have a very deep bench with several members of our command staff capable of serving as police chief anywhere in this state, and many more who just need more leadership opportunities that will come with my departure. There is nothing more I can do to prepare my team to succeed.”

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