GREENVILLE - Hassan Aden officially began his job as the Greenville Police Chief on Monday. He's spent 25 years working for the police department in Alexandria, Virginia, but now Hassan Aden has made the move to Eastern North Carolina. The 47-year-old will lead a 250-person police force.
"It really feels like they've got something special here in this department," Chief Aden told NewsChannel 12 on Monday.
It has been nearly a year since Chief William Anderson left the Greenville Police Department. Now the new chief, Chief Aden, said he's ready to get to work.
"First day is going very well," he said.
Aden said he started the day with his first team meeting to start looking into the needs of the department. He said part of his plans for change include getting input from folks in different departments, even those patrolling the streets.
"They're the experts, and you've got to be tapping into that information constantly. If you're not, you're missing big opportunities," he said.
On top of getting input from his officers, Chief Aden plans to be very involved in the community and is focused on a hands-on approach with his officers.
"They understand I'm going to be around [and] very visible - jumping in cars with them. They'll see me at two o'clock in the morning. I'll be out Friday and Saturday night uptown to get a first hand view of what I've been reading a lot about," Aden said.
Aden said one of his priorities during the transition is to work on crime rates and getting crime rates down.
"It's going to become very, very clear to everyone who works here that crime reduction and their work toward it is associated to promotions and transfers to everything that they value," he said.
It's a plan he learned from his mentors during his 25 year career at the Alexandria Police Department in Virginia.
"I always knew that I would end up here in some way, shape or form, and now I'm here and I'm really enjoying it. We're putting roots down here, it's not a transition to something else," he said.
Aden said he has many thoughts on the future; however, in the next five years he has a clear vision and hope for Greenville.
"I see Greenville as one of the safest cities in the United States," Aden said.
Aden has a master's degree from American University in Washington. He joined Alexandria's police department in 1987.
Aden has a wife and two children, ages seven and 10. He hopes to have his family settled in by Spring Break.