GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Greenville police chief Hassan Aden will complete his first year in office the week of November 24th.
It's been a busy year for Aden and his department, highlighted by some major crimes. "Several segments of the year were peppered with violence," he said.
Aden felt confident in his ability to run the department thanks to decades of experience in the field. Not many police chiefs started where Aden did. He spent the late 1980's and early 1990's in the trenches as an undercover officer. "I was on a DEA task force, so I was basically from Miami to New York," said Aden.
His job as chief is no cake walk, either. As a matter of fact, he had to hit the ground running, by investigating a dirty cop in his new outfit. "That case was brought to my attention as soon as I got here, essentially. Like on day two," said Aden. The case he referred to was that of former officer Rose Edmonds. "The allegations were that she stole drugs and money and we had an indication that did indeed occur," he said.
Edmonds pleaded guilty to three counts of altering, stealing and/or destroying criminal evidence on October 10th, 2013.
For Aden, that first test was just the beginning. The year's first murder came on January 2nd. "That was in the middle of a pretty violent couple of weeks and it was within my first month and a half," he said.
Officers say 36-year-old Anthony Johnson found dead in his front yard on Westridge Court; the victim of multiple gunshot wounds. Two days later, 16-year-old Jahrheel May was arrested for Johnson's murder, triggering an emotional response from his mother (listen above).
In June, Aden's department and the community were tested again. "The events of June 21st of 2013 were, I think a defining moment for this city," said Aden. His department responded to a call of shots fired on Greenville Boulevard. That's where Lakim Faust allegedly shot one man in the parking lot of the Kellum Law Firm, as well as three more across the street at Wal Mart.
All four victims survived. Faust is currently in jail under $6 Million dollar bond. "In that particular incident it was an A+. 100 percent," said Aden, in regards his officers' response.
Aden says the city of Greenville has improved during his tenure, but there's still work to be done. "It's gonna take a while, it took a while to get where we are today, it's gonna take us a little longer to get us where we wanna be," said Aden.
To hear how Aden says his department is working to become more effective, click here.
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