Dwayne Pike is the Amherst Police Department's new deputy chief of police.
AMHERST – Amherst has a new deputy chief of police.
Veteran police officer Sgt. Dwayne Pike has been named the second-in-command of the Amherst Police Department. He replaces former deputy chief Ian Naylor, who was recently appointed the permanent chief.
Scott White will return to his former position as staff sergeant.
“I am really excited and looking for the challenge and opportunities the position offers,” Pike said Thursday. “I am working with a group of very dedicated individuals whose Number 1 goal is the safety and protection of the residents of this community. I’m proud and pleased to work alongside these people and am looking forward to continuing that in the future.”
Pike, a native of Newfoundland, moved to Amherst in 1996 after graduating from the Atlantic Police Academy. After serving a number of years as a constable, Pike joined the department’s major crimes division as a detective and was appointed to a sergeant’s position in January 2010.
With Naylor succeeding retiring chief Charles Rushton, Pike felt it was time to offer his skills and talents as deputy chief.
“I am so happy to be part of this community. When my wife and I first moved here in 1996 to take the job with the department we had no idea how long we’d be here or how much this community would mean to us,” he said.
Pike sees the role of policing changing. New technologies in policing as well as increasing demands from the Department of Justice, the legal system and the community present opportunities as well as challenges.
“Policing is changing just as the community is changing. Our job is to fit the police department into what the community feels it needs in terms of policing style,” he said. “It can be quite the challenge and it’s one that we as a department are continuing to try to meet.”
Pike’s leadership has been recognized before. While at the Atlantic Police Academy, Pike was a squad leader and class valedictorian. He also received the Chief Robert Innes Memorial Award for outstanding leadership upon his graduation from the academy.
Naylor said Pike was one of three officers to apply for the job. He said the selection committee was pleased with the quality of each of the applicants, adding it was a tough decision to make.
“We had some high quality candidates,” Naylor said. “I am very confident in Dwayne’s abilities and see enormous potential in how he will fill the position and move it forward.”
Naylor said these are exciting times for the Amherst Police Department with a new chief and deputy chief and planning continuing for a new police facility.
With Pike’s promotion to deputy chief, there will be a competition to fill his vacant sergeant’s position.
Naylor said the department has evolved into a well-rounded organization with a good mix of experience and youth.
“We’re in a good position right now,” he said. “We have the people in place to continue moving forward and building on the momentum we’ve accomplished. It’s good to take a good look at yourself from time to time to see where you’ve come from, where you’re at and where you plan to go as a department. These are exciting times for us within the department.”