Kitty Hawk Police Chief Joel Johnson retires after 30 years in law enforcement

Kitty Hawk Police Chief Joel Johnson retires after 30 years in law enforcement

January 31st, 2023

After 30 years in law enforcement and nearly 22 years of service with the Kitty Hawk Police Department, Chief Joel
Johnson is retiring effective February 1.

Kitty Hawk Police Chief Joel Johnson retired on Feb. 1, 2023. [KHPD photo]
Town Manager Melody Clopton noted a number of accomplishments during Johnson’s tenure as police chief over the last decade:

  • obtaining grant funds to upgrade firearms
  • securing several military high water vehicles for use during storm events
  • upgrading body and in car camera systems
  • overseeing the development of several community outreach programs including youth skating and fishing events as well as RX drop box located at the Police Station
  • transitioning patrol division into new utility uniform

“Most of all, Chief Johnson is a kind and caring person, who is a strong family man,” Clopton said. “He loves to spend time with his four children and wife and plans on doing more of that after his retirement.”

“He has coached and participated in numerous local sports teams and always made himself available to help a member of our community in need,” Clopton said. “In turn he has received numerous commendations recognizing him for his help to residents and visitors.”

“On behalf of the town council and staff: Chief Johnson, congratulations on your retirement. Thank you for your service and enjoy your new found free time!”

During the recruitment process and transition, Lieutenant James Helms has been named Interim Police Chief. Applications are currently being accepted to replace Johnson, with initial review scheduled for February 13.

Kitty Hawk Police Department announces other retirements, promotions
Sgt. Brent Vucinovic

Patrol Sergeant Brent Vucinovic officially retired on January 1, 2023, following 22 years with the town and 25 years in law enforcement.

He is the epitome of a community officer. We will miss his quiet presence and calm demeanor,” Clopton said. “Congratulations on your retirement and good luck in all your future endeavors!”

Sergeant Hardman being sworn in by Mayor
Craig Garriss. Sgt. Hardman’s wife,
Kimberly, is holding the Bible.

Patrol Officer III Travis Hardman was promoted to Police Sergeant in December of 2022.

Sgt. Hardman began his law enforcement career in Prince William County, Virginia, and has over 10 years of experience. He joined the Kitty
Hawk Police Department in August 2022.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Strategic Intelligence.

Sergeant Kouskouris being sworn in by Mayor
Craig Garriss. Tyler’s wife, Katheleen, holds
the Bible.

Police Officer III, Tyler Kouskouris was recently promoted to Patrol Sergeant.

Sgt. Kouskouris began his law enforcement career with the town in 2015. He relocated to the City of Greenville Police Department for two years and returned to the town in 2020.

He has served as Field Training Officer for new officers.

Posted in GOV
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