Special to Iredell Free News
Statesville City Manager Ron Smith has announced the appointment of David Onley as the city’s next police chief effective, June 13.
Onley, 50, brings more than 24 years of experience as a Statesville Police Department employee, including six years as assistant chief. He succeeds Chief David Addison, who retired earlier this month.
“Statesville is fortunate to have a well-trained and experienced law enforcement professional who can step right in and focus on the important needs facing the police department and the City,” said Smith. “This includes maintaining strong community and partner relations and keeping and strengthening our current staff. Chief Onley can immediately begin work to retain and prevent the loss of personnel, and enhance the processes and relationships that have been built.”
Onley agrees that one of his primary jobs will be to address the staffing concerns.
“I realize that every agency is having the same issues with recruitment and retention, but I want to involve more of our officers in developing opportunities to showcase our department and what we have to offer,” he said.
The new chief is also committed to being present in the community and making sure businesses and residents have access to him, as well as other officers.
“It’s hard to be at every event or just be out in the neighborhoods when there is a staffing shortage,” Onley explained. “But I intend to focus on our community relations as much as possible.”
“We have seen improvements with community relations, more money for training and better equipment in the past several years,” said Smith. “I am certain Chief Onley will continue to build on these advances. He has shared his vision for the department, and I am confident Chief Onley will move us forward.”
Onley, a Statesville native, grew up downtown in his parents’ Western Auto Store, becoming familiar with the local police officers and community. After serving in the Air Force, he moved back and came to work for the SPD as an officer and K-9 handler. He moved through the ranks and was named assistant chief in 2016.
With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminal justice from St. Leo University, he continued his training, completing courses at the North Carolina Justice Academy Management Development Program and the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course at the University of Louisville.
He and his wife, Carrie, have a son who just graduated from Appalachian State University and a daughter who is a rising high school senior.