The Clayton Police Departments new chief C. Blair Myhand will begin work on Monday.
Myhand was most recently a Police Captain in Apex, where he served for more than 11 years. He is a retired U.S. Army First Sergeant with more than two decades of military and law enforcement experience, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also wore the badge for one of the nation’s 10 largest municipal police agencies– the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.
The Town of Clayton selected Myhand through an intensive hiring assessment process that garnered nearly 50 applicants from all over the country. Myhand said he and his wife are eager to move to Clayton.
“I am both humbled and honored to be chosen to lead such a quality law enforcement agency,” Myhand said. “I have been fortunate to experience many things in my career, and I hope to bring those to bear in leading the men and women of the Clayton Police Department.”
Myhand began his public safety career in 1987 when he joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard, which serves as the Army’s official escort to the President of the United States. Later, he served in both the Virginia and North Carolina Army National Guards until retiring in 2011 as an Infantry First Sergeant (E-8). Myhand’s service included a year-long combat tour in Afghanistan in 2004-2005, where he received a Bronze Star for reconnaissance missions in the Wardak Province. In June 2009, he headed to Mahmudiyah, Iraq for another nearly year-long combat tour, where his unit lost four men.
Myhand replaces former Chief Wayne Bridges who retired last month after nearly 20 years on the police force. Bridges spent the last four years as chief, overseeing a growing department of 43-sworn men and women who protect a town of more than 18,000 residents.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming Blair,” said Clayton Town Manager Adam Lindsay. “His commitment to professional development throughout his career is evidenced by the success he’s achieved in serving our country in the military and serving in public safety roles since then. He’s approachable. He’s eager. Through his career and during his interview process, he demonstrated great understanding of how to be a leader, which will be critical to meet the challenges facing law enforcement today and into the future. He wants to see Clayton’s finest become even better and I believe he will provide the leadership to do just that.”
Myhand’s law enforcement career started in 1994, when he was sworn in as an Officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC. He was assigned to the Third District and later as a Counter-Sniper with the Emergency Response Team. Specifically, he was among the first three Metropolitan Police Officers to enter the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, minutes after the terrorist attack. The Army later recognized Myhand with a Commendation Medal for his heroism that day.
Myhand joined the Apex Police Department in 2005, where he has led the Administrative, Investigative and Patrol divisions. He oversaw the tactical and crisis negotiations teams, and coordinated the agency’s firearms training program. Last year, Apex honored Myhand as the Officer of the Year, and he was featured in national publications for his pioneering program to train police officers, who are military veterans, on how best to respond to incidents involving a veteran who may be threatening violence to themselves or others. The program has trained more than 100 police officers from around the country and has proven its worth by saving the lives of veterans in crisis and the police officers who respond to these difficult situations.
Myhand has participated in security measures for many national and international events such as: The Million Man March; The inaugurations of presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; Y2K, protests of the International Monetary Fund; hostage situations; and international terrorism incidents.
Raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Myhand holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Waldorf College and a Master of Public Administration from Villanova University. He graduated from the FBI National Academy’s Session 252 program in Quantico, Virginia, as well as the UNC School of Government’s Municipal/County Administration course. He is an active member of the North Carolina FBI National Academy Associates and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police. Myhand serves on the Civilian Law Enforcement / Military Cooperation Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and is a charter member of the Justice Involved Veterans Network (JIVN), which is funded solely by the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute for Corrections.
“The difference between the police department and the community should be indistinguishable; we are all keepers of this community and its people,” Myhand said. “Together, we will achieve the highest levels of professionalism, engagement, and cooperation as the Town of Clayton continues to grow and expand.”
Myhand’s annual salary will be $107,000, slightly less than the outgoing chief who was making $108,792 when he retired.
The community is invited to a public reception to meet the new chief on Tuesday, May 23rd from 4pm until 6pm at the Clayton Police Department at 315 W. Second Street in Downtown Clayton.