Columbus Police Chief awarded

Published 2:53 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Columbus Mayor Eric McIntyre presenting a plaque to police chief Chris Beddingfield for receiving the Region C Law Enforcement Executive of the Year for 2011 during Columbus Town Council’s Aug. 16 meeting. (photo submitted by Leah Justice)

Second straight year Columbus receives award

For the second year in a row, the Columbus Police Department has been awarded with the law enforcement executive of the year in the Region C area, which consists of Polk, Rutherford, McDowell and Cleveland Counties.
Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield was recently awarded the Region C Law Enforcement Executive of the Year for 2011.
Retired Columbus Police Chief Butch Kennedy received the same award for 2010 while he served as chief.
Columbus Town Council met Aug. 16 and congratulated Beddingfield on the recognition.
“It was humbling and it was an honor,” Beddingfield said. “The nomination brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes you don’t realize the accomplishments you’re making when you’re making them.”
Beddingfield said when he took the chief position he stepped into a well-run department where many accomplishments were made under former chief Kennedy. He also said having council and staff who supports his decisions makes his job a lot easier and commended his officers for doing a great job.
Beddingfield was recognized at the annual Region C Criminal Justice Advisory Committee awards banquet held on June 26.
The law enforcement executive of the year is awarded annually to a police chief or sheriff and is chosen by law enforcement administrators from the Region C area.
Beddingfield took over as Columbus Police Chief following Kennedy’s retirement in 2010. Beddingfield formerly served as assistant chief.
Beddingfield is also the site coordinator and assessor for the BikeSafe North Carolina motorcycle safety program at the police department and was instrumental in the creation and growing success of the Polk County Mental Health Task Force, which brings together local law enforcement, St. Luke’s Hospital, the department of social services and mental health providers to address concerns and improve the system for the benefit of those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.
Beddingfield graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a bachelor’s degree and is nearing completion of a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Pembroke. He has served in law enforcement for over 20 years, including with the Asheville Airport Police, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Tryon Police Department prior to joining the Columbus Police Department.
The Region C Committee is made up of all state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies from the counties of Polk, Rutherford, McDowell and Cleveland Counties.
Region C law enforcement officials meet monthly to discuss operations and hold an annual banquet to recognize outstanding officers from the region in various categories.