Tryon Chief to lecture on modern policing at museum Thursday

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, May 15, 2018

When Police Chief Jeff Arrowood speaks at the Tryon Historic Museum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, he will touch on his department’s evolution from its days when headquarters consisted of a wood-burning heated wooden shack located opposite Morris the Horse, to the modern department, housed in a suite of offices located beside city hall and privy to instant information gathering via multi-agency computer programs.

Arrowood has served the county since 1993. A Polk Central High graduate, he earned his law enforcement degree from Isothermal Community College. The rush of those early days as a rookie responding to calls morphed in 2003 into the challenges of administration he now faces as police chief.

Arrowood, a creative thinker, looks for outside-the-box solutions as police chief, such as routing all non-emergency calls made through his dispatcher to the appropriate city agency, be it in response to a broken water main or animals loose on the road — a system that has worked so well that it has been picked up by other localities. Calls to 911 go straight to Polk County’s central communication command center.

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Tryon’s police department today must be prepared to deal with anything from public relations work, directing traffic at downtown’s frequent street-closings and festivals, to acting as first-line social workers settling quarrels between neighbors or other, more difficult problems.

“I doubt you can find one person who has not seen first-hand the effects of drug abuse,” Arrowood said.

Above all, Arrowood sees his department as problem solvers equipped to turn negative situations into positive solutions through good police work.

The upcoming lecture is free and open to the public. Tryon Historic Museum is located at 29 Maple St. Regular hours at the museum are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

-Submitted by Jackie Burke