Elizabethtown Police Chief Tony Parrish

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A staff report

Elizabethtown, NC– After a distinguished career spanning over 35 years in law enforcement, Town of Elizabethtown Police Chief Tony Parrish has announced his retirement, effective at the end of June. Chief Parrish has been at the helm of the Elizabethtown Police Department since assuming the role in April 2016.

Chief Parrish embarked on his journey in law enforcement as a patrol officer in 1988 with the City of Greenville. He then transitioned to serve as a state trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol in 1990, where he was tasked with patrolling Robeson County. Throughout his tenure, Parrish steadily climbed the ranks, culminating in his retirement from the highway patrol as a first sergeant in 2016, before assuming the role of Police Chief in Elizabethtown.

Reflecting on his tenure, Chief Parrish expressed pride in the dedication and professionalism exhibited by the entire Elizabethtown Police Department. He noted a significant reduction in violent crime during his tenure, spanning eight years. Chief Parrish emphasized that the groundwork has been laid for sustained success in maintaining Elizabethtown as a safe and thriving community.

“I am immensely proud of the dedication and professionalism demonstrated by the entire department throughout my tenure. Witnessing an overall reduction in violent crime over the past eight years has been truly gratifying. I firmly believe that the foundation has been set for continued success in preserving Elizabethtown as a safe haven for its residents,” remarked Chief Parrish.

Chief Parrish cited a desire to prioritize spending more time with his family and his wife Amanda, a West Bladen High School math teacher, as the number one reason to retire. He will also pursue growing his “hobby,” Parrish Developments, a construction company in Bladen County, 

“While I have cherished every moment of my 35-year journey in law enforcement, I believe the time is ripe for me to embark on the next chapter of my life. Retirement will afford me the opportunity to devote more time to my family, hobbies, and explore new avenues,” added Chief Parrish.

The Elizabethtown community extends its deepest gratitude to Chief Tony Parrish for his unwavering dedication, leadership, and service throughout his distinguished career. Chief Parrish’s commitment to public safety has left an indelible mark on the community, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of law enforcement professionals.

The Elizabethtown Police Department will commence the search for Chief Parrish’s successor, ensuring a seamless transition as the department continues its mission of safeguarding and serving the community.


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