WS Police Chief Barry Rountree Announces Retirement Plans
Barry D. Rountree, Winston-Salem’s chief of police since 2013, announced today that he will retire Sept. 1, having served the citizens of Winston-Salem for 29 and a half years.
“I have had a very rewarding career,” Rountree said. “I have been able to serve in nearly every sworn position in the department, and now it is time to turn the reins over to the next generation of leadership.”
Rountree started his career as a police officer on Jan. 25, 1988. He was promoted to senior police officer (today’s rank of corporal) in 1992, sergeant in 1996, lieutenant in 2000, captain in 2004 and assistant police chief in 2007. Over these years he served in the Field Services Bureau, the Investigative Services Bureau, the Support Services Bureau, and the Professional Standards Division.
Rountree said he has been blessed to have served without any serious injuries. “Many have not been as fortunate as I and suffered serious injuries,” he said, “and during my career with the police department I have seen eight coworkers lose their lives while serving. They are a constant reminder to all police officers of the risks they take to ensure the public safety.”
Rountree is a North Carolina state-certified Basic Law Enforcement Training general instructor and holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Standards Training Commission. Rountree has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Winston-Salem State University and a master’s in public affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Rountree also is a graduate of the Administrative Officers Management Program at North Carolina State University and the Municipal Administration program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rountree said he is most proud of trying to make the Winston-Salem Police Department better for employees, and for improving service delivery to the citizens. “We have worked diligently to improve community relations and promote WSPD’s ‘brand,’ ” he said.
City Manager Lee Garrity said that Rountree had done a remarkable job of leading the police department. “With a steady hand and a firm belief in serving all, Chief Rountree has enhanced public safety while avoiding the community-trust challenges that other communities have faced,” he said.
Garrity said he will begin the process to select the next chief by consulting with the mayor, members of the City Council, police employees and community leaders.