Asbell announces retirement

Published 9:52 am Thursday, September 21, 2023

AHOSKIE – A 30-year veteran of local law enforcement is retiring.

Ahoskie Police Chief Jimmy Asbell is retiring effective Oct. 20. File Photo

Jimmy Asbell, Chief of the Ahoskie Police Department, has announced his retirement effective Oct. 20. Asbell has spent 25 of his 30 years with the Ahoskie Police, including the last two as Chief of the department. Prior to that he held the rank of Major for 17 years during the time that Troy Fitzhugh was the APD Chief.

“I have the upmost gratitude and appreciation to the Town of Ahoskie for the professional opportunities I’ve been given throughout my tenure,” Asbell said in a letter of retirement sent to town officials.

“I have invested my entire career in public service to the victims of crimes and citizens in my community and I am extremely grateful that I have been able to serve,” Asbell added.

He noted the decision he is making is bittersweet.

“I have genuinely enjoyed my employment as the Chief of Police and serving as a law enforcement officer for over 30 years and will miss my coworkers and town staff when my retirement day comes,” Asbell stated. “I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful people over

the years; none more professional or dedicated than my current staff at the Ahoskie Police Department. Working here has truly been an honor and a privilege for me.”

Ahoskie Town Manager Leigh Etheridge echoed the bittersweet sentiment.

“Although the news of Chief Asbell’s retirement comes as unhappy news for the Town Council and staff, we are all in agreement that we are delighted for him regarding his upcoming retirement,” Etheridge said in a statement to the R-C News-Herald. “I have only had the pleasure of working with Chief Asbell during my first year with the town, but I can attest that he is a consummate professional in all that he manages to keep our town safe. He has done an exemplary job as Chief of the Ahoskie Police Department. He will certainly be missed by everyone. Congratulations on a career very well done.”

Asbell started his career as a law enforcement officer in 1991 at the APD after graduating from Chowan College with an associate degree in Business Administration and after successfully completing the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy.

He left Ahoskie for a short stint (1993-94) as a Patrol Officer at the East Carolina University Police Department before returning to the APD in 1994.

In 1999, Commander Wesley Liverman of the Roanoke Chowan Narcotics Task Force hired Asbell as a Narcotics Agent. That Task Force covered Bertie, Hertford, Gates, Martin, and Washington counties. Asbell worked his way up through the ranks to become a Senior Narcotics Agent, eventually becoming the Assistant Commander.

In 2004, Fitzhugh convinced Asbell to return to the APD to serve as Major (second in command at the department).

During his years as a law enforcement officer, Asbell has received many hours of law enforcement education either through in-service training or specialized schools. He received his Advanced Law Enforcement Training Certificate in 2004 from the North Carolina Sheriff’s Education and Training Standards Commission.

His extensive background in narcotics and violent crime investigations and his management experience allowed him to spearhead and help establish the Down East Drug Task Force in 2016. That organization, which Asbell served as Commander, consisted of investigators from Bertie, Hertford, and Northampton County Sheriff’s Offices and the APD.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal