After five years of dedicated service to the Duck Police Department, Chief John Cueto has announced his retirement. Chief Cueto’s effective date of retirement is planned for August 4, 2020, allowing time for transition within the Police Department before his departure.
Cueto was selected as Duck’s Police Chief from a pool of over 100 candidates through a comprehensive recruitment process in 2015. He began his law enforcement career in 1987 with the Bridgeport, Connecticut Police Department where he rose through the ranks to serve as aide to the Chief and commander of the Emergency Services Unit. Cueto holds a master’s degree in criminal justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He is also active in the Police Executive Research Forum and a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
While with the Town of Duck, Chief Cueto served on the Board of the Dare County Crime Line and as a Regional Director for the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police where he was able to bring attention to the needs of police executives throughout Eastern North Carolina. Identification of significant grant funding allowed him to champion a county-wide automatic license plate reader system, which serves as an effective deterrent to crime and an important investigative tool.
Within his department, Cueto established a nationally recognized organizational structure, unified the police vehicle fleet to create omnipresence, and established proactive policing practices which virtually eliminated property crime. He worked with the Town Council to request and hire three new police officer positions, and supported officer training opportunities which resulted in all officers attaining advanced law enforcement certificates. Under his leadership, the Town of Duck Police Department partnered with Axon Enterprises to roll out the first department-wide body camera system in Dare County. Similarly, the department worked with FirstNet to move Duck to a communications platform designed for first responders. During his time with Duck, he has become respected by the community and enjoyed interacting with citizens through his Brown Bag Lunch program.
“Chief Cueto has been a great leader for the department in his short time here,” said Mayor Don Kingston. “He will be greatly missed by the community, but I know he is looking forward to what new opportunities exist for him.”
Cueto plans to return to his native Connecticut to be with his wife Erika as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. “Chief Cueto’s presence will be missed,” said Town Manager Chris Layton, “but his accomplishments and the positive impression he left on his officers will endure.”
The Town will soon begin the search for a new chief.