Town of Duck Welcomes New Police Leadership Team

At the September 3, 2020 council meeting, Chief Jeffrey Ackerman was proud to swear in the new members of the Duck Police Department’s leadership team.

The department’s leadership transition began with the retirement of former Chief John Cueto. With 22 years of accomplished law enforcement experience, Ackerman was chosen for promotion from Lieutenant and sworn in during the August 5 council meeting.

Chief Ackerman began his police career in 1998 with the Nags Head Police Department and the Dare County Sheriff’s Office. After joining the Town of Duck in 2003 as a patrol officer, he rose through the ranks to Lieutenant where he supervised day-to-day departmental operations. Along with many other skills, he holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate, is a certified General Instructor with a specialization in hazardous material and explosives, and is a graduate of the NC State University Law Enforcement Executive Program.

Chief Ackerman began his remarks by thanking the councilmembers for valuing the professional development of Town of Duck employees. “This has led the Police Department to put an emphasis on advanced training and career preparation to ensure tomorrow’s leaders are ready to move up when called upon.” He then introduced the three officers that were promoted to complete the leadership team of the department.

Sergeant Melissa Clark was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. A Dare County native, Clark has over 18 years of experience in law enforcement and 10 years with Duck Police. In addition to holding an advanced law enforcement certificate, she is a NC general instructor, instructs specialized subject control and arrest techniques, and is an advanced law enforcement rapid response trainer. Clark is a graduate of the Methodist University West Point Leadership Program and the Coastal Plains Law Enforcement Institute. Ackerman noted “there is nobody I’d rather have standing beside me as we work together to keep the Duck Police Department at the forefront of modern policing in northeastern North Carolina.”

Master Police Officer Jason Garrett was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Garrett began his career in 2005 with the Currituck County Sheriff’s Office and joined Duck Police in 2008. “Watching Jason become the police officer he is today is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given as a supervisor, “said Ackerman. Garrett has completed extensive training in firearms instruction, leadership, and advanced law enforcement topics. Additionally, he is a NC general instructor and a specialized firearms instructor.

Master Police Officer Joe Knight was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He graduated from Purdue University in 2002 with a BA in Law and Society. After attending basic law enforcement training, he began his career in 2004 with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office and joined Duck Police in 2012. He holds an advanced law enforcement certificate, is a NC general instructor, and is certified as an instructor with the International Police Mountain Biking Association.  In addition, Joe is a regional expert in ALPR analytics. Chief Ackerman noted that “Joe is an officer who is committed to community policing and approaches his work with patience and kindness.”

The Town of Duck is proud to welcome the Duck Police leadership team. To view the swearing in ceremonies, view the council meeting video here.