On June 11, 2019, Town Manager Sean R. Stegall announced that Cary’s own Toni Dezomits would serve as the community’s next Chief of Police.
Dezomits, 51, led Cary’s nationally accredited police department as interim police chief as Stegall conducted the search for former Chief Tony Godwin’s successor. Hired in 1998 as a patrol officer in Cary, Dezomits has served for more than two decades in a variety of positions including assistant police chief, professional standards commander, field operations officer and sniper on the SWAT team. Her selection to the department’s highest office follows a national search that garnered 59 applicants and extensive process involving fellow officers.
“Because of the life and death nature of the job, and because of the need for positive, high-profile relationships with all aspects of the community, and because a city has nothing without safety, chief of police is the single most significant hire of a manager’s career, and I believe that Toni Dezomits is the perfect match for the department, organization, and Cary as a whole,” said Stegall. “She is a very, very impressive person who works hard and demonstrates our culture at every opportunity. She is on an amazing trajectory with limitless potential to influence people in a positive way.”
Stegall conducted listening sessions with the Cary Police Department to learn firsthand what officers felt was important in the next police chief, and officers were invited to submit interview questions for the candidates. For the five finalists’ interviews, Stegall included officers of different ranks as well as organizational leaders and members of the community. Several Cary Town Council members also met with the finalists prior to Stegall’s decision.
“From taking care of 243 people to the forward-facing nature of the job, I am incredibly honored and humbled to have been chosen for this responsibility,” said Dezomits. “I thrive in our organization’s environment - in our new culture - and while I have given my best, I know I’ve gotten here with a lot of support.”
“Without a doubt, Dezomits has earned the respect of the men and women of the Cary Police Department and proven to be an exceptional leader,” said Public Safety Director Allan Cain, who serves as both the police and fire chiefs’ direct supervisor. “During her time as interim chief, she demonstrated that she is not only experienced and knowledgeable, she also has the vision needed to keep the Cary Police Department on the cutting edge of law enforcement and service to the community.”
Dezomits’ education consists of a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix. She has also graduated from the 46th session of Administrative Officer Management Program (AOMP) at NC State University, the Police Executive Leadership Development Institute at Methodist University and the 247th session of the FBI National Academy. She holds certifications as a law enforcement general instructor, specialized fitness instructor and taser instructor. She also served as the Cary Police Department’s coordinator in the Wake County Crisis Intervention Team Partnership from 2009 to 2013. A veteran of the United States Army, she received the Army Commendation Medal for distinguished service during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner.