top of page
  • Writer's pictureTopsail Times

Front Page: Ladies And Gentlemen, There’s A New Chief In Town

After 28 years with the Surf City Police department, Chief Ron Shanahan is retiring.

From a group of 30 applicants for the position, Lieutenant Phil Voorhees was selected to take over as Chief on January 1st, 2022.

Lieutenant Voorhees started his law enforcement career with the Chicago Police Department. He worked there for five years before discovering the wonderful Topsail area while on vacation one winter. After leaving the 60 degree NC winter weather to return to minus 2 below zero in Chicago, Lt. Voorhees made a decision. North Carolina was going to be his new home. He packed up his family and by June 2007 he settled in and began working with the Surf City Police Department. 14 years later he has now been appointed as Chief.

A bit nervous but excited, future Chief Voorhees is looking forward to continuing with the great programs and community involvement that Surf City Police Department is known for.

The highly successful “Operation Medicine Drop” which gives people a safe way to dispose of unwanted medications, is conveniently located in the waiting area of the new police department. The department takes the prescriptions for disposal twice a year to the SBI office. The last delivery was a whopping 66.03 pounds of medications taken in October. That is certainly a lot of medications that won’t fall into the wrong hands.

“Text A Tip” is also a great way to help keep our community safe. This program allows people to share information and photos (or short videos) simply on their phones.

“Coffee with a cop” will continue, giving area residents a chance to meet one on one with the officers that keep our streets safe.

“Shop with a cop” just completed another successful year of taking area kids in need shopping for Christmas. 10 children, accompanied by officers, went on a shopping spree for clothes, shoes (if needed) and of course, presents. Each child was allotted $150.00 and the day was a great success.

One of the new items on schedule for early spring is the Citizen’s Police Academy where area residents can apply to be part of a group that will meet weekly and learn about the inner workings of the police department.

After January 1st, Chief Voorhees will be looking forward to a seamless transition with no disruption to the workings of the police department. The new Chief plans on working on a five year strategic plan to ensure that the needs of the community and the department are met regarding training and technology. The police department currently has 2 drones and a few traffic cameras to assist with investigations as needed.

A new addition to the department is a robot, not yet named, that will help keep the officers safe while performing their duties. The robot was a donation to the department from the military and looks like a Mars explorer and hopefully will get a name soon. It would be great if the robot made an appearance during the Citizen’s Police Academy.

The Town of Surf City will continue to be in safe hands and I encourage the members of the community who don’t yet know the future Chief Voorhees to reach out and say hello. The police department is a part of the community and each member is part of the Surf City family. Congratulations Chief Voorhees, I know you have great things in store for the community!

Scan this QR Code to "Text-A-Tip"!


Part of Issue 5:


bottom of page