The following article was written in May 1996 by Chief Jerry Welch of the Madison Police Department. Chief Welch is a Past President and one of the Charter Members of the NCACP.
Our chiefs association, like my beloved Marine Corps, was born in a bar room.
During the annual North Carolina Police Executives Association conference in 1975, several police chiefs and a fast thinking instructor from the new North Carolina Justice Academy, were brainstorming in the bar at the Blockade Runner hotel in Wrightsville Beach about forming a separate organization for police chiefs only. There had been other conversations in years gone by but nothing had developed.
One of Perry Powell's (former Director of the North Carolina Justice Academy) finest, Ms. Sue Lyons suggested to the group, if they were really serious, that they help her write a grant proposal to the L.E.A.A. The grant would provide seed money to form the association and provide special, much needed training for the N.C. police chiefs.
During the next several months, meetings were held around the state, several at Salemburg, to plan, organize and write the grant request and constitution and by-laws and select our first slate of officers. We received our grant, Salemburg administered it and we were on our way. The founders of the organization sent invitations to every police chief in the state seeking their support and membership. Any chief that joined before December 31, 1976 would be a charter member of the association.
The first chiefs conference was a one day affair preceding the 1977 Police Execs conference in Wrightsville Beach. The first annual NCACP conference was held in Hickory on January 29-31, 1978. Our theme was "Developing Police Leadership". Three of our special guest speakers were Chief Robert J. deGarza of the Montgomery, MD Police Department, Chief W. R. Couthen of the Columbia, SC Police Department (IACP 6th Vice President), and Mr. Tom Osborne, City Manager of Greensboro.
Our first Executive Board consisted of B. L. Porter (Mecklenburg County), R. E. Goodwin (Raleigh), D. L. Bruestle (Wilmington), C. M. Gilstrap (Goldsboro), Jon Kindie (Durham), John Faircloth (High Point), and Melvin Tucker (Hickory). Our first life members were Chief J. C. Hall of Asheville and Chief W. B. Hopkins of Zebulon.