Fayetteville native, NCCU grad will be next police chief in Apex after 2 years in Ferguson, Missouri

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- After a nationwide search, the Wake County town of Apex has selected a new police chief.

Jason Armstrong is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina has been serving as chief of police in Ferguson, Missouri for the past two years.

Armstrong is not only a North Carolina native, but also earned his criminal justice degree in the Triangle at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

"In each interview process, he came out on top, you know, by far from the other candidates," incoming Apex Town manager Katy Cosby told ABC11.

The total number of candidates for Apex PD's top job was 45.

Crosby, who will become the next Apex town manager on Monday, was closely involved with the search for the police chief who she will manage.

Armstrong, a husband and father of two, will be the first Black police chief in the nearly 150 year history of Apex.

That may add perspective when he will likely address issues raised in a study released earlier this year.

That study, commissioned by town officials, showed "racial bias" was "deeply entrenched" in the culture at APD.

'Racial bias' is 'deeply entrenched' in the Apex police culture, report finds
Crosby says dealing with such issues is one of Armstrong's strengths.

He took the chief of police job in Ferguson, Missouri two years ago, just five years after that town exploded when an officer shot and killed Michael Brown, 18.

"Jason's experience will help us navigate some of the challenges that we may experience in policing," Crosby said. "But I think overall, it will just be that he's a good chief and he understands how to engage the community."

Crosby says senior officers signed off on Armstrong too.

So she believes he will also be a unifying force among the rank and file.

Apex officials say Armstrong is in Missouri planning the move home to North Carolina and wasn't available to the media today but should be in the coming days.

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