Smathers was one of two finalists, along with Atlanta Deputy Chief Cerylyn Davis.
WSOC reporter Erica Bryant first reported the news.
Smathers is in charge of police field services for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. His career there began in 1994.
On April 6, the two finalists made their cases for the position at Durham City Hall.
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The candidates were peppered with questions at a forum, with a main concern being the finalists' stance on community policing in a diverse city.
"We need to compare our own selves, ship-to-ship and work unit to work unit. It's a multi-layered approach," Smathers said at the time.
"We need to set up checks and balances to ensure that you don't have officers that are participating in bias space profiling," Davis said that evening.
Durham Mayor Bill Bell told ABC11 on April 6 that he hopes whoever comes in can make headway in bringing the crime rate down.
Larry Smith has served as interim police chief after Chief Jose Lopez retired Dec. 31.
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