GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Garner Police Department's new chief will be making history as the town's first female chief when she is sworn in Tuesday.
Lorie Smith has served as a captain since 2017 and has been the interim chief since Oct. 1.
Smith said she is excited to serve as chief in her hometown.
"It is an honor and privilege to serve in the community where I grew up and have lived and worked most of my life," she said. "The overwhelming support from the community, Police Department and Town staff these past few months has been very humbling."
She'll take over the spot that came open when previous chief Joe Binns retired.
"It is my honor to appoint Lorie Smith as the next police chief of Garner," Town Manager Rodney Dickerson said. "Lorie has a wealth of knowledge about the department and the community. During her 24 years with the department, she has been responsible for a broad array of duties that have made her extremely well-prepared to be chief."
Smith joined the Garner Police Department in 1997.
Smith said she would like to serve as an example to other women both inside her department and also in the larger community.
"Being the first female police chief is a huge accomplishment, but it will have little meaning if I don't lead the way for other women to follow," Smith said. "I hope that my leadership and achievement will serve as an inspiration to other women within the Garner Police Department to seek promotional opportunities and for women in the Garner community to consider careers in law enforcement."
Smith graduated from N.C. State University in 1996 with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice. She received her master's degree in justice administration from Methodist University in May 2015 and is a 2018 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
"Lorie loves Garner, as is evident to everyone who knows her. She is dedicated to the Town and to the residents and businesses that we all serve," Dickerson said.