EMERALD ISLE —Police Chief Tony Reese announced Thursday Lt. Detective Mike Panzarella has been selected to fill the position of assistant police chief in Emerald Isle.

The position became available with the recent retirement of Assistant Chief Bill Bailey, who served 29 years with the department.

According to a town release, Lt. Panzarella is currently the school intelligence liaison detective with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, but has served as a part-time officer in Emerald Isle for the past six years.

 He will assume his duties as assistant chief Wednesday, April 1.

“Mike (Panzarella) has been an integral part of our team for many years. He has been a (trusted) and valuable colleague and we will miss him,” County Sheriff Asa Buck told the News-Times in an email. “I am delighted that Mike has decided not to retire from law enforcement and will continue to serve our citizens and law enforcement with the Emerald Isle Police Department. I look forward to continuing to work with Mike Panzarella in his new role as the Assistant Chief of the Emerald Isle Police Department.”

Sheriff Buck said the former detective originally planned to retire from law enforcement altogether, but decided against it when he was presented the opportunity to join EIPD as assistant chief.

Lt. Panzarella holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate in North Carolina and comes into the position with nearly 30 years of experience that includes assignments as a school resource officer, patrol officer, patrol supervisor, investigator, homicide detective, internal affairs investigator and hostage negotiator with the CCSO.

The release adds that he also served with Pine Knoll Shores and Newport police departments early in his career.

According to Chief Reese, “This has been a highly informative and meticulous process that has produced a very skilled and experienced candidate with the knowledge and desire to enhance the direction and vision of the department in our community policing efforts.

“I want to thank everyone that participated in the process and provided their thoughts and input on the candidates,” the chief added. “I have every confidence that Assistant Chief Panzarella will be a strong leader and a valuable addition to our department and the community.”


Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

Contact Elise Clouser at; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

(2) comments


He spent many years serving the community by profiling and harassing teenagers. Glad to see all his hardwork and bullying finally paid off.


You mean he spent many years protecting the welfare and safety of our students, teachers, other staff, and administrators...Right? Thank you Officer Panzarella for your service.

Welcome to the discussion.

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