Staff photo by Allison Potter
Captain P. Burdette Jr. started his position with the Wrightsville Beach Police Department on Tuesday, Oct. 2, filling the vacancy left by Captain Teresa Fountain. He will be sworn in during the Oct. 11 board of aldermen meeting
Wrightsville Beach Police Department’s newest employee, Captain P. Burdette Jr., officially began his tenure in Wrightsville Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 2. After serving as the assistant director of the tax enforcement division in the North Carolina Department of Revenue for close to eight years, Burdette said he was excited to get back in a police station and back on the street.
For as long as he can remember Burdette has wanted to work in law enforcement and he said his experiences doing so in Morehead City and Orlando, Fla., and his administrative experience at the NCDOR have prepared him for the task of marrying the two skill sets at WBPD.
“I was really excited about coming to Wrightsville Beach and being a part of a smaller station and working in a tight community,” Burdette said. “It’s odd because often the higher you move up in law enforcement the further you are removed from what drew you to the profession in the first place. But now I’m excited to be getting back to that.”
Growing up in Bowie, Md., Burdette said his uncle, who was a police officer there, was a big influence on his career choice. Burdette joined the Morehead City Police Department in 1996, immediately after completing a four-year stint in the United States Marine Corps.
As the captain filling the vacancy left by Captain Teresa Fountain, who retired from the department after 30 years of service, Burdette said he knows he has big shoes to fill but that his commitment to learning the community will help immensely.
Other duties Burdette will be responsible for are managing the department’s bid for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, as well as updating some of the department’s operating policies and procedures.
Wrightsville Beach will be the fourth station for Burdette and he said this transition has been the easiest of his career by far due to the warmth of community. Burdette said his first order of business as a new member of the WBPD was to walk around town and meet the citizens he will be serving.
“I plan to be out on the street as much as I can, I’ve never been an office guy,” he said. “It goes with how this department strives to be available to the community.”
From his experience as a law enforcement officer, Burdette said he prides himself on being a good listener and a problem solver.
“Too often I have seen people try to solve a problem that is not there,” he said. “I strive to find common ground with whoever I am dealing with and listen.”