HUNTERSVILLE – Michael Kee’s tenure as deputy police chief ended Nov. 6 after 25 months on the job, when he unexpectedly resigned.
His absence – along with Huntersville’s lack of a police chief since Phil Potter’s retirement in September and move to Alcoa, Tenn. in October – leaves the town’s top two police roles unfilled.
Only one, the police chief role, will be filled, according to Assistant Town Manager Gerry Vincent.
Vincent, the town’s interim head of the police department, said Kee’s work made him a valuable asset to the community. He had worked for the police department since 1998.
Kee was also the police department’s public information officer.
“He’s always been kind of the face of the department,” Vincent said. “He did a tremendous job as PIO. It was great working with him.”
Huntersville commissioner Ron Julian, one of the town’s longest-tenured board members alongside Sarah McAulay, said Kee was an integral part of the police department.
Kee was instrumental in developing HPD’s Rape Aggression Defense training program. He also started the department’s Crisis Negotiations Unit.
“He did a lot of great things for the town, and I appreciate his work,” Julian said.
Kee was promoted from police captain to deputy chief in Oct. 2011.
“Our priority right now is to replace the chief,” Vincent said. “Since we’re in the holidays, it’ll take another four months or so, hopefully less (to announce a hire). We’re going to search and find the right people for the department. It’s kind of interesting. These things happen in threes.”
The next member of the police department to leave will be longtime Office Manager Carol Helms, whose work in HPD’s records and business office, Vincent said, was invaluable.
“She’s handled a lot for us,” he said. “Carol has been the knowledge person of the department for quite a while.”
Helms is retiring Dec. 19 after 22 years at HPD.
“It’s been really exciting to see the changes in this town since I’ve been here,” she said. “It’s been very enjoyable. We only had four or five officers when I started, and now we’ve got about 84. That’s a lot of growth.”