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As much as it broke his heart to do so, Jimmy Bracy has retired as chief of the Conway Police Department.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald of Ahoskie reported that William “Bill” Harrison, a current full-time officer, was to be sworn in as the town's interim chief Monday. 

Bracy, who has served as a law enforcement officer since 2010 and as the Conway chief since 2019, was injured in a crash in July of last year while in pursuit of a vehicle suspected to be involved in a residential break-in.

“I haven’t been able to fully recover from that accident,” Bracy said, adding that he broke his back in the wreck. “I can do the administrative portion of my duties, but in a small town you have to do it all, and I’m not physically able to do that 100 percent.” 

He stressed the need to let the citizens of Conway know of his retirement, which was effective Saturday. “I work for them. It’s been my honor to serve the people of the town I grew up in. I know them and they know me. It’s truly been an honor to work for this town and the people in it as well as those in the surrounding communities.”

Still, the thought of having to retire long before he planned to wasn’t the way Bracy envisioned his future in law enforcement.

“This is not the way I wanted to retire,” he stressed. “But even though I’ve only been a law enforcement officer for just over 12 years, I’ve built some great relationships with my brothers and sisters in blue. I can truly say that I’ve built friendships for life.”

After working at Georgia-Pacific and later at International Paper, Bracy opted to become a police officer. That career began in 2010 with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and then with the Murfreesboro Police Department.

He began working part-time with Conway while keeping his full-time status with Murfreesboro PD. 

When veteran Conway Police Chief Billy Duke decided to retire in 2019, Bracy was the logical choice to fill his shoes.

Bracy acknowledged the mentorship and wealth of advice he’s received from Duke over the years, which prepared him to take over the Chief’s role.

“I appreciate all the town of Conway has done for me, allowing me to go get my Criminal Investigation Certificate and to graduate from Law Enforcement Management School,” Bracy said. “Those added layers of education made me a better officer, a better administrator and a better chief.”