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Asheville Interim Police Chief Mike Lamb tapped as new permanent chief

Courtesy of City of Asheville.
Mike Lamb was named Asheville Police Chief.

Mike Lamb, a 26-year member of the Asheville Police Department, has accepted the permanent role of police chief.

The announcement comes two months after Lamb was tapped as interim chief, following the resignation of former police chief David Zack.

In a press release, Lamb wrote that he is “humbled to serve” and “grateful for the dedication of our department's men and women.”

“Throughout my 26 years of service, I've cherished the opportunity to cultivate strong bonds within our community. Together, we continue the momentum to serve our community effectively and our commitment to fostering safety and prosperity in Asheville," he said.

City Manager Debra Campbell applauded Lamb for his “exemplary leadership internally and a sincere commitment to working with the community.”

“He is a public servant in the truest sense. I greatly appreciate him agreeing to serve in the interim role and I feel confident the department will provide the highest level of professional police service under his continued leadership,” she said.

Lamb will be the sixth officer to lead the department in the last two decades.

Zack held the role from February 2020 to December 2023. Zack’s wife, Clarissa Hyatt-Zack, faced DWI charges in November after an accident near the airport, according to WLOS.

Before Zack, former Police Chief Chris Bailey only served in the role for two months before resigning in 2019 for personal reasons. Bailey's abrupt departure followed a tumultuous three and half year tenure of Tammy Hooper as police chief.

In recent years, APD faced numerous lawsuits related to the 2021 felony littering charges, as well as low employment numbers and a new drone program. APD also recently enacted a pilot program to increase police presence downtown.

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Laura Hackett joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in June 2023. Originally from Florida, she moved to Asheville more than six years ago and in that time has worked as a writer, journalist, and content creator for organizations like AVLtoday, Mountain Xpress, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. She has a degree in creative writing from Florida Southern College, and in 2023, she completed the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY's Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms program. In her free time, she loves exploring the city by bike, testing out new restaurants, and hanging out with her dog Iroh at French Broad River Park.