PENDER COUNTY -- Burgaw has a new top cop. Ed Gibson was sworn in Monday as the new police chief in Pender County. After nine years as police chief, Dwayne Briley is retiring. Although Briley's last day isn't until Monday, Gibson has officially taken over effective this morning. Gibson, a 30-year veteran of the Wilmington Police force, says Monday was the culmination of all of his objectives as a law enforcement officer. He says his first goal as chief is to get to know residents and his new force. The Burgaw Police Department is comprised of 11 officers and Chief Gibson says he will try and grow in manpower and pay. Right now a starting officer in Burgaw makes $27,000 a year. Gibson says that salary needs to go up. "It's important that we get some sort of equity in pay," Gibson said. "A parody as close as we can because otherwise the smaller departments the officers are the training grounds and then they'll go to a larger department where they can make more money." As Chief Briley hands over the reins he says the challenges that lay ahead are dealing with the development of the town and the problems that come along with a rapid and steady growth. Chief Briley's wife Mary Ann has served as the clerk of courts for more than 30 years in Pender County. The two of them are retiring on the same day: Monday. Between both of them they've served the people of Pender County for more than 70 years.
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