City to consider resolution to name interim police chief

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After nearly 50 years in law enforcement, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous is set to retire next month.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo announced that the Wilmington City Council will consider a resolution Tuesday night naming Assistant Chief Donny Williams as the interim Chief of Police.

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If approved, Williams will take over on February 1.

“For the past year and a half I’ve had the pleasure of watching Assistant Chief Williams help to lead the Wilmington Police Department,” Evangelous said. “His hard-work and commitment to community policing continues to be an asset to our agency. I’m confident he will continue to move this agency forward, while focusing on the safety and well-being of our citizens. I fully support the decision of the city council.”


A native of Wilmington, Williams has worked for WPD for more than 29 years, gaining experience as a Summer Youth Worker and police cadet before being sworn in as a police officer in December of 1992.



As an officer, he worked in various patrol and specialized assignments including Crime Prevention, DARE and Housing. As a Police Captain, he managed the Support Services Division where he oversaw the agency’s $24 million dollar budget for several years and the agency’s largest Patrol division.  As a Deputy Chief he oversaw, the Special Investigations and Criminal Investigations Divisions. Over last decade, Williams oversaw the design, development and completion of the Haynes – Lacewell Police and Fire Training Facility.

Assistant Chief Williams has a heart for our community’s youth and is credited with expanding the agency’s Police Activities League (PAL), which now includes four sports: basketball, soccer, wrestling and cheer and dance. More than 500 youths participate in PAL activities each year.

Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mt. Olive College in Management and Organizational Development and is a graduate of the Administrative Officer’s Management Program at North Carolina State University. In July of 2019 Williams completed the 75th Session of Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police. He is a staunch supporter of Community Policing and in 2001 he completed the Justice Academy’s Community Policing Certification Program.

He is married to Victoria Williams and together they parent two sons.

“I’m deeply honored to be considered for this opportunity and to continue serving my community in this new role,” Williams said. “I thank Chief Evangelous, members of the city council and the city manager for their confidence, and I look forward to serving the citizens of this City where I was born and raised.”