SELMA, N.C. (WNCN) — Selma has a new police chief.

J.A. “Jamie” Hughes was sworn in Tuesday night by Mayor Byron McAllister, the police department said. Hughes is taking over for Billy Thomas who retired in September.

Hughes thanked the mayor and council for their trust in his leadership.

“It’s not about me. The position is bigger than that. It’s about the officers and the citizens of this town,” Hughes said.

He reminded everyone those who wear the uniform are not perfect and make mistakes, but they put their lives on the line every day for their community.

Hughes is a lifelong resident of Johnston County and a 1994 graduate of Princeton High School, the department said. He started his law enforcement career with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office in 1999.

In 2001, he began work with the Selma Police Department as a patrol officer.

In 2005, Hughes was promoted to sergeant, the same year he received the Officer of the Year Award.

From 2005 to 2008, he was the K-9 handler for the agency. In 2011, he was promoted to detective sergeant, and in 2018, captain of investigations. In 2022, he achieved the rank of Major.

Chief Hughes and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Logan and Anna. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.