CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — For 19 years, Assistant Police Chief Celisa Lehew has served and protected the town of Chapel Hill.  

“It’s a wonderful place to be,” said Lehew.

 As she enters the new year, she’ll take on the role of Chief of Police. She’s the first female to ever hold that position.

“I am excited. I am very excited. I am as today as the very first day I walked in the door,” said Assistant Chief Lehew.  

Lehew is a native Canadian.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and her master’s degree in justice administration.

Lewhew became a patrol officer in 2004 and has held various leadership positions over the years. She was chosen to replace retiring Chief Chris Blue after a nationwide search.  

“I have been fortunate to work under Chief Blue now for the last several years and we are on a great path. I want to continue that forward thinking, those progressive thoughts, advancing the law enforcement profession and continue to grow with our community and work with them,” said Lehew.



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Lewhew is honored she was chosen to lead the Chapel Hill Police Department.  

“We have such a great team of police officers and professional staff here, it’s really a privilege,” said Lehew.

She has been the lead investigator on several high-profile crimes including the murder of Faith Hedgepeth in 2012.