The Moore County Law Enforcement Officers Association (LEO) announced Friday the 2019 “James W. Wise Police Officer of the Year” was awarded to Bob Temme, Southern Pines Chief of Police. Chief Temme was nominated by the members of the LEO Association, and in November, the association’s board unanimously agreed on bestowing the award upon the chief. As is the LEO tradition, the honor was formally presented to Chief Temme during a special ceremony on Thursday.
Richard Maness, current President of the LEO Association, is gratified the membership selected Chief Temme.
“I’ve known the Chief for almost a decade, and we couldn’t have a better role model,” said Maness. “He never cuts corners, he never skips a step and he never stops asking questions. That’s why he’s one of the best, and that’s why crime statistics keep doing down in Southern Pines.”
Temme said this honor is shared by many.
“I share this honor with all those who stood with me along the way,” Chief Temme said. “This award is a reflection of our community, family, friends and brave colleagues. They are the true heroes with whom I have had the honor to share this lifelong journey.”
Chief Temme has worked in public safety for nearly his entire career. He spent 21 years with the Stamford (CT) Police Department.
Upon moving to the Sandhills, Chief Temme served as the Manager of the Center for the Prevention of School Violence, an agency within the Department of Juvenile Justice. Temme’s expertise allowed him to focus on pre-incident planning and preventing school violence, along with programs to prevent bullying. In 2009, he joined the Southern Pines Police Department and was selected to be the Chief of Police in 2012.
He graduated from Nassau Community College with a degree in Criminal Justice, followed by a B.S. degree from the State University of New York, and an M.B.A. from Dowling College. Chief Temme is a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Chief Temme is very proud of his accomplishments with the Southern Pines Police Department. The Southern Pines Police force is the only agency in the county with the “Advanced Accreditation with Excellence” recognition from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. He has worked with town officials to modernize the department with in-car cameras, cellphone extraction technology, voice stress analysis specialists, new records management/dispatch software, and new evidence tracking software.
Chief Temme is a big proponent of managing by the numbers — “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!” he says — and has pioneered the use the CompStat crime analysis process in Southern Pines. As a result of these efforts, the town has seen a significant decrease in crime, especially organized gang activity and violent crime during his tenure.
Chief Temme recently concluded his third term as president of the LEO Association. Under his leadership, membership nearly doubled and the physical plant/training facility was substantially improved. The association is on a stronger financial footing after earning the non-profit 501(c)(3) status and improving fundraising efforts such as a “Tribute to Johnny Cash” concert and memorabilia sales. He has fostered improved relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement partners. These improvements give local membership a stronger voice in law enforcement, probation, parole and court matters.
Courtesy photo: Moore County LEO President Richard Maness presenting Chief Bob Temme the 2019 James W. Wise Police Officer of the Year award On January 30, 2020.