During a special meeting Monday night, the Norlina Town Board appointed Keishawn Mayes as the town’s police chief, effective March 2.

The board interviewed three applicants before making its decision.

Mayor Wayne Aycock reported that the appointment came on a 3-2 vote with Commissioners Tyrone Simes and Roger Jackson casting "no" votes.

Mayes has served as Norlina’s interim police chief since July 2019, when then-police chief Greg Hughes was placed on administrative leave. Hughes resigned in August.

Mayes has worked in law enforcement since 2013 following a professional basketball career.

A Warren County native, he is the son of Ronald and Janet Mayes. He attended Warren County High School, where he was a member of the 2005 varsity boys’ basketball team which advanced to the state championship. Mayes earned a scholarship to Laurinburg Institute, a preparatory school known for its basketball program.

He played NCAA Division I basketball at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where he was named to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference All-Rookie team and was named conference Rookie of the Year. Mayes continued his college basketball career at Campbell University in Buies Creek, which won the regular season conference championship during his time there.

Mayes played basketball professionally after entering the NBA draft, earning a two-way contract with the Orlando Magic. He played professionally overseas with Club Palestina in Chile and Ameghino in Argentina.

After playing basketball professionally for four seasons, Mayes returned home and entered law enforcement, working with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. He earned his Basic Law Enforcement Training certification and was later promoted to the Narcotics Investigation Unit, where he provided assistance to federal law enforcement agencies Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Drug Enforcement Administration in a number of investigations. With the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Mayes has also worked in the Criminal Investigation unit.

He also has worked with the Louisburg Police Department and Vance County Sheriff’s Office.

Mayes has worked with the Norlina Police Department for more than half of his law enforcement career.

“I am excited to continue to serve the citizens of Norlina in the position of chief,” Mayes said. “I look forward to the opportunity, and I have and will always have an open-door policy for visits and calls from our citizens.”

He noted that working with youth will be among his top priorities.

“I look forward to growing our youth cadet program and encouraging our young future leaders to become involved in the community as well,” Mayes said.

He will take the oath of office as police chief during the Norlina Town Board’s March 2 meeting. Mayes’ salary will be determined.