Mission of Police
The Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Police Department is committed to the safety and security of the patients, visitors, staff, and the public that utilize all the facilities that make up Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. The department's focus is to instill a sense of peace and order in a safe environment. We feel this can be accomplished by not only enforcing all local, state and federal statutes, but also by providing educational and awareness programs for the community in which we serve. The department values the trust of the healthcare system's patients and staff. We strive to maintain that trust by making life better and safer for the healthcare community.
If you have information that could help local law enforcement solve a crime, please contact Crimestoppers.
The Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Company Police Department has full subject matter jurisdiction and powers to arrest in accordance with NC GS 74E
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System began as Watauga Medical Center, Inc. utilizing sworn police officers to provide security in 1974. Two part time officers were employed from the Boone Police Department and the Watauga County Sheriff's Office, under the supervision of Sgt. Willie Trivette, who later became the first Chief of Hospital Police. The department continued to grow and became a 24 hour on-site department under Chief Lawford Critcher until his retirement in 1992.
Under the direction of Robert M. Watson, Watauga Medical Center established a Company Police Department in August of 1993 under North Carolina General Statute 74-E. In 2005, Watauga Medical Center Company Police was dissolved and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Company Police Department was established in order to service our newly created health care system with campus spanning both Watauga and Avery counties. Chief Watson served as the Chief of Hospital Police for 13 years until his retirement in August 2006 after 26 total years in law enforcement.
The Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Company Police Department is currently directed by Shawn M. Peele, Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety and employs 15 sworn police officers who have met and maintain all North Carolina Criminal Justice Training and Standards for law enforcement and commissioned by the North Carolina Attorney General Company Police Program, 5 non-sworn public safety officers and 1 state certified Telecommunicator (12 NCAC 10B .1302). Telecommunication Staff are certified through the North Carolina Sheriff's Training and Standards Commission for Telecommunicators. They are also required to be trained and certified through the Division of Criminal Information, State Bureau of Investigation. This certification allows access to the National Crime Information Center for information on wanted or missing persons and the DCI files allows access to information regarding history of stolen articles, guns, boats and motor vehicles.