The Kannapolis Police Department announces the promotions of five personnel to new positions in the department. Sergeant Michael Grier and Sergeant Justin Smith have been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Phil Watkins and David Zienka have been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Sonya Furr has been promoted to Records Supervisor.
“I am extremely proud to announce the promotions of these fine officers. The Kannapolis Police Department is very fortunate to have dedicated professionals who are willing to step up and take on higher levels of responsibility,” said Kannapolis Police Chief Woody Chavis. “These officers have shown that they have the skills, knowledge, and abilities to be the leaders within our organization. They are committed to protecting and serving the citizens of Kannapolis and all those who work, visit, and play here.”
Lieutenant Michael Grier began his career in Kannapolis as a patrol officer in 1987. He has worked in the Vice/Narcotics Unit of the Criminal Investigation Division and as the School Resource Officer for A.L. Brown High School. In 2001 he was promoted to Sergeant of the Vice/Narcotics Unit, Community Services Unit and Patrol Division. Grier will serve as a Lieutenant in the Patrol Division.
He also serves as a hostage negotiator for the Special Response Team and is a Field Training Officer for the department. He holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. He has received several certifications including Division of Criminal Information (DCI) operator from the State Bureau of Investigation.
Grier has assisted in the development of a community partnership with the Kannapolis City School System and a statewide crisis negotiation organization known as the Central North Carolina Negotiators Network (CNCNN). This organization provides networking and training opportunities for 22 agencies throughout North Carolina and has an active membership of more than 120 crisis negotiators. The organization has been in existence for five years during which time Grier has served as President.
Grier is married to Doretha Griffin Grier. They have a daughter, Micah, and a son, Xavier. He is a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Lieutenant Justin Smith will assume command of the Criminal Investigations Division. Smith began his career with Kannapolis as a patrol officer in 2001. In 2008, he was promoted to Patrol Sergeant and transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division in 2010.
In addition to numerous letters of accolade and commendation, Smith was awarded the Rowan Optimist Club’s Officer of the Year Award in 2006 and the Roger Dale Carter Memorial Service Award in 2007. He is a Field Training Officer and has served as a member of the Department’s Ceremonial Honor Guard and Special Response Team.
Smith is a graduate of Northwest Cabarrus High School and served in the United States Marine Corp where he was awarded four Certificates of Commendation, two Overseas Service awards, Good Conduct Medal, and Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Smith holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, and a Criminal Investigations Certificate.
Smith is married to Stephanie Byrd Smith and they have four children, Leah, Nathan, Avery, and Gunner.
Sergeant Phil Watkins began his career with the department as a patrol officer in 1998. In addition to working Patrol, he has served as School Resource Officer at A.L. Brown High School and felony investigator with the Criminal Investigations Division. He is a Field Training Officer and has served as a member of the Ceremonial Honor Guard and Special Response Team. He will serve as a sergeant in the Patrol Division.
Watkins is a graduate of A.L. Brown High School and earned an Associate in Applied Science (Criminal Justice Technology) from Rowan Cabarrus Community College. He holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Watkins is married to Angela and they have two daughters, Amber and Katelyn (Katie).
Sergeant David Zienka will be assigned to the Community Services Unit as supervisor of the School Resource Officers.
Zienka began his career with Kannapolis as a patrol officer. He has also served as the School Resource Officer at Kannapolis Middle School. He is a member of the Department’s Ceremonial Honor Guard and Special Response Team.
Zienka is a graduate of Terryville High School in Terryville, Connecticut, and obtained his bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University. He holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. Zienka is married to Holly Zienka and they have a daughter, Faith.
Sonya Furr began her career with the department as a telecommunicator in 1995. In 2008 she was promoted as one of the agency’s first telecommunicator shift supervisors and she began working in the Records Division in 2014.
Furr is a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School. She has received several commendations and in 2004 was named the recipient of the Norma C. Howard Memorial Service Award. Furr is married to Dennis, and they one son, David.
Lt. Grier Lt. Smith
Sgt. Watkins Sgt. Zienka Furr