Chief of Police Michael Panzarella began his current role on October 15, 2021. He previously held the interim Chief of Police role starting in July 2021.
He was born and raised in Raleigh, and enrolled in Carteret Community College after high school. Michael earned an associate degree in criminal justice and basic law enforcement certification. Michael holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certification from North Carolina Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission, a Criminal Investigation Certificate from The North Carolina Justice Academy, a School Resource Officer Certificate from The North Carolina Justice Academy, and a General Instructor Certification from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. In addition, he is a graduate of the International Association of Chiefs of Police "Leadership through Police Organizations" leadership program. He has also served as Secretary, Vice President, and President of the North Carolina Homicide Investigator's Association.
Michael serves as an instructor for the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at Carteret Community College.
He began his career in law enforcement in February of 1992, and worked with the Pine Knoll Shores and Newport police departments and at the Carteret County Sheriff's Office before coming to Emerald Isle. Over the years, he has worked as a patrol officer, patrol supervisor, criminal investigator, criminal investigator supervisor, internal affairs investigator, and hostage negotiator.
He lives with his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Michaela, in Bogue, where he serves as a member of the planning board. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, fishing, hunting, cooking, and community service.