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Cornelius News

Bence Hoyle, former Cornelius police chief, is retiring as chief in Huntersville

Hoyle, Graham

March 3. Huntersville Police Chief Bence Hoyle will retire in June after 37 years in law enforcement, nearly 20 of them with the Huntersville Police Dept. and a dozen years as chief of police in Cornelius as well.

Major Barry Graham will be promoted to chief upon Hoyle’s retirement.


Hoyle was Cornelius’ chief when Lt. James Quattlebaum was shot and badly injured in the line of duty nearly eight years ago.

It was one of the most devastating moments in department history. Hoyle established a 501c3 to accept donations from the community, leading to the formation of the TopDeck Foundation, a public charity dedicated to raising funds to support the morale and mission of the Cornelius Police.

He was president of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police in 2015.

He retired from the Cornelius Police Dept. Dec. 31, 2018.

In Huntersville

He was hired by the Town of Huntersville to replace Police Chief Cleveland Spruill, who submitted his resignation in December of 2018.

In Huntersville, Hoyle managed a much larger department in a much larger town.

Among his first duties was developing a succession plan.

“We have a deep bench for future chiefs, majors, captains, and all positions in between who understand the concept of building from within. The culture is strong, and our command staff and supervisors get the credit for that,” said Hoyle who had previously risen through the ranks to become Huntersville chief of police in the 1990s.

The incoming chief

Graham was hired as a Huntersville patrol officer in 1997 after serving in Biltmore Forest, NC.

He earned an associate degree from Central Piedmont Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University.

In addition to being a patrol officer, Graham was a school resource officer, detective, crime prevention/recruitment sergeant, administrative lieutenant and  bureau commander.

Graham has managed the day-to-day operations of the department and the annual budget process since 2016.