Police Command Staff

Thurman Whisnant Chief of Police

Chief Thurman Whisnant is a native of Hickory and started his police career with the Hickory Police Department in 1994 after graduating from Appalachian State University and completing an internship with the department. Since then he has served in various roles within the department to include Patrol Officer, Criminal Investigator, Supervisor in Edward P.A.C.T., Commander in David P.A.C.T., as well as commanding the Special Operations Team. Chief Whisnant has served as a Division Commander since 2006 and has commanded each of the three divisions;  Criminal Investigations, Support Services and the Patrol Division.  He served as the Deputy Chief of Police before being appointed and assuming the role of Chief of Police in July of 2016.  He is a graduate of the 230th Session of the FBI National Academy. 

Chief Whisnant believes in the philosophy of community policing and understands the importance of working in a partnership with the community to solve problems. He has served on several boards throughout his career to include Exodus Homes, the Catawba County Child Fatality Prevention Team and served as the state Associate Director for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.  He currently is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center and is a member of the Western Catawba County Kiwanis Club.  He lives in Hickory with his wife and two children.

Reed Baer Deputy Chief of Police

Major Baer was raised in Hickory N. C. and joined the Hickory Police Department in 1997 where he began his career as a patrol officer. Over the years Baer has served in several positions throughout the department to include Sergeant of Special Investigations, Sergeant assigned to Charles P.A.C.T. and Lieutenant assigned to Support Services. He was promoted to Captain/Division Commander of Support Services in 2010, Division Commander of Criminal Investigations in 2012 and Deputy Chief of Police in 2016. 

Baer is a 1995 graduate of East Carolina University and the 245th session of the FBI National Academy.  Baer holds memberships in the North Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association, the North Carolina Police Executives Association, The North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the FBI National Academy Associates.  Baer has also been a strong advocate for children and currently serves on the Salvation Army/Boys and Girls Club of America Advisory Council. Baer also serves as a mentor in the Catawba County Council on Adolescents’ Lunch Buddy Program. When away from work Baer values spending time with his family.

Jeff Young Captain - Criminal Investigations

Jeff Young began his career at Hickory Police Department in December of 1999 after serving in the United States Marine Corps. Young was born in Catawba County and graduated from Hickory High School. After serving his country in the United States Marines, he continued his education at Lees-McRae College earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.  Young has served in the roll of Commander of the Criminal Investigations Unit.

Bryan Adams Captain - Support Services

Captain Bryan Adams is a native of Hickory and began his career with the Hickory Police Department in July of 1998. He has served as a Patrol Officer in David PACT, Investigator and Supervisor in the Vice/Narcotics Unit, Supervisor on the Special Operations Team, Commander of both Baker and David PACT and Lieutenant in Criminal Investigations before his appointment as Commander of the Criminal Investigations Unit.  Adams is currently the Support Service Division Commander. Adams earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice at Western Carolina University after starting his career at the Hickory Police Department.

Philip Demas Captain - Patrol

Captain Philip Demas joined the Hickory Police Department in 2006 after working for Conover Police Department.  He has served in numerous positions with the police department including Patrol Officer, Criminal Investigator, Sergeant of Support Services, Sergeant of Adam PACT, Commander of Edward PACT, Commander of Baker PACT and is currently the Patrol Commander for the department.

Demas received his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University in 2000.  He received his Master’s in Public Administration from Appalachian State University in 2008.  Captain Demas is a graduate of the North Carolina Justice Academy’s Management Development Program.

347 2nd Avenue SW
Hickory, NC 28602
Police Dept. Office: (828) 324-2060
Non-Police Emergency: (828) 328-5551
Office Fax: (828) 328-6146


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