By Staff Report
Asheville – After announcing his departure as Hendersonville Police Chief days ago, Herbert Blake has been hired by Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller as Miller’s new Chief Deputy for the Sheriff’s Office.
“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Hendersonville for almost thirteen years. The Hendersonville Police Department has grown in many ways under my leadership that I am very proud of. We have assembled a great team of professionals that will continue to do an outstanding job in the community,” said Blake in a press release from Hendersonville Police Department.
According to a release from Buncombe County, “Blake has served as Chief of Police in Hendersonville for 12 years and prior to that as Police Chief of Loris, South Carolina for seven years. Chief Blake has a total of 25 years of full-time experience in law enforcement and also trained as a law enforcement specialist with the U.S. Navy.”
“Chief Blake has led the Hendersonville PD in a professional and responsive manner for the last 12 years. Both law enforcement professionals and the community he served in Hendersonville will tell you he is well-respected and appreciated. It took me some time to get Chief Blake to leave a good situation and now I am excited about the opportunity to work with him in serving the people of Buncombe County and continuing to implement 21st Century policing,” says Sheriff Quentin Miller.
During Chief Blake’s leadership, the Hendersonville Police Department (HPD) put in place a “duty to intervene” policy, a ban on chokeholds and strangleholds, and “comprehensive reporting of use of force, including any physical contact or presentation of a weapon.”
Blake has also been a vocal proponent of de-escalation and officer training during his time as Chief of the HPD telling the media, “We review every use of force. There’s a comprehensive document that we have. And if we make mistakes, we correct the mistakes.”
“Hendersonville is a wonderful city. And I am proud of the many service-oriented initiatives we implemented with the men and women of HPD during my stewardship there. Still, having an opportunity to serve in a leadership position with Sheriff Miller at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office during this important time in society presents a unique professional opportunity. I look forward to serving with the men and women of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. I know they, like Sheriff Miller, are eager to excel and make a positive difference in Buncombe County,” says Chief Herbert Blake.
Chief Herbert Blake holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from Park University and a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. Chief Blake also graduated from the Public Executive Leadership Academy at the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Police Executive Development Programs (POLEX) at Penn State University, and the Executive Management Program of Northwestern University. Herbert Blake is married to Linda Blake, his wife of 33 years.
Blake replaces Don Eberhardt who resigned after being charged by the SBI for theft of a gun from a south Asheville gun store.