Zuidema will take over the reins of the Garner Police Department from Thomas M. Moss, who is retiring on Oct. 31, 2009 after having admirably served the Town for 20+ years as Chief of Police.
The Town of Garner completed an exhaustive nationwide search to find the next person to lead the nationally accredited flagship department. 67 candidates applied for the position from 24 states. The search culminated in a two-day assessment center process with seven candidates from six states.
An assessment center puts candidates through a series of group and individual exercises designed to simulate the conditions of a given job and determines if they excel in the skills, abilities, and mettle necessary to perform that job. It does this by bringing out the candidate’s behavior relevant to the job, while being observed by a group of assessors, familiar with the profession. The Town utilized 14 assessors (City Managers, Police Chiefs, other government professionals from NC, and citizens) to rate the seven candidates.
Zuidema was the top rated candidate from the Town’s assessment center process.
During his career, Zuidema has managed or worked in virtually every unit of the Lynchburg Police Depart-ment including field operations, crime prevention, gang enforcement & street crimes, negotiations team, tactical unit, and firearms & weapons training. He has served as supervisor of investigations, worked with the Crime Stoppers program, coordinated special events staffing, and maintained CALEA accreditation records. He has also worked in the trenches as a Patrol Supervisor and was one of Lynchburg’s first School Resource Officers.
Zuidema holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Longwood University and Bachelor’s Degree from State University of New York – Geneseo in Sociology. He has spent significant time in the Garner area while enrolled in the Administrative Officer’s Management Program (AOMP) through N.C. State University in 2002.
Professional development is an area in which Zuidema excels. He has completed the University of Richmond Professional Executive Leadership Program and is working on a Master’s Level Certificate from Virginia Tech in Local Government Management (expected May 2010).
He has written journal articles on both organizational ethics and partnering with churches to reduce violence and build stronger communities.
He serves as Adjunct Faculty Member for Liberty University Online and works as an instructor for Central VA Criminal Justice Academy, VA Center for Policing Innovation, and VA Police Chief’s Foundation. Community involvement is also a priority area for Zuidema as demonstrated by his work as PTA Vice President, Lynchburg Lifesaving Crew Board Member, Past President of Lynchburg Exchange Club, Special Olympics Torch Run Committee, and CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocates of Central VA. Zuidema is a native of Gainesville, New York, is married to Spring Zuid-ema, and has two daughters. Town Manager Hardin Watkins had the responsibility to select Zuidema for this key role.
Watkins was initially impressed with Zuidema’s performance in the assessment center and was further impressed with the feedback received from law enforcement executives and academic professionals that have worked with Zuidema in his career.
Watkins observed, “The superlatives offered by seasoned Police Chiefs sealed the deal in my mind. The remarks about Brandon’s character, his productivity, his trustworthiness, and his ability as a problem solver were extraordinary.”
Town of Apex Police Chief Jack Lewis worked with Zuidema and served as his supervisor in Lynchburg, VA until coming to Apex in 2005 stated, “Brandon Zuidema is a rising star. He wants to be challenged and make a difference in his community. He is wonderful because he gets things done. Brandon will be a great fit for Garner.”