MOREHEAD CITY — With more than 18 years as a Marine Patrol officer, Jason Walker knows what he wants for those under his command.
“In today’s social climate, where you see such a negative attitude toward law enforcement, I want the Marine Patrol to be known as trustworthy and approachable,” Walker said.
He is now in the position to further this goal.
Walker, most recently captain of the Wilmington Marine Patrol District, received the golden oak leaves of a major in a pinning ceremony today at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters in Morehead City. He replaces Dean Nelson, who was promoted to Marine Patrol colonel in August.
The major is second-in-command in Marine Patrol ranks and supervises all Marine Patrol field operations for the state.
Walker said he plans to improve the Marine Patrol’s image by making public service a priority.
“I want to evaluate how to best locate the Marine Patrol’s assets to best serve the public’s interest, partner with local agencies to improve search and rescue operations, prioritize education with our enforcement officers and education teams and emphasize fair and equal enforcement of our laws and rules.”
Nelson said he was not surprised by these areas of emphasis.
“This focus on integrity and work ethic is not just a career goal, it’s an extension of the kind of person Walker is,” Nelson said. “Jason is one, when he tells you something, you can bank on it.”
Walker, 41, began his career with Marine Patrol in March 1998 as a patrol officer in Beaufort County, after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1997 with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Three years later, he moved to Southport. He stayed in Southport until 2007, when he was promoted to sergeant in Hyde and Dare counties. In 2008, Walker moved back to the southern coastal area, first as a sergeant in Pender and Onslow counties, then back to Southport. He was promoted to captain in November 2013.
Walker grew up in Rockwell and graduated from East Rowan High School in 1993.