The Banner Elk Police Department (BEPD) currently employs eight full-time sworn officers, and one administrative assistant. The policing jurisdiction is the town's corporate town limits, approximately 1.6 miles in diameter, and the ETJ that extends as far as one mile beyond that perimeter in many areas. Services of the police department are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The police department is equipped with a back-up generator and an educational classroom area large enough to handle 30 students comfortably. The BEPD has in-service training and mandatory annual training. They currently have four officers with advanced certification, three with intermediate certification, and two with general certification.
The police department is the town's designated emergency management contact. The department has been trained in the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which follows national guidelines for responding to natural disasters and/or terrorist attacks. NIMS is a system used to coordinate emergency preparedness and incident management among federal, state, and local agencies on an adjustable national framework within which government and private entities at all levels can work together to manage domestic incidents, regardless of their cause, size, location or complexity. NIMS provides training in domestic incident management and emergency prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, public safety, and mitigation programs and activities. In case of an emergency, the department would work closely with Avery County's Emergency Management Director. On a more domestic level, the BEPD makes every effort to provide a helpful, visible presence within the community as they provide traffic and pedestrian assistance, a comforting presence within the town, and a watchful eye during and after all business hours.