Local News

Rocky Mount Officers' Convictions Lead To Departmental Changes

Posted January 21, 1999

— A cloud has been hanging over the Rocky Mount Police Department since last summer when several officers were charged in an alleged theft ring.

Five officers and a magistrate have been convicted. One officer is off the hook. The whole thing has sparked some changes in how the department does business.

The sentences are in. The convictions are in. WRAL was told that the five men have gotten sentences that are pretty harsh for what they did.

Not only do they have to pay fines and community service, they are being forced to give up their careers.

Six cops, five convictions. Five Rocky Mount police officers have pleaded guilty to using shoplifted clothing to make money. They will never wear a badge in our state again.

"We always regret when something of this nature happens. It is a reflection upon the city and department which is unfortunate, because we have a very fine police department," said Mayor Fred Turnage.

Officer Ray Dunston, Mike Browder, Daniel Scott and Sgt. James Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges Thursday.

The judge dismissed felony extortion charges after the four agreed to give up their law enforcement certifications.

Officer Robert Treadaway never faced a felony charge but also gave up his badge. All five will face fines and community service.

Officer Darius Hudgins was acquitted. He hopes to be back on the job soon.

City leaders say the crimes have led to some procedural changes in the day-to-day operations of the department.

"We're looking at the way employees are assigned, how long they might be assigned to a particular task force, increasing supervision," said Steve Raper, Rocky Mount City Manager.

Prosecutors say the officers' punishment is similar to what any of us would get for the same charges with one exception.

Their law enforcement certificates were also their livelihood. If they want to stay in our state, they will have to find a new career.

"I think our chief at the time and the manager have dealt very quickly with it, forcefully with it, fairly with it. The courts have now handled it. I think it is appropriate, and we should move on," said Turnage.

Chief Joe Brown had been the chief in Rocky Mount for a long time. He retired in December, but he was never blamed for the problems. A new chief will arrive later this month.


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