Local News

Cumberland sheriff demands contract from Spring Lake

Posted June 25, 2009

— The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office will reduce patrols in Spring Lake starting next Wednesday if town officials don't approve a contract to pay for the service, Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said Thursday.

The sheriff's office assumed control for law enforcement in Spring Lake on May 4 after two officers were indicted on kidnapping, assault and embezzlement charges.

Since then, the county has provided four deputies per shift to patrol the town, but Butler said in a letter to Spring Lake Mayor Ethel Clark that the county budget couldn't support such continued coverage without payment from the town.

"Without a satisfactory contract in place, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office simply does not have the funding to continue to provide the additional level of law enforcement services which have been provided to the town without charge during this transition period," Butler wrote.

The county has proposed a contract to Spring Lake officials calling for the town to pay $203,506 for having four deputies patrol the town through Aug. 31. Officials would have to negotiate the terms to extend the contract beyond that.

Butler said he wants to meet with Spring Lake officials on Monday to discuss the contract, noting he has received no response from them since it was proposed.

Without a deal, he said, Cumberland County will begin providing "zone coverage" to Spring Lake on July 1, meaning only one deputy per shift would respond to calls in the town.

The state probe of the Spring Lake Police Department also led to the resignation of Police Chief A.C. Brown. Town Manager Larry Faison resigned under fire on Monday because of his handling of problems in the department.

Interim Police Chief Gregg Jarvies has proposed firing Spring Lake's remaining police officers and rebuilding the department while deputies patrol the town.


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  • mrduright Jun 26, 2009

    Are you kidding me 200,000 for a month of service?! The two cops in jail need company.

  • iron fist Jun 26, 2009

    He is a county elected offical Spring Lake is part of the county last I checked. Its his job. Maybe not writing parking tickets and other minor offenses.

  • charlescook Jun 26, 2009

    Nothing new for "Moose" Butler.Remeber just a few years ago he held the whole county hostage because he did not get the budjet he desired and fired all of the school crossing gaurds to get what he wanted and made them all reapply for their jobs. With all the problems he has had on his watch as Sheriff: letting the wrong people out of jail, school resource officers forging time cards as being in two places at the same time, why has Ed Grannis not investigated him. As far as Iam concerned you have the fox gaurding the hen house in Spring Lake. I agree with techrescue, they all ready pay county taxes, do not pay him a dime.

  • TechRescue Jun 26, 2009

    "As a suggested to Mayor Clark and Alderman O'Gara, it would be my suggestion to pay Moose Butler nothing since Spring Lake Citizens already pay both town and county taxes and to have the city attorney appeal the Judges court order to Superior Court." - ratherbnc

    If, as has been stated, the Sheriff's department added additional shift personnel to cover Spring Lake, then the Sheriff's department should receive the portion of the Spring Lake budget earmarked for law enforcement? How is this not fair? Should the citizens of the town be required to pay taxes for LE if the City is not using the money for that?

    I live near the line in a rural county, and expect a 5-10 minute MINIMUM response time for LE if I call. That's not because they aren't doing their job - they are. But if I was paying city taxes, my level of expectation for response times would be much higher.

  • LibertarianTechie Jun 26, 2009

    The Sheriff is demanding a contract? He assumed the role; he did it without asking.

    He needs to be reminded of the saying, assuming makes an as* out of you and me.

    He has gahl.

    I am glad my job is allowing me to transfer out of the Spring Lake location.

  • ratherbnnc Jun 26, 2009

    As a suggested to Mayor Clark and Alderman O'Gara, it would be my suggestion to pay Moose Butler nothing since Spring Lake Citizens already pay both town and county taxes and to have the city attorney appeal the Judges court order to Superior Court.

  • WHEEL Jun 26, 2009

    Tell Moose to do his SWORN job and patrol the County. If he cannot do this then he can be replaced!

  • HillBilly Jun 26, 2009

    $203,000 for 4 police only through August? I think it would be cheaper to hire private police or just pay the criminals off.

  • RonnieR Jun 25, 2009

    Spring Lake should tell Moose to go ahead and go to zone coverage. The citizens pay county taxes and he is just following a court order. Unless he is payng some special deputies to work Spring Lake, the deputies are on the payroll anyhow, so it should not cost him any more. I think it was Moose's idea to put 4 there any ways.