Local News

Sheriff rejects Spring Lake's attempt to boost protection

Posted July 8, 2009

— Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler has told Spring Lake officials that they cannot have two deputies devoted to patrolling the town.

Butler last month offered to contract with Spring Lake for four deputies per shift, but town officials decided instead to keep the local police force on staff.

Spring Lake officers aren't allowed to investigate crimes or respond to 911 calls. A judge stripped the department of its police powers May 6, following the arrests of two supervising officers on corruption charges.

When Spring Lake rejected the contract offer, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office reduced patrols in the town to two "zone" deputies per shift. The zone deputies also patrol unincorporated areas.

Spring Lake Mayor Ethel Clark asked Butler to consider a smaller force for the town that would cost less, but the sheriff responded in a Tuesday letter that such an arrangement wouldn't be in the best interest of residents or the deputies.

"Your proposed modification of coverage is not only inadequate in response to citizen needs, but presents a clear and present danger to officer and citizen safety," he wrote.

District Judge Beth Keever ordered the Spring Lake Police Department to complete a thorough evaluation of all employees before she would consider restoring the department's policing powers.

Interim Police Chief Gregg Jarvies said it could be 90 to 120 days before evaluations are complete.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • streetfightinman Jul 9, 2009

    Go swimming and, protect yourself bring a weapon, put crocks in that lake.

  • gandalla Jul 9, 2009

    The Spring Lake leadership is a joke. The majority of the alderman and clark fought tooth and nail to keep those corrupt officers on the force even when they were told by an independent commision that the previous chief lacked leadership abilities and a backbone. Now they arent listening to the new chief who has made some valid suggestions. I guess the town of Spring Lake would rather pay 30k to each of the 11 officers they have for doing nothing, then firing them and starting all over again. Mayor Clark you ought to work D.C. they love people who are all about paying employees to do nothing.

  • Bob3425 Jul 9, 2009

    Get a gun, protect yourself.

  • txnfireman Jul 8, 2009

    So Gregg Jarvies was hired to restructure the PD and then the Board of Aldermen rejected his suggestions? This situation grows more ridiculous by the day. If the elected officials are going to continue to make thier own decisions about the PD then why keep Mr. Jarvies around? The citizens of Spring Lake need to do everything in their power to have these elected officials removed from office. Mayor Clark and the rest of those clowns would do well to step down and hope that a group of individuals who know how to manage a municipality replace them. Sadly, I am afraid the upcoming election will only bring more of the same.

  • RonnieR Jul 8, 2009

    HighRisk, I think their budget, according to reporting, don't allow for both. It was either pay for a PD or pay Moose's inflated prices. The council wisely, MHO, decided to keep the PD as the long term solution. If the had paid Moose, they would be at his mercy, as to futher rate increases after August.

  • HighRiskCO Jul 8, 2009

    Instead of complaining about the Cumberland County Sherriff, why not contact the conniving, do nothing Mayor and ask for a refund of taxes paid that was earmarked for police protection.

    It would appear that Police Chief Gregg Jarvies and Alderman Richard Higgins are the only ones in Spring Lake with an ounce of common sense. Dismantle the so called existing PD and have Cumberland County cover Spring Lake while a new force is trained. In the meantime, the citizens should demand the resignation of the mayor and Board of Alderman.

    Common people wake up! Show these town politicians what you want and demand appropriate action. If they can’t handle the heat, then they don’t need to be in the kitchen!

  • COPs eye Jul 8, 2009

    I dont know all of the motivating factors behind Sheriff Butler's actions, BUT I will say I appreciate him not backing down. If Spring Lake wants that much Law Enforcement Presence from the S.O. then they should have to pay for it. They are not paying for their PD anymore so why should the S.O. strtch its resources farther than they already are. No need to put a Deputy in more danger than he already is if they are to cheap to pay for more.

  • RonnieR Jul 8, 2009

    Trooper, Viirginia is a Commonwealth and the cities are Independent. The cities have a PD and a Sheriff Department.
    I'm a soreback myownself. :-)

  • ranquick Jul 8, 2009

    Someone , somewhere better do something becasue this could beccome a Gangland hangout once the word is out there is l ittle to no protection. What is wrong with the government not protecting the people of thise city????

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 8, 2009

    No problems here. Keep the pressure on Spring Lake to do it 100% Right this time around. And keep the pressure on until that caniving Mayor resigns or is replaced.