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New chief ready to rebuild Spring Lake police force

Posted December 14, 2009

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— Spring Lake's new police chief says that he wants to regain the public's trust in a force that has been rocked in recent months by allegations of illegal activity and the loss of its law enforcement responsibilities.

Spring Lake's new police chief to be sworn in Spring Lake's new police chief to be sworn in

Tory McDuffie will be sworn as Spring Lake's new chief in at 7 p.m. Monday at a meeting of the town alderman. His department expects to regain some of its powers in the next month.

"My vision for rebuilding the department starts today," McDuffie said when his selection was announced at a press conference Dec. 2. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us."

The Spring Lake department has been under fire since May when two officers were indicted on charges of participating in a home invasion, stealing seized money from the evidence room and falsifying reports about a motel raid.

On May 6, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office took over law enforcement duties in the town. The next day, Spring Lake Chief A.C. Brown resigned amid reports that he and another officer were shredding files. The State Bureau of Investigation took over the department's files, and the district attorney dismissed all pending misdemeanor cases.

"We don't what happened in the past to ever happen again," Town Manager Michael Uskiewicz said. "And let me state that again: What happened in the past, we don't want to happen again."

McDuffie has experience cleaning up police forces. When he took over the head post in Red Springs, the department was under investigation, and officials there credit him with bringing more professionalism to the force.

"Before he got here, we had a major problem with prostitution," Red Springs Town Manager Tony White said. "Now, you could drive up and down the street here in Red Springs, and you will not find a single prostitute."

McDuffie has also served as chief deputy of the Hoke County Sheriff's Office, an officer and detective with the Fayetteville Police Department, and an officer with a Texas security company contracted to perform United Nations peacekeeping duties in Bosnia. He also was a sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

McDuffie said his hardest task in Spring Lake might be getting people to trust his department again.

"For the police department to be most effective, the community has to have complete confidence in the police department, and that's something I plan to bring back to this community," he said.

8 Comments

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  • BraveHeart Dec 15, 2009

    This guy is wont change anything...ask the poeple of redsprings... Hes just another crook

  • manofjustice Dec 14, 2009

    I don't understand the problem here. Spring Lake has one of the best police forces on the Atlantic Coast. I have applauded Srping Lake for its honest and just police officers. I loveded them so very much. It just busted my heart wide open when they had to depart. The world felt much safer with them no I am scared to sleep at night. What must I do now?

  • tafiliclan1 Dec 14, 2009

    Enough already.......Let's get to work...

  • Panther Dec 14, 2009

    Don't hold your breath, only time will tell.

  • Glass Half Full Dec 14, 2009

    Best wishes to Chief McDuffie, I really hope he can get it right in Spring Lake.

  • gandalla Dec 14, 2009

    First, this department has not had their police powers restored. Second, when they are restored it will be business as usuall within 6 months because they did not fire all the officers from the previous chief

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 14, 2009

    Good Luck with that. That's almost as difficult as turning crime around in Rocky Mount or Durham.

  • shellrocks2000 Dec 14, 2009

    this is great news. spring lake needs some order asap. congrats on the new job. looking forward to all the changes to come.