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Fayetteville Residents Have Mixed Reactions To Police Chief's Hiring

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FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville has a new police chief. Some people arehappy with the decision, while others are not.

NAACP Director Raymond Shipman says he is disappointed with city managerRoger Stancil's choice to hire Thomas McCarthyand not Michael Boykin, the second candidate under consideration. He sayshe hopes McCarthy will prove to serve all Fayetteville's citizens.

"Being inclusive in all of his dealings andmaking sure the persons under him are inclusive in theirdealings with people or fair in their dealings withpeople," Shipman says.

Many residents would say that the communityis divided, but businessman Mike Lallier is certain that it can cometogether and move forward.Lallier met with McCarthy as a member of adiversity assessment team.

"I think the proof will be in the pudding," he says. "In sixmonths time, people will look back and say thiswas a tremendous hire or they won't, but I think ifthey give the Chief time to do his job, they'll beimpressed with the outstanding person hereally is."

Issues involving race are not new to the PoliceDepartment or Fayetteville.Ron McElrath, the city's human relations director, sayswhat is important now is the effort to removeexisting barriers through communication.

"I think there's going to be dialogue betweencommunity leaders and chief, and where there arestill concerns, I think they'll be dealt withexpeditiously," McElrath says.

He says McCarthy has a reputation in his current position inGaston County as being very sensitive to theblack community. Stancil says his experienceof developing strong relationships withminority communities definitely played a partin his decision to hire McCarthy.


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