Local News

Fayetteville Residents Have Mixed Reactions To Police Chief's Hiring

Posted May 14, 2001 10:51 a.m. EDT

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

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

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

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

"I think the proof will be in the pudding," he says. "In six months time, people will look back and say this was a tremendous hire or they won't, but I think if they give the Chief time to do his job, they'll be impressed with the outstanding person he really is."

Issues involving race are not new to the Police Department or Fayetteville. Ron McElrath, the city's human relations director, says what is important now is the effort to remove existing barriers through communication.

"I think there's going to be dialogue between community leaders and chief, and where there are still concerns, I think they'll be dealt with expeditiously," McElrath says.

He says McCarthy has a reputation in his current position in Gaston County as being very sensitive to the black community. Stancil says his experience of developing strong relationships with minority communities definitely played a part in his decision to hire McCarthy.