Local News

Spring Lake interim police chief presents plan for rebuilding force

Posted July 13, 2009 10:51 p.m. EDT
Updated July 14, 2009 5:39 a.m. EDT

— Spring Lake interim police chief Gregg Jarvies presented his plan to clean up the Spring Lake department Monday evening.

Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler offered last month 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 on 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 letter that such an arrangement wouldn't be in the best interest of residents or the deputies.

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.

Jarvies has said it could be 90 to 120 days before evaluations are complete.