Local News

Red Springs chief to lead embattled Spring Lake police force

Posted December 2, 2009 1:44 p.m. EST
Updated December 2, 2009 2:28 p.m. EST

— Spring Lake officials have named Red Springs Police Chief Troy McDuffie as chief of the town's beleaguered police department.

McDuffie will be formally introduced at a Thursday news conference.

Former Spring Lake chief A.C. Brown resigned in May amid a state investigation of the department. Gregg Jarvies, a former Chapel Hill police chief, served as interim chief until his contract ended last month.

McDuffie has been police chief in Red Springs since 2006. Previously, he was 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.

Cumberland County deputies assumed control of law enforcement in Spring Lake on May 6, following the arrests of two officers on a variety of charges. Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler ordered Spring Lake officers to stay away from all investigations.

Indictments allege that Sgt. Darryl Eugene Coulter Sr. participated in an April 2008 home invasion in which three men were held at gunpoint and that he asked subordinate officers to falsify a report about a September raid on a motel room in which $2,900 was seized. Sgt. Alphonzo Devonne Whittington Jr. allegedly stole that money from the police department's evidence room and tried to cover it up, according to an indictment.

Brown resigned the following day, and reports that he and another officer were shredding files in the department prompted a judge to order the State Bureau of Investigation to take control of all Spring Lake Police Department files.

Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis dismissed all pending misdemeanor cases in Spring Lake, saying that he suspects senior officers of lying and directing other officers to fabricate facts in police reports.

Jarvies helped stabilize the department and laid out a plan to restore its credibility. Nine officers reaffirmed their duty to protect and serve the town during a ceremony last month.