Local News

Spring Lake police to return to duty

Posted February 11, 2010 4:23 p.m. EST

— Nine months after they were stripped of law enforcement authority amid a criminal investigation, Spring Lake police will return to duty next week, officials said Thursday.

Police Chief Tory McDuffie will lead a "back to duty" ceremony at 7 a.m. Monday before his officers begin patrolling the streets in the town, officials said.

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 immediately 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.

Former Police Chief A.C. Brown resigned the day after their arrests, 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.

Gregg Jarvies, a former Chapel Hill police chief, served as interim chief until November, and former Red Springs Police Chief Troy McDuffie was hired in December to lead the Spring Lake department.

Nine Spring Lake officers reaffirmed their duty to protect and serve the town during a November ceremony.