Jarvies: Spring Lake PD to dissolve

June 15, 2009 9:10:04 PM PDT
The Spring Lake interim police chief said Monday the department would dissolve in the next six to 12 months because of budgetary reasons and would then start back from the ground up after that.Spring Lake interim Chief Gregg Jarvies, who is the former Chapel Hill police chief, has been on the job for about a month.

He announced the disbanding of the department Monday afternoon after a town budget meeting.

"We saw no feasible option but to bring the dept down to zero, and reapply a new process," Jarvies said. "Bring a new chief on board sometime in late 2009 and hire new officers in early 2010."

The department has been operating under a cloud of suspicion since two officers were arrested and the former chief, A.C. Brown, resigned after he was seen shredding documents in his office last month.

Click here to read about that investigation

Cumberland County deputies are now in charge of patrolling Spring Lake's streets.

Spring Lake's police department said they cannot afford to pay county deputies and town police officers at the same time.

The department currently has about 11 officers and about 5 dispatchers.

Some of the laid off officers told Eyewitness News Monday they were angry and bitter about the news.

"You know on one hand we are told we're going to stay firm on our police department, then a few weeks later, 'oh you guys are getting laid off'," said one Spring Lake police officer who did not want to be identified.

Spring Lake Mayor Ethel Clark said she liked the plan.

"When it's all over we should have a fine police department that's accredited from one end to the other and should be accepted by the courts," Clark said.

But for officers still on the force, it was a frustrating end to an embarrassment they said they had no part in, but feel they're being blamed for.

"There is always going to be that stigma we came from a messed up department," the officer said. "We have to do what is needed to find employment elsewhere. Life goes on, we have bills and families to take care of."


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