Spring Lake police plan rejected

July 9, 2009 4:52:15 AM PDT
In a letter sent to the the Spring Lake's mayor Wednesday, Cumberland County Sheriff Earl Moose Butler turned down the request for two full-time deputies to patrol the town.Butler said the mayor's proposed modification coverage was not only inadequate, but presented a clear and present danger to officers' and citizens' safety.

Mayor Ethel Clark said she hopes for a compromise.

"I'm not giving up," Spring Lake Mayor Ethel Clark said. "We have got to find a way to make this work, we have no choice."

On June 30, the Sheriff pulled four deputies that were assigned to patrol the town after Spring Lake leaders rejected his contract for continued service.

The town has been without a department since May, when a judge stripped the unit of authority.

But town leaders want to keep the 11 officers still on the force and rebuild the department.

For now, Spring Lake is part of a patrol zone covered by two deputies.

Mayor Clark said she felt safe, but some residents disagree.

"I've got two kids and we want to be safe, and when our husbands are deployed, especially military families, you know it's a concern," resident Amanda Sulpizio said.

"I think the criminals know there is a shortage of policemen," resident Michael Gaskins added. "So even now this is happening, it's probably going to be more crime, more things going on."

Mayor Clark said Wednesday she is working on another option, but wouldn't elaborate.

In the meantime, Interim Police Chief Greg Jarvies is also working on a plan to try to rebuild the department.

Town leaders and residents are hopeful that a district court judge will give the okay to a plan that would begin the process of getting the department some of its power back.

Mayor Clark and Chief Jarvies are expected to meet with a judge Thursday afternoon.

On Monday, town leaders could approve a contract for a consultant to being searching for a full-time chief.


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