Spring Lake officers back on the job

February 15, 2010 10:25:40 AM PST
Nearly a year since a corruption scandal stripped its police force of its power, the Spring Lake Police Department is back on the job. Officers are once again patrolling the town.

"The feedback has been great," said Officer Edwin Reid.

In early May, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office took over patrols after two officers were arrested for corruption and then Police Chief AC Brown resigned.

The scrutiny of the police department was hard for residents.

"First shocked and then, very sad. And I prayed a lot," said police department supporter Deborah Johns.

Now, nearly two dozen officers are back on the job under the guidance of new police chief Troy McDuffie. They have been re-trained and re-certified.

In the interim, officers had no arrest powers.

"A little annoying, but we had to go through it. We had to go through proving ourselves to the public and society in general, that we could do the job," Reid explained.

The new chief says his force starts now with a clean slate.

"Still a lot of work ahead, but we're definitely moving in the right direction," said McDuffie.

For now, felony cases will still be handled by sheriff's investigators. For everything else, the Spring Lake police take the lead.

The chief plans to hire more officers and reinstate an investigative unit. Officer Reid is interested, but he's got work to do first.

"I'm gonna just do my job. Do my job, give110 percent, give the town 12 hours, go home, think about what I'm gonna do the next day," he said.

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