Spring Lake police to regain full powers

May 13, 2013 8:14:00 PM PDT
The Spring Lake Police Department is regaining the last of its powers that were taken away in the wake of a scandal six years ago.

In 2007, the department was stripped of investigative and arrest powers, amid an SBI corruption scandal.  The then chief resigned, two officers were arrested, and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department took over law enforcement. At the time, the district attorney said the department lacked manpower and training.

Residents say it was one of the community's darkest days.

In 2009, Troy McDuffie signed on as the new police chief. Slowly, the department regrouped, retrained and restored the community's trust.

"Hopefully, this community knows that if they have concerns, or problems with the conduct of any of the officers, then they can walk through that door and talk to me about it," said Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey.

Monday night, McDuffie presented to town leaders the plan to reinstate the department's full authority next month.

The police chief says his department now has 28 sworn officers, including five detectives.

While the department's full powers will be reinstated June 1, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department will continue to assist police with crime scene forensic and evidence collection, which is something the sheriff's department already does for other municipalities.

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