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China Grove town manager says police chief was fired

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó Town Manager Bill Pless confirmed Wednesday the town’s police chief was fired.
H.H. “Hodge” Coffield, who started as chief on June 20, 2005, was terminated Tuesday.
Pless cited leadership issues within the police department as leading to the “involuntary separation.”
“I’ve been evaluating the situation for the 20 months I’ve been here,” Pless said. “I’ve been looking at the police department.
“Over the past 20 months, I’ve gotten plenty of interaction and feedback over various things,” Pless said. He declined to be more specific, citing personnel regulations.
Asked if he had consulted the Board of Aldermen before the termination, Pless said he didn’t think it was a surprise to the aldermen.
Efforts to contact Coffield were unsuccessful.
A native of High Point, Coffield joined the Salisbury Police Department in 1985 and continued there until taking the China Grove job.
On Wednesday, Pless named Sgt. Brett L. Bass as interim police chief until a full-time replacement is hired.
Bass has been with the department since July 1, 2005.
Pless said a search for a new police chief will begin very soon. The search is expected to take four to six months.
The department currently has 11 officers.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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