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Spring Lake hires retiree to rebuild police department

SPRING LAKE (AP) ó A North Carolina town has hired a retired Chapel Hill police chief to help rebuild a department rocked by the arrests of two senior officers and the resignation of its chief.
Town Manager Larry Faison said Monday that Gregg Edward Jarvies, 54, was hired to temporarily lead the force in Spring Lake, a town of more than 8,000 residents next to Fort Bragg.
“First, I’ve got to get to know the folks in the department and do an assessment,” Jarvies said. “I know they are going through a tough time, and I thought I could take some baby steps getting the department back, bring some structure and hopefully get some respect and pride back in the department.”
Agents from the State Bureau of Investigation arrested two high-ranking Spring Lake supervisors, Sgt. Alfonzo Devone Whittington Jr. and Sgt. Darryl Eugene Coulter Sr., after a grand jury indicted the two on charges ranging from embezzlement to kidnapping and assault.
The arrests two weeks ago were followed by the resignation of the town’s police chief, A.C. Brown.
District Attorney Ed Grannis said he wouldn’t accept criminal cases from town police and a judge issued an order that stripped the department of its authority. An SBI investigation is continuing.
Spring Lake officers are still on the payroll and have been training or using compensatory time off. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office has taken over police duties in the town.
Town leaders are seeking a permanent police chief and Jarvies, who is also executive director of the N.C. Police Executives Association, will take part in the search. Jarvies retired as police chief for the town of Chapel Hill in 2007.
Jarvies has a contract through Sept. 1 with Spring Lake and will be paid $1,575 a week, working three to four days weekly. He said he has begun talking to the sheriff’s office and is seeking training for the town’s 14 officers.

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