Spring Lake defends police
SPRING LAKE (WTVD) -- It was supposed to be a chance for Spring Lake administrators to set the record straight about its embattled police department. Officers have been stripped of their felony investigation powers after prosecutors say they botched a murder case.
It turned into a session where Town Manager Larry Faison refused to answer questions and blamed the media for its woes.
"The media has perpetuated a perspective that the Board and the Administration have not acted - that somehow we've ignored our police department challenges. This is preposterous. It's bush-league and places them in the company of paparazzi style journalism," he offered.
Reporters didn't buy that explanation. Neither did the handful of Spring Lake residents who were in the audience.
"You wanted to bring out the side and the truth of your story. I haven't heard anything. I leave here in a few minutes. I want know no more than when I came. I came here today as a concerned citizen. I want to hear your side of the story. But you haven't told me nothing," said one man.
Finally, after 18 months, Police Chief A. C. Brown broke his silence about his department's lack of training. But, he too was very vague in the one answer he gave.
"We have challenges as all small departments have challenges: financial challenges, retention challenges, training challenges," he said.
As the questions got tougher, the press conference came to an abrupt end.
A grand jury meets Monday to finish considering several bills of indictments which may shut the police department down.
spring lake police, local/state, gilbert baez
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