Hey North Carolina friends, I hope none of you get into big trouble this weekend, because no cops will be around to help you.
Yes, all police operation in Southport, N.C. have officially been suspended, and the entire force has been placed on paid administrative leave. The news comes after the city’s police chief and lieutenant were arrested on July 26, charged with double dipping at a second job while on the clock at the police department. Talk about great role models, huh?
Lt. Michael Christian Simmons, 48, and Chief Gary Smith, 46, were both charged with conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, obstruction of justice, and willful failure to discharge duties. According to the District Attorney Jon David, the joint invitation by the FBI and the SBI began April 4 after law enforcement officers tipped off investigators about the “dynamic” duo.
Multiple search warrants were executed at the police department, the trucking company, and town hall. The allegations state Simmons and Smith were driving overnight shifts for an unnamed local trucking company, the same time they had claimed their daily activity reports for the Southport Police Department. The duo’s duties for the trucking company routinely required them to be out-of-town and at times out of the county.
Smith was arrested Thursday morning, July 26th, and placed under a $10,000 unsecured bond. He later posted bail and was released. Simmons was arrested that afternoon during a news conference regarding the investigation.
Through a press conference, Mayor Jerry Dove, stated he consulted with the city board in which they requested the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office assume all law enforcement functions within the city until further notice. So, at least you still have some protection there, North Carolina.
Despite the entire police force being put on administrative leave, the Mayor urges community member not to put all officers in a negative light. Some of the police officers didn’t partake in the incident and are there to serve and protect. Unfortunately, like everything in life, sometimes we all have to suffer the consequences, even if it’s not our fault. Bummer, huh?