GARLAND — Town leaders are working to build a police force and a retired chief will help them do it.
The decision to hire Bobby Kinlaw for consultant services was made during a Tuesday meeting of Garland’s commissioners. Kinlaw is the former chief of Elizabethtown’s police department, where he worked for 34 years. According to reports, he worked in several positions and became the chief in 2000 for the town of more than 3,000 residents in Bladen County.
“He’s going to be hired in a advisory capacity to help walk us through hiring a chief and restarting the police department,” said Garland Town Clerk Pamela Cashwell.
Kinlaw studied criminal justice and police science at Bladen Community College and earned several certifications. Some of them include municipal administration, criminal investigation and the Law Enforcement Executive program from the North Carolina Institute of Government.
He also joined the International Police Chiefs Association and the Police Chiefs of NC Association.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Ralph Smith and his colleagues, Garland’s work toward building a police department started when a contract with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office came to an end. Town officials said the cost of $113,000 was too much. That amount included an increase of $25,000. Garland operated a department eight years ago, but that stopped because of economic woes.
Several residents were concerned about the recent decision to eliminate the sheriff’s department. Some of reasons involved safety and cost. But commissioners assured that protection from the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office would continue.
Before hiring Kinlaw on for consultant services, commissioners purchased a 2010 Dodge Charger, which was delivered from Copcarsonline, a business based out of Largo, Fla. Equipment such as radios were also approved.
Garland advertised for a police chief through local media and on its Facebook page. Commissioners held interviews for the position, but an official decision has not been made yet. Smith reported that the process involves several steps such as legal matters and working with law officials.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.