GARLAND — After a decision was made to bring back a police department, town officials are now waiting to get the blessing of state and federal officials.
Commissioners approved a resolution to re-establish a police department for the town. Consultant Bobby Kinlaw made a presentation to the board of commissioners Tuesday night. The decision followed several months of work to start a new police department after ending ties with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office.
The resolution read by Deputy Teresa Smith, which stated that there’s a need for protection in the town. Garland previously maintained a municipal police department until June 30, 2008, but it came to an end because of financial woes. That’s when the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department handled law enforcement duties in town. But it came to an end on June 30, because town leaders believe that a $113,000 contract was too high. That amount included an increase of $25,000. According to the resolution, there a sufficient funds allocated in the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget.
For several weeks, Kinlaw contacted North Carolina and federal officials about the upcoming police department in Garland.
“I think that would be better to re-establish what you had in the past,” Kinlaw said in regards to challenges numerous regulations that come with starting another one.
Next, the resolution will be sent to state agencies before it’s sent to the FBI and other organizations to move forward.
“I know you guys are anxious to get this going,” Kinlaw said about speeding the process up.
Commissioner Ralph Smith worked with Kinlaw on the process of finding a police chief.
“It’s my recommendation that whatever process you’re going to follow to make a selection for your next officer or police chief, you should go ahead and proceed with that,” Kinlaw said. “You’ll be that much further along once we get approval back from the federal and state government.”
The town advertised for chief position through local media and on Facebook. Commissioners held interviews, but a decision was not made. Kinlaw suggested that commissioners form a committee to work on the selection process.
Kinlaw, former police chief of Elizabethtown, was hired in August to provide consultant services to Garland. He worked for the department for more than 30 years in several positions and became chief in 2000. Before Kinlaw was selected to guide the town through the process, a 2010 Dodge Charger was purchased and delivered by Copcarsonline, a business based out of Largo, Fla. Radios and other equipment was also purchased.
An official start date has not been announced.
“It can be real quick or it can be lengthy,” Kinlaw said about receiving a response about the resolution approval. “I don’t anticipate it to be too long. I expect to hear something back in two weeks.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.