WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There are a lot of questions surrounding the Leland Police Department after state regulators found problems with officers’ training and certification. Many people are asking us what happens with tickets or arrests by officers without proper training.
District Attorney Jon David had some of those very same questions. To get some answers he called the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office today.
“As District Attorney I feel a responsibility to make sure that officer actions in the streets are not affected by certification issues, and that they will ultimately be reliable and credible witnesses in the courtroom, and that’s what motivated me today to call the Attorney General’s Office and seek further guidance,” David said.
Issues surrounding the Leland Police Department continue to cast a shadow over the town. A state audit of the department revealed missing files from every single one of the 31 officers and reserve officers. Twenty-five of those officers had incomplete background investigations. Several officers were missing mandatory training hours.
David says the main issue is whether the officers were certified or decertified when they were on the job.
“What I’ve come to understand is that although there were certain training issues involving certain officers, those problems have been corrected or are correctable, and that unless someone is decertified, their law enforcement behavior and their ability to act in court is not at all affected by the fact that they might have problems with their certification,” David said.
David says only one officer was decertified at any point. He says that was for two and a half weeks, and that during that time the officer did not write any tickets or making any arrests.
“Whatever certification issues exist are not going to impact cases in our court system, so the community should be assured that we are moving forward on prosecutions,” David said.
In all the Training and Standards Commission found 89 deficiencies at LPD. Police Chief Tim Jayne said this week 85 have been corrected.
The district attorney says the one officer that was decertified has since regained his certification.