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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — The Leland Police Department has a new leader… for now. And it’s old leader is gone for good.

The Town of Leland is taking another step forward and putting the past behind it. Town Manager David Hollis announced Monday he has upheld the firing of former Police Chief Tim Jayne after Jayne appealed the termination. Hollis also announced Mike James as the police department’s new interim chief.

“He’s a good man, and I think he’ll do a good job as an interim,” Hollis said.

James replaces Karl Smith, who returns to his role as deputy chief.

“My main goal is to re-establish a partnership with the community,” James said.

James has worked in law enforcement for nearly 30 years. He currently works part time for the Brunswick County’s Sheriff’s Office.

James says he looks forward to changing the perceptions folks have of the police department. He says Leland’s issues are actually very similar to those of another small town he used to work for. James was chief in Stoneville, a small town north of Greenville.

“Basically the same situation,” James said. “The community had lost touch with the department, and we went in and fixed the problems and got it back on track, and to be honest with you, I enjoyed doing that.”

Hollis says he has not started to look at applicants for chief, but believes the process will take a few months.

James has Bachelors and Master of Science degrees in criminal justice. He previously served as the director of Rockingham County’s Forensic/Gang Prevention Bureau.

Comment on this Story

  • kblue2221984

    So everyone is happy with the change? I want so bad to say changes but I can’t! we have made ONE change and everyone shut up? Wow, okay, I don’t have to live there thank goodness…….. Say’s who? Say’s Kblue!

  • Commonsenz

    It maybe time for the DOJ to become involved. Not unusual for a United States district court judge to oversee a small town due to graft.

    This is not the private sector that the manager is used to operating in. The rules are different. This is not the company’s money. Public funds and monies are being spent, absent any oversight by the duly elected town council and mayor with no opportunity for a public hearing on such important matters in light of all the recent scandal.

    An interim to replace an interim? There seems to be no plan or timetables. Everything is very vague. Remember, Jayne had no plan. Mr. Hollis, definitive timetables and commitments to the public are a must to repel rumors and restore public trust. When people appear from nowhere, unannounced, it appears to be good ole boy networking in action. May I suggest a plan to you, because you seem like a well intentioned albeit naive manager. For instance a model:

    Step 1:The town will accept applications until a date certain. State the date.

    Step 2:The town will then examine the applications by a date certain (state the date) and choose the 6 or 8 best qualified.

    Step 3: We will allow the council to interview them and narrow it down to the top 3 by a date certain.

    Step 4: We will allow a public vetting of the 3 remaining candidates on a date ceratin. The public will be allowed to meet them and ask them questions. If a candidate objects, he will be eliminated from consideration.

    Step 5: The town manager after observing the town council and the public vetting of each candidate for chief, will choose the best candidate for our town.

    Step6: Most importantly, publish your timetables and keep the public informed every step of the way.

    The plan eliminates uncertainty, includes the council, MOST IMPORTANTLY INCLUDES THE CITIZENS, and steals no power from you. Who can accuse you of wrongdoing with that much transparency?

  • wize1

    What do you expect. He is an engineer not a qualified town manager. Just extending the pain and the rift. NO CLEAR PLAN!

  • Omg

    Please tell me this is not “The Legend” that we’ve been reading about.

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