LELAND, NC (WWAY) — It has been nearly a week since Leland announced the suspension of five police officers. Thursday was the first town council meeting since the suspensions and resignation of officer Karl Smith.
Tonight WWAY sat down with Mayor Brenda Bozeman to hear what she has to say about the troubled police department and the future of Leland.
“I think we’re on the right track,” the mayor says. “We are going to get it settled one way or the other.”
Bozeman says the problems within the police department are being resolved.
“If anyone is guilty, justice will take place,” she says. “If they’re not guilty, we can go on and get over all of this.”
Last week, five officers were suspended with pay. One of those suspended, Karl Smith resigned Tuesday. Smith served as interim police chief after Tim Jayne was fired in February. All this, while the department and town await investigations by the SBI and Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.
“We want it done,” Bozeman says. “We were hoping that the SBI investigation would have been done before the end of the year. They told me they were hoping to have it done.”
Town manager David Hollis says with the five officers out, the department has to pick up the slack, but all services are functioning as normal. Soon, he says, the issues will be a thing of the past.
“We’re going to get to that point where the police are not the issue in Leland,” Hollis says. “These other things, the good things that we’re doing are going to be the issues.”
WWAY was the first and only local news media that dug for weeks and uncovered personnel and policy issues within the Leland Police Department.