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Leland Police: Sergeant fired for trying to falsify training records

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LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- A Leland police officer has been fired after the department says he tried to falsify training records.

Police Chief Mike James says the town upheld Sgt. Rich Roman's appeal of his termination. James says Roman was fired after an internal investigation into reports of violations that turned out to be true.

James says during training for the department's in-car radar system, Roman was required to spend a certain number of hours in a car with a certified operator. James said Roman made up some of the times and asked the officer who was training him, who happened to be one of Roman's subordinates, to sign off on the false times. James says the officer did not, and instead reported the situation to his immediate supervisor, and the situation went to internal affairs.

Roman is just the latest in a series of Leland officers disciplined or terminated over the last few years. James says it shows he's doing his job the right way.

"As soon I find out that something like this has happened, I'm taking care of it," James said. "We're not gonna tolerate anything like that happening. We're gonna do the right thing."

James says LPD has let the DA's Office know what happened and that if any speeding tickets were affected, they will ask for a dismissal.

In the wake of the internal investigation, James says the department asked Training & Standards to go through all radar times for the department and make sure nothing was out of the ordinary. He said that review did find one operator's completed certification had not been registered with the state, even though it had been completed. As a result, an officer he had trained had to redo some training time. The department is also make sure copies of training records are made before they are sent to the state. Officers will also use the department's in-car cameras to create a record of training time.

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Not the whole truth...

Chief James neglected to tell the entire truth. What he failed to mention is that Officer Scott Wilkerson told Roman to keep track of his records and that he would sign off on them because that is how things were done in Leland because it is impossible to be in the same vehicle all the time. Corporal Chris Winder told Roman the same thing. However, Roman never forged nor falsified any documents that were forwarded to any department administrators or NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards. The documents they claim to be falsified were merely notes and NEVER submitted as official training records to ANYONE.

Winder's radar certification has been suspended due to the fact that Corporal Richard Christopher signed off on Winder's certification with the Golden Eagle Radar Instrument when Christopher's certification with the Golden Eagle was no longer valid. No disciplinary action has been taken against either of those officers, who knowingly and intentionally submitted false records to NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards. NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards will hopefully do a more thorough investigation than Lieutenant Joseph Pierce (Internal Investigator, Leland Police Department) to uncover all of the discrepancies with radar certifications within the entire department. This is as simple as pulling all citations and written warnings issued by all officers over the past 3-5 years and comparing them with the SMI-5 form that is submitted to NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards and the CAD reports generated for every call that every officer is a part of. Looking at the training times reported and the vehicle stop times will show that the clock was never stopped for the action the officer took.

If Chief James kept consistent hours in the building he could better manage problems as they arise. However, Chief James is available in his office less than 20 hours a week at best, thereby, leaving the department in the hands of two Lieutenants who have little experience in a command position. Lt. Joseph Pierce is consistently missing out of the office for hours at a time and calls out sick regularly. Pierce has less than 18 months experience as a patrol officer. He has spent the majority of his career behind a desk pushing paper. Lt. Josh Spence tries to do a good job and he does well in some aspects, however, he lacks experience and conviction which creates doubt in his abilities to be a Division Commander, and rumor has it he will be the next Deputy Chief of Leland Police Department.

Corporal John Albertson made it perfectly clear to Roman that he was after his stripes. Albertson consistently refers to Town Manager David Hollis as Chief Hollis and refers to Mike James as Assistant Chief James. Albertson has zero respect for anyone. He certainly does not respect Mike James as the Chief of Police and thinks he is joke. He has made jokes about Chief James being Hollis' b*t#h and not being able to run his own department because if Hollis says jump Mike asks how high? All the while Albertson has been looking for another job for nearly 6 months.

Who exactly are you? Would

Who exactly are you? Would love to know how you are "so" informed? In my business someone who has the inside info is usually the one closest to one in trouble. Usually find that when my employee's are disciplined it's usually their best friend or themselves who talk like this behind the employers back. I'm 54 years old and have never seen someone be so subversive. If you are friends with any of these named above then its just terrible. If you work for the Town of Leland, you should be FIRED!!!

Things that make go hmmm.

This is quite the interesting article. His steady girlfriend is the administrative assistant to the Chief of police in Leland.

Learn!!

Leland PD needs to stop hiring every other departments' rejects. Most of the officers there have either been fired from another department, or asked to leave. WWAY should really ask BCSD why Richard Roman is no longer working for them! IF he were to tell the truth, you would find it also was for dishonesty. It is the known joke around the county that if you screw up at your department it is okay because you can always go to Leland.

BS

Unfortunately the chief and the dept. did not tell the whole truth. The truth is that Roman was told that this is how things are done. Roman never turned in any documents to anyone so how can that be falsifying documents. Sounds like another Leland witch hunt if you ask me. Roman has more experience than anyone in Leland. Most of the staff have always been desk jockeys and know nothing about being a real cop.

This is really sad. If he

This is really sad. If he lied about something so simple, what else has he lied about? Richard Roman is the type of LEO that gives other officers a bad name. Can anyone find out if he got paid for these 16 hours he was trying to claim?

Good job Chief maybe you

Good job Chief maybe you could come to Wilmingon and teach Ralph Evangelous and Ed McMahon how to deal with officers who are short on integrity. In the case of Rich Roman all of his police work is now suspect.

Since you seem to "know" so much about police...

...integrity and the police chiefs level of such, why don't you go in and do the teaching yourself? It's somehat disturbing to hear people like you complain and make accusations regarding the level of integrity within our police departments, yet you refrain from putting your name in public and from taking ANY action on your own. If you know of something that needs to be done about this issue and do nothing other than present anonymous chin-music, you're only part of the problem!

That's mighty big talk from

That's mighty big talk from someone that hides behind an alias "guest-o-pathetic". Tell us pathetic why is my post soooo disturbing to you.

Good move. If he takes

Good move. If he takes improper short cuts or falsifies one thing, he'll do it somewhere else. Do it by the book and you won't run into this kind of problem. Make it known to all employees that SOP is made to follow and dishonesty in any form has no place in law enforcement. The officer who refused to be drawn into Roman's dishonesty should be applauded.

YAY!!!!

Good job Chief!! Say's who!? Say's Kblue!!!

Who?

Remember when you got in trouble for taking police action in Wilmington? You should have been fired on the spot that day.

not much of a supervisor if

not much of a supervisor if you ask me. very easy to sit and get your radar time. Now lets see what else he has done!! thanks for the officer for doing the right thing by not falsifying his time/records training. that is what we need first before you ever put a badge on, HONEST OFFICERS!! INTEGRITY+ a man stays honest when no one is looking!!