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.