ONLY ON 3: Leland mayor proposes unifying police forces in northern Brunswick Co.
LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Some changes could be coming to communities in North Brunswick. One elected leader has suggested combining police department.
Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman says combining police forces would help all of northern Brunswick County.
Bozeman says now is the time to combine police forces in Leland, Belville, Navassa and Northwest creating a North Brunswick Police Force. She says it’s all about neighbors helping neighbors.
“They have to come into our town. We’re constantly going through their town to the other part of our town, and I just think it makes sense,” Bozeman said.
Despite recent controversies, Bozeman says changes to Leland’s Police Department offer a unique opportunity to unite forces while big decisions are being made so everyone can have a say.
“At this time, with a new chief coming on board pretty soon that would give them an opportunity to have some say so in that,” Bozeman said.
The logistics still need to be worked out, like who would be in charge, and if anyone who is currently employed by any of the departments would lose their jobs. Bozeman says first she needs the other towns to get on board.
“We need to talk,” Bozeman said. “We need to have a big joint meeting of all the boards and get everyone’s feelings on it, because everyone should have their say so.”
Bozeman says the change would not only help the towns administratively, but the communities the police departments protect and serve.
We tried to talk to leaders from Belville, Northwest and Navassa.
Navassa Mayor Eulis Willis says because of the coverage of the Leland Police Department he would have to speak with the rest of his town council before making any type of statement.
Northwest Mayor James Knox says the town council was not interested in the merger, but they may bring it up again at their meeting tomorrow.
Commissioners from Belville say Mayor Jack Batson wrote off the idea of a united police force without consulting the board because of the Leland controversy.