Southport officers back on patrol; New chief has deep roots in the city
SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — More than three months after the entire department was put on leave and it’s two top officials were arrested, Southport Police have returned to duty.
Southport’s newest police chief Todd Coring has deep roots in the city.
“I was walking and talking to folks and you know, they were just talking about how I used to run the streets as a kid, and my dad being a chief, and riding in the car with him growing up,” Coring said.
He was born and raised in the town he now watches over.
“My grandfather was police chief probably mid to late 60s and then my dad came along in the 80s,” Coring said.
Coring says he looks forward to reconnecting the department with the community after former Police Chief Gary Smith and Lieutenant Michael Simmons were fired and accused of working a second job while on the clock.
“Law enforcement today has enough negative impact already, just from peoples’ perspective. But we’re going to work hard as a team and gain the citizens trust back,” said Coring.
“It’s always nice when they are visible in a positive way,” said Southport resident Jan Tremon.
Tremon says she likes that Coring has such a strong connection the city.
“That’s kind of comforting, that this is like his home,” Tremon said. “And that, he would have, maybe had some good examples before him.”
Coring, who previously worked for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, says it will be a bit of a change but he’s ready for it.
“I’ve served with the county for 20 years, so I’m excited about just focusing my efforts here in town,” Coring said. “A home town that’s been so good to me.”
Coring says the department is currently in need of six officers who left while the department was on paid leave.