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StarNews Editorial: Make Leland Police investigation thorough, timely and public


The Leland Police Department is under suspicion, and whether or not that suspicion is justified, town officials owe it to residents and the officers to complete an ongoing investigation as soon as possible. And when it’s completed, the results – for better or for worse – should be made public.

Assorted complaints, including a former female officer’s discrimination allegation, beg for a quick and open examination of what may or may not be wrong with the police department.

Complaints go all the way to the top to Chief Timothy Jayne.

Town Manager Bill Farris says he’s been looking into it, and at least one council member believes it’s all “on his shoulders.” She is partially right, but the town council also has an obligation to ensure that appointed officials follow through and that the residents are informed of the outcome of the investigation.

A number of accusations are swirling around the police department, including possible misconduct by Jayne and some of his officers. That sort of cloud could taint the department’s ability to enforce the law and must be addressed immediately.

The most widely publicized incident involves a female officer who said she was injured after being shot in the groin by a paintball gun during a training exercise.

Sherry Lewis filed a discrimination complaint. She resigned after receiving an $18,750 settlement; her lawyer got $6,250.

Although a state official says it’s unrelated to the complaint, the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission confirmed recently that it has done an audit of the department’s training protocol and found some deficiencies.

Some are said to be minor; the town should provide a full report to the council and the public that includes how the department will address them.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE EDITORIAL: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20110926/ARTICLES/110929749/1108/e…

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