WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Southport Police Department will resume patrolling the city starting Monday, Nov. 5, Police Chief Todd Coring said in a Facebook post.
The city’s police operations were suspended and the entire force placed on administrative leave in July after the city’s police chief and a lieutenant were arrested and charged with double-dipping at a second job while on the clock at the police department.
Chief Gary Smith and his second in command Lt. Michael Simmons were charged on July 26 with conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, willful failure to discharge duties, and obstruction of justice. Smith later also was indicted on an additional charge of obtaining property by false pretense.
“Since my first day on the job I’ve been busy meeting with staff, citizens and starting to go through the Office,” Coring said in the post. “A lot of citizens have asked, ‘When are our guys going to be back?’ We have a lot to do moving forward and we will be focusing on community policing efforts as well as some other areas. I am very appreciative as are many citizens for the support we’ve received from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office under the direction and support of Sheriff John Ingram. I’m excited to serve as your Chief of Police and for the future of the Southport Police Department.”