LELAND, NC (WECT) – According to a statement from officials with the Town of Leland, five police officers have been suspended without pay following ongoing investigations.
Those suspended include Deputy Chief Karl Smith, Lt. Bill Kozak, Lt. Rick Dellapia, Officer Michael Landen, and Officer John Blasingame. According to the town website, it appears three of the officers are among the top five ranking officers in the department -- Deputy Chief Smith and the two lieutenants.
Lt. Dellapia is the head of support services, while Lt. Kozak is head of the investigations division. Officers Blasingame and Landen are in the patrol division.
Interim Chief of Police Mike James reportedly notified the officers of their suspensions Friday.
"We will continue with the on-going investigations until we have all the necessary information to make an informed and final decision on these officers and their further employment with the Town of Leland Police Department," said David Hollis in a statement. "We feel strongly that the actions we have taken today are warranted based on the information we have thus far received."
In February, the town fired police chief Tim Jayne during what they called a reorganization of the town. The town is currently searching for a new permanent chief of police.
Stay with WECT both on air and online for more on this developing story.
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