BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Officer Kevin Smith has gained support from the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association (NCPBA)in his fight to stop the Town of Navassa from taking the officer's former police K-9 and beloved family pet. The organization is representing Smith in a small claims court trial set for Tuesday.
According to a press release from NCPBA, Smith was a police officer with the Town of Navassa for four years. When he became the towns only K-9 officer, K-9 Luci was donated by the dog's trainer to the town under the stipulation Smith was the only handler and full owner of the dog.
When Luci was donated, there was also a written condition the town would cover medical costs and fees.
Smith resigned from the Navassa Police Department in July 2012 to take a job with another police agency after the mayor allegedly made comments that indicated he was after the officer's job. Smith arrested Navassa Town Mayor Eulis Willis for driving while impaired in July 2011.
According to a press release, Smith took Luci with him to the new position in keeping with the town's written agreement. When he left he requested overtime compensation and accrued vacation time, but town leaders refused to the reimbursement until Smith returned Luci.
The NCPBA said town officials obtained a civil summons October 3, 2012 demanding possession of Luci.
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