Whiteville Police Department works to recruit new officers

Chief Doug Ipock says the police department is donating a car and bikes to a special program at the college.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:35 PM EST
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WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - Understaffing is an ongoing issue for many police departments across the country, especially in rural areas.

That’s why the start of a new partnership between the Whiteville Police Department and Southeastern Community College has begun. The police department donated a police car and bikes to the Basic Training Program at the community college.

“You know, most departments across the country are experiencing staffing shortages, you know, for us, everything starts with the basic program. We can’t even have officers working until they go through the basic programming,” said Whiteville Police Chief Doug Ipock.

Ipock says the police department donating a car and bikes will hopefully recruit new candidates for Whiteville Police.

“This is just a good way for us to be able to support the Basic Law Enforcement Program, give them the equipment that they need to train the officers that we need at the police department to fill our vacancies,” said Ipock.

Turning students into trained officers. Fabian Hewett, the Director of the Basic Law Enforcement Training program says it is all about preparing students as much as possible to be officers.

“We’ll take just a regular civilian, starting at zero, they want to be a police officer. And at the end of my course, they will be able to function as a rookie police officer in the field,” said Hewett.

Leaders say students can gain real-world experience while using real police equipment. The partnership also helps the school save money by not having to purchase cars for police training.

“That’s exhausting on our budget a lot of times, so we’re so grateful for donations like this because these cars this car has, you know, little over 100,000 miles on it. We can take and use it in our program and know that the students are getting the training that they’re basically carrying back to the police department,” said Chris English, the President of Southeastern Community College.

Leaders in the community also help the partnership will inspire others to continue to give back to the school.

“I think it’s important because the schools you know, they definitely need help. And I think by us in partnership with them, I think it will inspire other communities to join in with them in and join in the partnership,” said Mayor tem Jimmy Clarida.