Police Department News & Advisories

Police Department News Compiled & Written by Kat Canant, Administrative Assistant with the Lake Lure Police Department

 

FEBRUARY 2018

Local Resident Helps make it easier to Dispose of American Flags with Honor

For years, the American Legion sponsored a flag disposal box which was located by the front door the  Lake Lure Police Department.

When the American Legion moved outside of Lake Lure, the box was removed. 

Since then, the Lake Lure Police Department has accepted worn flags, properly disposed of them in Rutherford County.

Attempts have been made to secure a large mail carrier box to no avail.

However, upon hearing this news, Lake Lure resident David Lusk offered to build a box.  This box will be located in the lobby of the police department.

Should you have a worn and/or discolored flag, you're welcome to bring it to the police department so that the Town can continue to  dispose of these American icons with respect and honor.

Learn how to properly fold a flag for disposal.

What to do when you can't call 911 - TEXT INSTEAD

While Rutherford County Communications initiated its use of Text to 911 in 2015, it isn't something that may be widely known about as an option in Lake Lure.

The purpose of the Text to 911 is available for those individuals who may find themselves in an emergency where texting is the only opportunity they have to quickly request help. 

An armed robbery, breaking and entering into your home while you are there, and various domestic disturbances  may all be potential incidents where summoning help by texting could be life-saving.

Here are some important steps to remember should you have an emergency where you can't make a verbal phone call and texting is your only option:
    • To text the 911 system, just enter 911 in the "To" field.
      •  Be brief in your message. Include your location right away. Then, state your message, such as: "someone inside downstairs."
        • Follow instructions from the 911 dispatcher.
          • Text in simple words.  Do not use abbreviations.

          Things to know if you need to Text to 911

          • Texting may take longer than a call.  911 messages can get out of order or may not be received.
          • Text to 911 may not be available if you are roaming.
          • A text or data plan is required to place a Text to 911
          • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911 at this time.

          If you have any questions regarding our Text to 911 feature, please call the Lake Lure Police Department.

          JANUARY 2018

          Department Swears in New Officer

          Officer Bailey Worley was sworn in today, January 31, 2018,  in a small ceremony at the Town of Lake Lure Town Hall. 

          Officer Worley is a 2017 graduate of North Carolina's Basic Law Enforcement Training, which is a requirement of law enforcement officers in the state.

          Officer Worley, also a North Carolina Firefighter from Marion, was among many applicants who recently applied at Lake Lure Police Department. 

          He will begin training with the department immediately.  

          "We're excited to have Officer Worley with our department." states Chief Humphries.  "We've been eager to have him start.  He'll be a great asset to the Town of Lake Lure." 

          Updating Gate & Access Codes for Area Responders

          There are almost fifty access gates, locks and lock boxes in Lake Lure that First Responders need access to in case of emergencies. 

          While that isn't a lot compared to many towns and cities, it is a process to manage. While the department works hard to ensure that we have current codes to every business and/or dwelling in town, there are many that the department simply does not have.

          Additionally, when properties change gate codes, they overlook notifying the police department.

          The Lake Lure Police Department annually updates its gate code list for our area First Rsponders like Lake Lure Fire & Rescue and Hickory Nut Gorge E.M.S. 

          These lists are securely kept with officers, fire apparatuses and ambulances to allow access to a property or home without delay.  That's key when an emergency is underway.

          If you have an access gate, lock box, entry lock or some other coded access to your home or business, please call the Lake Lure Police Department to confirm that your information is current with our files.

          Elder Fraud - The Trusting Generation

          Your phone rings and a man tells you that he's calling because your grandson is in jail in the Bahamas and he needs you to transfer $25,000 to get him released. 

          He tells you how horrid prison is and that your grandson is suffering. 

          Even in the background you hear a voice that sounds like your dear grandson begging for your help.  This nice man even wants to help you transfer the funds, and you are more than willing to help get your grandson out of prison as quickly as possible.

          Your phone rings and a woman tells you that your computer has a virus and they'll need access into it to get the virus snuffed out quickly. 

          You, not wanting your computer to have a virus, assist them.  The following day you wake to find that your bank account has been emptied of all you had.

          Your phone rings and a man tells you that you've won a very large amount of money but you'll need to go to a store to get gift cards to pay them so they can pay you the large award. 

          You do so, and they call you back and tell you that you can actually get three times the award amount if you go purchase more gift cards. 

          You do so, and they call you back and tell you if you send $100,000 you can again triple all money.  You think of how wonderful it would be to give money to your children and grandchildren, so you do so.

          Your phone rings and it's the IRS who tells you if you don't pay a past due collection, they will send the police out to arrest you and take you to jail.  You give them your credit card information over the phone and you feel relaxed that you won't be going to jail. 

          That evening you realize your credit card account has been maxed out, and it was not from the IRS but a company from Jamaica.

          These scenarios have all happened to people right here in Lake Lure.  The story line may have changed a bit, but the loss of money is very real.  A Lake Lure resident just a little over a year ago was forced to move from her home for the mere fact that she had not much left after giving most of her life savings to a scam artist.

          Here's a fact from the AARP:  Thirty-five percent of the American population is over 50 years old.  Fraud victims over 50 account for 57% of all fraud.  

          The Trusting Generation

          Why are the elderly targeted?  Lake Lure Police Officer Chris Shuford states, “They’re coming from ‘Publishers Clearinghouse’ age, where they trust who is calling them.”

          Officer Shuford worked one of Lake Lure’s largest scams where Caretaker scammed an elderly couple out of many thousands of dollars by stealing checks, opening charge accounts in the couples name and stealing gift cards from them.  This, on top of stealing jewelry out of the home.  “Elderly people are trusting. 

          A company sends a caretaker to your home and it’s not until months and months later that you start suspecting something is amiss with your bank account.  By this time, you have lost a good portion of what you spent a lifetime saving.” Officer Shuford said.  Most of time, sadly, you will never be able to reclaim what you’ve lost. 

          People prey on the elderly because they are trusting.  They’ve spent most of their lives being smart about money and investing.   Their credit rating is most likely very good. Most of the people they’ve known in life, have been trustworthy and most people they’ve become friends with are fellow church goers or golf club members.  Trustworthy people.  So when someone calls their home, their telephone number, they think it’s a sincere call.

          But it’s not just phone calls.   There are insurance scams, reverse mortgage scams, pharmaceutical scams and people who are blatant enough to steal someone’s identity.  It can happen in the blink of an eye. 

          A caller tells you their from the IRS and they tell you the last 4 digits of your social security number and ask you to verify the first numbers.  You do so without thinking twice about it.  After all, it’s the IRS.  The caller now has your social security number, and you’ve given them your name.  They can verify your address by a Google search online.  They then go on your Facebook page, where you, because you’re friendly and trust people, have entered your date of birth.  The caller, now has enough information on you, to become you. 

          What can you do?

          Here are some helpful hints on how to avoid scammers and how to protect yourself

          •    If you don’t have caller ID on your phone, think about signing up for it.  This will help you know beforehand who is trying to call you.  If you don’t know the name or number, you don’t have to answer.  Let it ring through and go to a messaging service if you have one.  If you feel you need to answer, never give out your personal information.  This starts with the caller asking, ‘who am I speaking to?’  Be weary of a call that doesn’t list who they are on Caller ID, but also know, there are ways to enter your caller ID how you want it to appear.  If they say they are a bank or IRS, tell the caller you’re going to hang up and call your bank (or other business) to see what they need to speak to you about.

          •    Don’t call a number back from your Caller ID unless you know the number and caller.  As well, you don’t have to call a caller back if they’ve left a message, unless you know the caller.  Many scammers will leave a message, hoping you’ll call them back.

          •    Set up alerts with your credit card company or bank.  Make sure you review your statements thoroughly.  Question any charges, even small ones that you can’t verify or recognize.

          •    If you use email, never give out information on an email. 

          •    Don’t give out your personal information to someone who has called you, unless you know and trust the person.

          •    Have your children or someone you trust help you reconcile your accounts each month to verify charges are correct and your balance is in accordance with your record keeping.

          If at any time you feel that you have been a victim of fraud, contact your local police department.  Many times further steps may need to be taken but they are a good source to begin at. 

          DECEMBER 2017 

          Successful Coat Drive for Keep Rutherford County Warm

          "We want to thank the community for all of the support.  There is a lot of need in Rutherford county.  Next year our goal will be 600 coats."  Regina Arrowood   project organizer

          The Lake Lure Police Department participated in the Keep Rutherford County Warm coat drive this past November by being a drop off location for the western part of the county.  November 1st a box was placed in the foyer of the police department located at 2150 Memorial Highway.  The first week was slow with collections, but once coats started coming in, they started piling up, filling the box, then overflowing onto the chairs in the foyer.

          The coat drive collected and distributed more than 450 coats and 200 gloves, scarves, hats and boots.  The coat drive was held in memory of Pat Parker, a Rutherford County resident who passed away several years ago.  She knew there was a great need to help people in our county.  Regina Arrowood, Parker's daughter, helps honor her mother by organizing this successful drive.

          Over 70 coats were collected at the Lake Lure drop off.  

          The Lake Lure Police Department thanks everyone for participating in this annual coat drive.

           

          NOVEMBER 2017

          Giving and Receiving -  A Night of Honors

          When you talk about being thankful, it's not often you'll hear about a community uniting every year and showing their appreciation for the law enforcement officers that serve them.

          Lake Lure is such a community.  November 10th Larkin's on the Lake was again the venue and driver for a community to come together and say "thanks for all you do" as they honor local police officers.

           General manager, Lewis Bentley  brings the community together to enjoy good food and fellowship. Awards are sponsored by members of the community as a way to not only recognize an officer, but to say, "Job well done!" 

          2017 was the twelfth year of he event.

          Chief Sean Humphries chooses recipients by spotlighting various outstanding achievements.  "It's difficult to choose each year," the Chief stated, "They all go above and beyond just by wearing a badge, but when they show that true grit for the job, I want to make sure that they know the community acknowledges them." 

          The Lake Lure Olympiad, a charity sports festival also donates a portion of its proceeds to the police department.  These funds along with proceeds from the ticket sales for the dinner are given to the chief who puts the money into a dedicated fund for nedded items that may not be budgeted for that year. We  don't know what we'd do without this event," Chief Humphries said. There are many times through the year that we'll need an item and we'll pull monies from that account because we just can't purchase things any other way.  We thank the community for everything they do for us."

          This year awards were given in the categories below:

          1.      The Citation of Bravery Award went to Cpl. Aaron Collins for the display of bravery by grabbing the end of a BB gun that a person with dementia had; and holding it to his bullet proof vest as the man shot off two rounds before the gun was taken from his grip.  Officer Collins did this to keep the fired shots from repelling about the room, possibly injuring others that were present.  He was able to secure the gun and help calm the man until he was taken for care.  This award was sponsored by Todd & Melinda Morse.

          2.      The Citation of Bravery Award went to Officer Bryan Toney for his display of courage.  During a call for a suicide attempt, the victim shot himself before officers arrived at the scene.  Officer Toney being the first on scene, rendered aid immediately, feeling for a pulse, when he felt none, he felt that because the distraught family was looking on, he wanted to offer every hope possible.  He continued CPR until medics arrived and the man was pronounced deceased.  This award was sponsored by Bob & Pam Keith

          3.       The Community Service Award was given to Officer Chris Shuford.  Officer Shuford filed over 30 Felony Charges this year.  One on those cases was an elderly couple who had a caretaker caring for them.  The Caretaker, during a period of time, used the couple's bank checks to steal over $10,000 dollars from them.  The suspect also stole gift cards from the victims, as well as charging thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise on credit cards that the suspect had opened in the victim's names.  Officer Shuford worked diligently and many hours to secure warrants on the caretaker.  This Officer succeeded and due to his efforts, stopped this person from committing other crimes on the elderly.  This case was featured on WLOS and brought new attention to caretakers stealing from the elderly.  This award was sponsored by The Lake Lure Olympiad.

          4.      The Distinguished Service Award was given to Officer Alan Greene whose experience in the narcotics division in Rutherford County has provided Lake Lure with immeasurable knowledge facing drug trafficking in our town.  Officer Greene was key in providing the Narcotics Division of Rutherford County, information on a suspect that Officer Greene located drugs in his home off of Seton Road.  It turned out this suspect was well known to enforcement officers as well as the State Bureau of Investigations.    Because of Officer Greene's expertise on drug trafficking, this individual felt the heat and left town before setting up his drug business here.  This award was sponsored by Russ Pitts & Lynn Carnes.

          NC SAVAN - Statewide Automated Victims Assistance & Notification

          NC SAVAN is a criminal justice information-sharing system that provides automated victim notification about the status of a convicted offender and victim services in their area.

            Once you register, this service will provide you with offender information and notifications about that offender by text message, email or phone call.  

          You may sign up by one of the following ways:

          1. Register online here  
          2. Download the app to your phone from the App Store or Google Play.
          3. Call the toll-free number 877-NC SAVAN (877-627-2826), to learn about an offender's status, to register for offender notification or to learn about victim assistance resources in their area.

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