Police Department News & Advisories

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

 

NOVEMBER 2017

Giving and Receiving

The Night of Honors - Lake Lure Police Department

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 Larkins on the Lake was again the venue and driver for a community to come together and say "thanks for all you do" as they pay honor to officers who have given of themselves.  Lewis Bentley who manages Larkins on the Lake in Lake Lure, brings the community together to enjoy incredible meals and friendships.  As well, each year awards are sponsored by members of the community as a way to not only recognize an officer, but to say, "Job well done!" 

Larkins on the Lake in Lake Lure hosts what is known as The Night of Honors year after year in the upstairs portion of the restaurant and has served anywhere from incredible Prime Rib to a country homestyle meal, all of which is enjoyed by it's partakers.  This year was the twelfth year to celebrate this evening as officers brought spouses, close friends and children to witness a community who gives back.  

Chief Sean Humphries chooses the recipients by something outstanding the officer has done that may be outside of the realm of the duty of an officer, or a task that was done as a part of dedication to their job.  "It's difficult to choose each year," the Chief stated, "I feel 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." After he chooses the recipients, Lewis Bentley takes the helm, matching sponsors for the award with the officer.

Each year as well, the Olympiad, a successful event that occurs yearly in Lake Lure, donates a portion of their proceeds to the police department.  These funds along with the proceeds from the tickets sales for the dinner are given to the Chief who puts it into a side fund, which the department uses for needed items that were not budgeted.   "We don't know what we'd do without this event" Chief Humphries said as he spoke to those at the dinner, "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 it any other way.  We thank the community for everything they do for us."

The community thanks them as well. 

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 the 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 unmeasurable 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 & Lynn Carnes Pitts.

SEPTEMBER 2017: 

One Arrested in Theft Ring Activity

In the early morning hours of Monday, September 4, 2017 Lake Lure Officer Allen Greene received a Stolen Vehicle Alert from Rutherford County Communications. The vehicle, a white Dodge Ram truck, had just been stolen from the Hickory Nut Falls Campground, located in Chimney Rock, in Rutherford County.

While patrolling the area, Officer Greene immediately noticed a burgundy cadillac stopped at the ATM in the Town Center parking lot. Officer Greene questioned the two individuals in the vehicle who stated that they had seen the dodge ram truck, located off the side of the road with the driver's door opened, just across the road from the entrance to the campground. Officer Greene recovered the stolen vehicle. It was at this time he sensed a connection with the occupants of the cadillac and radioed Corporal Carl Umphlett, who was just getting off shift and was headed home.

Corporal Umphlett located the cadillac traveling on Highway 9 passing Ingles. He stopped the driver and pulled them over for an investigative purpose. Upon interviewing the occupants of the cadillac, Corporal Umphlett noticed a marijuana cigarette on the console.  Corporal Umphlett called for back-up and waited for Officer Greene.

A Rutherford County Sheriff's Department Deputy took over custody of the stolen vehicle and Officer Greene went enroute to the traffic stop on Highway 9. Once Officer Greene arrived, Corporal Umphlett had the occupants of the vehicle exit. At this time officers located numerous purses and wallets, drugs and a handgun and upon further investigation it is believed that the driver of the vehicle had others involved in the thefts.

Shawn Douglas Lewis, 18 years of age with a Kentucky address, was arrested for Possessing/Concealing a Weapon and Simple Possession of Drugs by Lake Lure Police Department. Additionally Mr. Lewis was charged with No Operator's License. He is in the Rutherford County Detention Center with a $9000 Bond amount.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Department is investigating the theft of the vehicle that was originally reported in their county as well as the thefts of the articles located in the vehicle.

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.

JULY 2017

BikeSafe NC coming to Lake Lure this July

We all know that biking our highways here in the mountains can be pretty strenuous as well as exciting.   BikeSafe NC is a program for motorcyclist that gives you experience, hands on, by Motor Officers. 

From learning regulations to safe driving and learning to to be proactive and reactive to others on our roads, this class is a bonus for motorcyclist in our area.  See the flyer below for other information.

 Looking to sign up?  Just click on this link:  Sign Up Here

 JUNE 2017

Courageous and Dedicated Officers Recognized with Region C Awards

Region C Awards are a coveted award given to Law Enforcement Officers and those who work in the field of law enforcement. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017, two officers from the Lake Lure Police Department were presented with a Region C Award for their actions while on duty in the Town of Lake Lure. 

On 12-27-2016, Corporal Aaron Collins responded with other officers to a residence in Lake Lure in reference to an elderly male with dementia causing a disturbance.  The caller stated that the man was aggressive shot a BB gun at the caller.  When the officers arrived they went to the front door.  The man came out the front door and pointed what appeared to be a BB gun in the direction of the officers. 

Without hesitation, Corporal Collins grabbed the barrel of the gun and pulled it into his chest, to the center of his bullet proof vest just as the gun discharged.  Corporal Collins later stated that he did this with the thought that even a BB gun could have struck one of the other officer's eyes and cause possible damage to their vision.

The action displayed that day by Corporal Collins shows the protective and caring nature he has for his fellow officers.  Anyone who knows Corporal Collins will tell you he would have done the same even if it would have been a high powered rifle.

On February 4, 2017 Patrol Officer Chris Shuford started working a case in which an elderly couple had a caretaker that they had hired through an in-home nursing company steal checks and jewelry from them.  Over the next two months Officer Shuford worked diligently on the case.  In the end he showed that the suspect used the checks to steal over $10,000 dollars from the victims.  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 name. 

When Officer Shuford had completed his investigation, he was able to secure 27 felony warrants on the suspect which also lead to felony cases being opened against the suspect by an agency close to ours. 

Officer Shuford was also able to retrieve all the jewelry stolen from the couple.  During the process of working the case the male victim unfortunately passed away. 

At this point Officer Shuford was told by the District Attorney's office that he might not have a case now due to the death of the primary victim.  Officer Shuford did not let this stop him and in the end his relentless pursuit of justice made it possible that hopefully this suspect will not be able to prey on our elderly population in the future.

The Lake Lure Police Department is proud of these two officers for the dedication to their career of law enforcement.  Congratulations Corporal Collins and Officer Shuford.

JULY 2017

BikeSafe NC coming to Lake Lure this July

We all know that biking our highways here in the mountains can be pretty strenuous as well as exciting.   BikeSafe NC is a program for motorcyclist that gives you experience, hands on, by Motor Officers. 

From learning regulations to safe driving and learning to to be proactive and reactive to others on our roads, this class is a bonus for motorcyclist in our area.  See the flyer below for other information.

 Looking to sign up?  Just click on this link:  Sign Up Here

Police Department Implements Wearing of  Body-Cams

Late last year, the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Council awarded the Lake Lure Police Department a grant just over $25,000 to outfit each officer with a Body Worn Camera.  The grant was jointly written by Administrative Assistant Kat Canant and then Financial Assistant Julie Scherer.

Body Worn Cameras are a key tool to record occurrences while on scene at an incident and during traffic stops. In fact, most law enforcement departments in the State of North Carolina are now equipped with both body worn cameras and in-car cameras. 

An assortment of cameras and software were tested and studied by the police department and after several weeks, the officers decided on the LE4 Body Worn Camera by VieVu

"Our entire department was involved in the decision to wear body worn cameras (BWC)," stated Chief Sean Humphries. 

"While there is some nationwide controversy over their use, the important thing is that we want to protect the public and ourselves," he said. "We researched not only the BWC at other departments, but additionally put into place policies and procedures regarding the use of the BWC here in Lake Lure."

An article from the U.S. Department of Justice lays out reasons for thorough research and use of the cameras, stating. "If police departments deploy body-worn cameras without well-designed policies, practices, and training of officers to back up the initiative, departments will inevitably find themselves caught in difficult public battles that will undermine public trust in the police rather than increasing community support for the police." 

This statement was important to the department as the relationship between the community of Lake Lure and the Police Department is a finely tuned one.  The community is behind the police for implementing the use of the cameras.  Chief Humphries remarked, "It's the structure of support within the community that has generated a positive feeling for our department.  It has increased the public trust and created a safe atmosphere for our officers."

Today, the department is fully equipped with Body Worn Cameras in addition to their In-Car Cameras which they began using in the mid 1990's. And, due to the newly purchased camera port, videos can be downloaded in seconds, freeing the officer to secure the data and return to patrolling.  

FEBRUARY 2017

Officers Setting the Mark in Lake Lure

It's a well known fact that continued education as a law enforcement officer is a must.  Laws change, criteria  for investigations change and new instruments have come along to assist in those investigations.  Lake Lure Police Department encourages an officer's continued education and while some classes are required, there are some officers who choose to work at obtaining extensive education, which in addition earns them desired certificates.

Officer Chris Shuford continues to set the mark with these desired certificates.  In the latter months of 2016, Officer Shuford completed his Criminal Investigation Certificate Program by completing 500 hours of education.

February of 2017 Officer Shuford obtained both his Intermediate Law Enforcement Certificate and the Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Certificate.

And if that weren't enough to say "Great Job!", Officer Shuford continued on and was presented in March, by Lake Lure Police Chief Sean Humphries, his Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate.

All certificates, highly sought after by law enforcement officers.  Officer Shuford's education is a dynamic plus to the Town of Lake Lure. Congratulations and Great Job Officer Shuford!
 

Having Emergency Access to your Property

Many residents and communities in Lake Lure have gates that must be accessed by a security code in order for emergency vehicles and first responders to enter. 

The Lake Lure Police Department maintains  a list of access codes that is securely kept and issued to our Lake Lure Fire Department and our own Officers. 

It is important that if you have an access gate, that you either share your access code with us to be maintained on this list.  Many residents have a separate emergency code that they share with us.  As well, anytime you change the access code, it is necessary that you notify our office so that we can continue to maintain an up to date list. 

We surely don't want an emergency to occur and be held up at a gate or have it be necessary for us to make entry by means of self-entry to an access gate by one of our vehicles.  

To check and make sure the police department has your entry gate code, please call our Administrative Assistant Kat Canant at 828-625-4911 between the hours of 8am - 5pm, or come by our office located at 2950 Memorial Highway, in Lake Lure. You can also email us at police@townoflakelure.com

Why using the Community's Medicine Drop Box Matters

When was the last time you looked in your medicine cabinet?  Have you looked at expiration dates on medications or checked medications that you just don't need any longer?  Now's a good time to do so. 

Since the introduction of the Medicine Drop Box in the Lake Lure Police Department in August of 2015, there have been 51,801 units dropped into the box located inside the department's lobby. 

A unit equals either 1 pill/capsule/tablet or one nose spray or one bottle of liquid medication for example.  

Residents from Polk, Rutherford and Henderson counties have all taken advantage of the convenience of the Lake Lure location.  "It's the closest drop box for me," stated a Polk County resident when she dropped off her late husband's unused medications, "it's important that I know they're going to be disposed of properly."

Several years ago the Associated Press conducted a five month investigation and discovered that small quantities of drugs, including antibiotics, sex hormones, and anti-seizure compounds have all be found in public drinking water supplied to over 40 million Americans across the US. 

While the concentrations are so small they have to be measured in parts per billion or trillions, it's more important to recognize the contamination by the public, thinking they're safely ridding their home of drugs while flushing them down a commode. It's something to think about.

While treatment plants remove most remnants of unwanted pollutants in our water supply, it is proven that a small amount can make it through.

It is drop sites, like the one at Lake Lure Police Department, that make it easy for the public to dispose of medications properly.  No questions, no inspections, just drop them in the large metal box. For those that want to remove the pharmacies labels with names of patients and the drug name, most labels are easy to remove.  The police department removes the medication and either the label itself or blackens out all information of any person before disposing of the container.  It's a respected privacy they take seriously.

So as spring is just around the corner it's a great time to go through any medications in your household to check for expired or unused medications that can safely be disposed of dropping them at the drop site located at the Lake Lure Police Department, 2950 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, NC 28746.  The office hours are Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm, generally closed for lunch from 12 to 1pm.  If you have questions regarding this great service to the public, call the police department at 828-625-4911.

Drugs In US Drinking Water-Medical News Today 03102008

Students from Lake Lure Classical Academy Learn Valuable Lessons from Local Police Officers

The Lake Lure Police Department recently shared some valuable lessons with the 7th-through 9th grade classes from Lake Lure Classical Academy as officers shared a re-enactment of sorts in how consuming alcoholic beverages can distort your judgment and vision.

The LLPD partnered with the Rutherford Cooperative Extension Office's 4-H Health Rocks Program to host the event.

The courses took the students through a series of attempting to move and drive through a course while wearing goggles that represented an alcoholic consumption of alcohol equivalent to a blood alcohol level ranging from .17 to .20. 

As an example this would be calculated for a 70  pound male that consumed three beers in a three hour time or five beers in a seven hour time frame.
The students also attempted to navigate on a course driving a golf cart while wearing the goggles. The course had several cones, which the students were told represented pedestrians.
"We picked up a lot of cones," stated Corporal Aaron Collins.

While there was chuckling and laughter at the attempts, the lesson was taken by the students as a very serious lesson about the effects of alcohol.The Lake Lure Police Department offers this presentation a a free service to area groups. Contact the police department for more information.

Project Childsafe - Free Gun Locks for our Citizens

429x270The Lake Lure Police Department wants you to be safe with the firearms you own.  All too often we read about deaths involving firearms that were not stored properly and did not have locking mechanisms in place for safety.

To help our citizens, the Lake Lure Police Department, in conjunction with Project Childsafe, is offering a free Cable-Style Gun Lock that may be used on auto-loading pistols, revolvers, shotguns and bolt action rifles.

Along with your lock, Project Childsafe also offers a gun safety booklet.

To obtain a lock you may come by the Lake Lure Police Department during our office hours of 8am - 5pm.  We are generally closed from 12pm to 1pm, but would be more than happy to meet you during those times if you call (828) 625-4911 to make an appointment. 

 

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