Lumberton officials still discussing choice for next police chief

By HASKEL BURNS,

The Lumberton Board of Aldermen has received another application for chief of the Lumberton Police Department, but board members are still in talks regarding who will be the next person to serve in that position.

The matter was discussed during an executive session at last week’s board meeting, but no action was taken as far as hiring any of the three candidates who have applied for the spot.

“The board decided they just wanted to take a little bit more time to view all the applicants,” Mayor Quincy Rogers said. “I actually had that put on (the agenda) so they could go ahead and look at that, but they have made no decision at this time.”

The three applicants for the position so far are Interim Chief of Police Larry Allen, former Lumberton police officer Daniel Wilczek and Chris Franklin of Columbia.

“As far as I’m concerned – and I don’t have a vote – but I’m looking for the perfect person for the job,” Rogers said in a previous story. “Whether he’s from (Lumberton Police Department), whether he’s from the next community over, I’m just looking for the perfect person for Lumberton.”

Former chief Carlus Page was removed from that position and reclassified as a police officer during an Aug. 20 special-called board meeting. Allen will continue to serve as interim chief until a permanent chief is found.

Page was sworn in during an April special-called meeting, after former chief Shane Flynt resigned when a video surfaced of Flynt reportedly smoking marijuana.

After being named chief, Page said his top goals were to establish a police substation, instill pride for the town in its residents, start a crime suppression unit and serve more warrants on offenders. In his first month as chief, two arrests were made that brought attention to the Lumberton police force: a man accused of transporting 4-5 pounds of marijuana in a former Newton County Sheriff’s Department vehicle, and another case which involved a local newborn who tested positive for methamphetamine.

There was no reason given as to why Page was reclassified.