Saturday, June 15, 2024

City of Southport replaces Police Chief with Board of Alderman member, department still shuttered

Alderman Todd Coring has decades of law enforcement experience and according to Town Manager Bruce Oakley, was the most qualified candidate. The department Coring now takes charge of, however, is still suspended pending an audit and investigation.

Board of Alderman member for the City of Southport Todd Coring has been appointed Chief of Police for the city's police department (Port City Daily/Courtesy Southport)
Board of Alderman member for the City of Southport Todd Coring has been appointed Chief of Police for the city’s police department. (Port City Daily/Courtesy Southport)

SOUTHPORT — The City of Southport once again has a Chief of Police after former Police Chief Gary Smith was arrested and subsequently fired in July — now, Southport Alderman Todd Coring will assume the role as top cop.

Related: Two months later, Southport Police Chief and top lieutenant fired, department still mothballed

Mayor of Southport J.V. Dove confirmed that City Manager Bruce Oakley appointed Coring as the chief and he has resigned his position of alderman.

“I think he is going to be really great for Southport,” Dove said.

Since Coring had a little more than one year left to serve the people of Southport as an alderman a replacement will have to be appointed, according to Dove.

“He [Coring] recommended Robert Tucker who ran last election and lost by about 30 votes, Todd said he thought he would be a good replacement,” Dove said.

While the recommendation will likely be taken under advisement, it is up to the remaining board members to cast nominations to fill the vacated position.

“Todd brings over twenty years of law enforcement experience with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, where he currently serves as a Lieutenant. He is also a lifetime resident of Southport who has served the City since he was a teenager. He has not only worked for the City but also currently serves as the Assistant Chief of the Southport Fire Department and has served on the Board of Aldermen since his first election in 2011. Through all these endeavors, he has consistently demonstrated the leadership qualities needed to be a great Police Chief,” according to a press release from Oakley. 

The entire City of Southport Police Department is still under an audit and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is currently operating as the law enforcement entity in the city. Once the audit is complete and any necessary changes are made, the city will be able to re-activate the department.

“Although the position vacancy was not officially announced, we received dozens of resumes from some highly trained and capable people, but no matter how hard we looked, I don’t believe we could find one with the combination of Todd’s experience and his long dedication to the service of Southport. Therefore, I decided not to formally announce the vacancy or conduct a candidate search before making this decision,” Oakley said. 

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