Locust Police gains a new patrol officer, promotes another to detective

Published 11:09 am Friday, October 15, 2021

The Locust Police Department introduced a new member of the force to the city council during its monthly meeting Thursday night.

Kyle Fairfield became the department’s newest patrol officer last month, bringing the  number of officers in the department to 16. He finished his field training last month and now works on Sgt. Chad Whitley’s patrol rotation.

A U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Afghanistan, Fairfield joined LPD after six years with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, where he earned a spot on CMPD’s SWAT team in 2018.

Fairfield chose LPD because he wanted to make a difference in his community, and to be more heavily involved in community policing and law enforcement/community relations, according to the information from the city’s website.

“He has received rave reviews across the board from every officer that works for Locust,” Police Chief Jeff Shew told the council. “They say he’s a great officer but then also just a really good man and that’s exactly what we want with the Locust Police Department.”

Mayor Steve Huber, who still works part-time with CMPD and used to be a member of the department’s SWAT team, said that while CMPD is one of the finest department’s in the country, so is LPD. “Pound for pound, this department that you just joined I think is the finest department that you’re ever going to work for.”

Shew also announced that former patrol officer Jaman Smith has been promoted to the position of detective. He had previously worked for the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office where he also served as a detective.

Jaman Smith was recently promoted from patrol officer to detective.

Shew told council that when he was a detective with the Sheriff’s Office, Smith’s experience involved felony crime investigation with a special emphasis on property crime and crime scene processing. He’s been assigned close to 450 investigations during his career.

For both 2020 and so far this year, Smith lead the patrol division in both business and neighborhood patrols as well as citations charged, Shew said, and he has been named Officer of the Month two times this year.

“As good a job as he was doing as a patrol officer, we think he’s going to be an even bigger asset to our investigation division,” Shew said. “We’re proud of him and we’re excited about him being with us in that capacity.”

The council also:

  • Approved a conditional rezoning request for PVG Trucking to rezone about 21 acres at the end of Locust Level Drive from Campus Business & Institutional District (CBI) to Campus Business & Institutional District – Conditional (CBI-C). The company plans to sell new and used cars.
  • Scheduled public hearings regarding conditional rezoning requests for four businesses for next month’s meeting. They are Jeremiah’s Ice Cream, Circle K, Tiki Carwash and ModWash.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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