Tense words exchanged at Badin Town Council meeting

Published 5:14 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

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A heated exchange between Badin Town Council members and town’s police took place at Tuesday’s council meeting.

During board comments, an issue was raised concerning the use of markings on unmarked police cars, including the truck driven by Chief Stephen Smith.

After Mayor Gary Lowder said members of the town council were “going after department heads,” Councilman Charlie Council responded.

“I’m not disputing that, but you just said we’re going after people. I’m volunteering to help these people at any opportunity, and I’m going after them?” Council said.

Lowder said he did not think Council had gone after department heads in Badin as much as others, adding it felt like some had a vendetta with the police department.

“When does it stop, to tell them what to do and how to do it,” Lowder said.

“Nobody told them how to do it,” Council responded.

“We’re fixing to tell the police department how to mark their truck,” Lowder said.

Council said the truck should be marked for visibility, and Mayor Pro Tem Demar Huntley said it should be marked for “consistency.”

After a pause, Council said the silence was deafening, then moved to have all town police vehicles except the unmarked car clearly marked. It was seconded by council member Dale Ward. (Editor’s Note: this paragraph has been edited to reflect information from the town which stated Ward seconded the motion.)

During the discussion, Ward said “a lot of people” do not see officers in the neighborhood. Ward said he has driven “on both sides of town” on his golf cart.

Smith said he saw Ward “all the time” on his golf cart, adding, “every time we ride by, you put your head down.”

Deloris Chambers, Council and Ward voted for the motion to have magnetic signs put on the chief’s truck, with Huntley and Lowder voting against the motion.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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