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North Carolina Police Chief, Former Sworn Officer Cannot Carry Badge or Gun

April 18, 2016  | 

Belmont, NC, city leaders knew their top candidate for police chief was not a certified law enforcement officer but they moved ahead to hire H.C. "Skip" Clark.

Clark has put in more than 30 years wearing the badge, but his certification lapsed more than a year ago. Hired as Belmont's police chief in February, Clark is listed with the state as an administrative chief.

The unusual designation means Clark can supervise the department, but he cannot wear a badge, carry a department-issued gun or make arrests.

Clark has policed towns in Florida and Georgia for 36 years, rising from a patrol officer to chief.

He resigned his job as police chief in Peachtree City, Ga., in 2014.

In North Carolina, an officer who allows his or her certification to lapse for more than a year must repeat Basic Law Enforcement Training, a program that includes more than 600 hours of study and physical training.


Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

Patrick @ 4/18/2016 3:21 PM

It was city government not LEOs that picked this guy.

PoPo @ 4/18/2016 4:47 PM

Percy, when an officer does something good such as attend a child's birthday party, pay the electric bill for a young man on life support, pull someone out of burning car, participate in fund raisers and so on and so on, no comment from you. So my question is how much impact do you think you have on lives of people you don't know? Do you feel good about yourself commenting about the bad officers? No one is denying they exist, and contrary to what you read, we do weed them out as most (yes a large percentage) don't want to work with them. But you don't hear about it because the news doesn't want to report it. So when are you going to move on to other crusades? It is getting old and no one cares anymore.

Clay @ 4/18/2016 7:46 PM

Why would they hire this guy? I believe he also has a troubled pass. He needs to go and the people who hired him.

kevCopAz @ 4/18/2016 9:02 PM

He may or may not have been a good cop all those years, but if he can't even keep up to date on his own certification (training etc) then how can anyone trust him to run an entire police department in any detailed manner?. Im sure even if he were unemployed as a cop for that year he could have continued his training or become a reserve so that his certification didn't lapse. Seems to me either he thought he was a "Chief" and didn't have to do that or was just not a detailed kind of guy, ergo why would you hire him as a chief?

PoPo @ 4/19/2016 6:36 AM

Again Percy, I will ask how much impact do you think you have on the lives of people you don't know? Officer's impact the lives of people on a daily basis, I would suspect a lot more than most professions. This e-zine, is geared towards police so it stands to reason there would be "good officer" stories and what ever crap the sponsors here are trying to unload. You are not going to change that. So what is your goal? To wake us up...to see the light...to recognize the error of our ways? In my career I've done numerous ride-along's including journalists and individuals who have made complaints against us, I can without a doubt say those individuals had a completely different perspective about the job we do.

Robert @ 4/19/2016 10:20 AM

PoPo..My problem is with this statement:
"we do weed them out as most don't want to work with them"
1. I think your statement is true for what it says.
2. The bigger problem, is what it does not say:
--Do you actively confront them, and work to change their behavior OR have them forced out.
--How many LEOs on this board can say they have NEVER turned a blind eye OR 'wordsmithed' a report to make another LEO look better?
Until 100% of the LEO on this board can make the statements above...your first statement doesn't mean much.

In the REAL world (non-union), managers and employees actively remove employees who cannot work safely, interact with the public. In the real world if you don't obey the law, you are fired that day!!
Yet how many LEOs break the law, and still draw a taxpayer funded salary?

Impacting people you don't know everyday is great...but what about the children in Murfreesboro just arrested at school...how does that impact the public perception of police!

PoPo @ 4/19/2016 12:55 PM

Robert...Your limited interaction with the good decent law enforcement officers is overshadowed by what you believe the media deems newsworthy. To answer the first question... Yes! To answer the second question, based on my expansive interaction with law enforcement, I would say the majority. To reply to your statement about the 100% of the LEO's on this board...I don't give a horse's pa-tut what you think. So I ask the same question to you as I did Percy. How much impact do you think you have on the lives of people you have never previously met? You are accusing 100% of LEO's being corrupt, isn't that a prejudicial point of view? No one is perfect, but you expect the police to be superior in moral and ethics, but we deal with the worst of the worst and sometimes it rubs off.

Robert @ 4/19/2016 2:05 PM

PoPo..I will start with the end:
Yes, I expect those who collect taxpayers money...and hold positions of power and authority over the citizens of this country to be held to a much higher standard of morals, ethics and appearance than the rest of the country.
If you do not like that standard, then go work on Wall Street or a Strip Club where ethics and morals are both much lower.

I am not accusing 100% of LEO to be corrupt...I have stated multiple times that probably 5-15% of LEO fall into the broad category of "bad and should be removed". Of that 5-15%, probably only 1/3 are corrupt (ie common criminals).

Saying that the majority (51%) of LEO do not Wordsmith reports is not good enough and never will be. Do only 51% of LEO cash their paycheck every week?

I congratulate you for actively standing up for a better LEO community...but I don't believe your actions are in the majority...and certainly not the near 100% that the taxpayers of this country should expect.

Beast @ 4/19/2016 4:36 PM

NC Standards are some of the most stringent in the nation. Certified Officers coming in from other states, normally have to attend at least 6 weeks of selected courses. That the NC Police Standards Commission deems necessary to meet the standards of NC. Then they must pass a written exam. Then onto probationary status for a year. And the Sheriff's standards are tougher then the Police standards. And doing a little research it looks as if it was due to Federal civil law suits that Skip left. Not for anything that could bring criminal charges. Now the Chief after him shot his ex-wife.

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