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.

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