The entire force on the Southport (NC) Police Department have been suspended and placed on paid administrative leave after the chief and a lieutenant were arrested "and charged with double-dipping at a second job while on the clock at the police department," according to WECT-TV.
Chief Gary Smith and Lieutenant Michael Christian Simmons were "charged with conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, willful failure to discharge duties, and obstruction of justice," according to reports.
State investigators said Smith and Simmons were driving overnight shifts for an unnamed local trucking company during the same hours they had claimed on their daily activity reports for the Southport Police Department.
District Attorney Jon David said that although all police have been temporarily suspended, the public should not assume that all are guilty of misconduct, and that the investigation continues. David added that some of the officers who are now suspended were, in fact, the whistleblowers who alerted him to the problem.
"A lot of these officers have done absolutely nothing wrong. Some of them are the ones that first came forward," David said. "This stain should not be extended to the officers who take seriously their duty to serve and protect."