When Western Carolina University Professors Katie Allen and Cyndy Caravelis approached Sylva Police Chief Chris Hatton with a proposal for a Community Care pilot program, using social work interns in the police department he was understandably skeptical. Crisis response involving a student intern seemed like a risk he was not willing to take.
In the face of a housing shortage and increased competition for employees, the Town of Sylva has updated its policy that allows police officers a take-home vehicle. The board also decided that in the future, updates to this policy would not have to come before the board but would be an administrative decision made within the police department.
An officer who risked her own safety to save the lives of others was hailed as a hero last week as she received honors from both the Maggie Valley Police Department and the region’s representatives in Raleigh.
Almost immediately after deadly flooding swamped downtown Canton for the second time in less than 20 years, town officials began talking about building back smarter. Last week, the town took a big step — two, actually — toward that goal.
The conversation around police reform has cooled down slightly over the last year, but that doesn’t mean law enforcement agencies around the state aren’t quietly implementing new policies — policies that came on the heels of the movement that gained steam after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.
More than a week after an unattended death was reported at Maggie Valley’s Our Place Inn, law enforcement officials still haven’t released any details on the incident, but one of the motel’s owners has revealed the identity of the deceased.
On May 25, 2020, the world watched as 46-year-old George Floyd died slowly beneath the knee of a Minnesota police officer — and it continued to watch as an aftermath erupted spanning the gamut from full-on riots to thoughtful discussions about how to make policing kinder and more effective.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners has approved the use of American Rescue Plan funds to buy a new integrated system for the sheriff’s office that includes tasers, body cameras and in-car cameras.
Sarah Dearmon was the only person who spoke during the May 27 public hearing for a proposed Sylva town budget that calls for an 18 percent increase over the general fund from 2020-21. But her comments directly addressed the main debate board members and town citizens have grappled with during this year’s budget process.