Council votes to remove police cameras from tribe’s public records law
D During its April 6 meeting, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council unanimously approved an ordinance change exempting police car and body cam videos from the tribe’s public records law. The vote comes on the heels of a Dec. 13, 2022, Cherokee Indian Police Department SWAT response in which officers fired at Murphy resident Jason Harley Kloepfer after he opened the door to his home with his hands held above his head, according to a home security video Kloepfer posted Jan. 18.
DA recuses herself from police shooting case
This story has been updated from the original version published Wednesday, March 29, to include reporting from additional public records related to Sheriff Dustin Smith's whereabouts the night of the shooting and a proposed law in Cherokee that would exempt police body cameras from the tribe's public records law.
As the State Bureau of Investigation continues its probe into the Dec. 13, 2022, police shooting that severely wounded Murphy resident Jason Harley Kloepfer, District Attorney Ashley Welch is seeking to recuse herself from handling the fallout — because statements members of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office made to Welch and one of her assistant district attorneys mean they are now witnesses in the investigation.
Police in Waynesville kick-start motorcycle program
Chief David Adams and the Waynesville Police Department will begin implementing a motorcycle program and hope to have bikes on the streets this summer, thanks to a steal of a deal from an old friend in the city of Hendersonville.
Canton selects architects for municipal buildings
The town that refuses to stay down made another big move toward getting back on its feet last week, selecting architects who will design replacements for municipal buildings that were damaged or destroyed during flooding in August 2021.
Community Care: With successful data in hand, Sylva’s pilot police program grows
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.
Sylva extends take-home vehicle policy for police
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.
Maggie Valley officer recognized for life-saving courage
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.
Canton announces plans for new town hall, police department
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.
Police reform inches forward in WNC
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.
Some details emerge, but questions remain in Maggie Valley motel death
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.