Up & Coming Weekly

December 07, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1435901

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 8-14, 2021 UCW 9 Higher wages and bonuses may turn around recruiting and retention issues in the Fayetteville Police Department. e starting salary for officers who enter the Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy will be $41,500 beginning Jan. 3. When the recruits graduate and begin field training the salary goes up to $43,500. e current starting wage is $38,000. It used to be that potential officers weren't paid during acad- emy training. New recruits will also receive $4,000 bonuses if they make commitments to spend at least two years on the force. City council was briefed on Dec. 2 by Police Chief Gina Hawkins and Captain Todd Joyce who oversees recruiting. Joyce told the council that of the 433 authorized positions for sworn officers, there are 57 vacancies. Joyce said last year's COVID-19 pandemic created a significant setback, but that "2021 has been the most diverse year in our hiring." AXIOS has noted that interest in law enforcement careers is down. Applications for the Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police Department were down 26% during the first four months of 2021 compared to the same period last year. Fayetteville City Council members were generally supportive of the local agency. "We're doing the best with what we've got," said Mayor Mitch Colvin. While crime is down for the most part, homicides are up. According to police files, the record for annual murders was 33 in 1993. So far this year there have been 44 homicides. Fayetteville official named to a state military agency Governor Roy Cooper has appointed Fayetteville Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Jensen to the North Caro- lina Military Affairs Commission. e Commission provides advice, counsel and recommendations to the governor, state lawmakers and state agencies on North Carolina's military installations. "Now is a great time to raise issues important to our current service and National Guard Members," Jensen said. "ere are more active-duty soldiers at Fort Bragg compared to any other installation across the U.S. Army." Jensen says she will work to prioritize the city of Fayetteville's military interests. She will serve a two- year term on the Commission. Jensen was born and raised in Fayetteville and owns a local business. Filing for 2022 elections starts Local politicians interested in running for of- fice can now officially file their intentions to run. Offices open for filing include the 4th U.S. Congres- sional District, N.C. General Assembly, Cumberland County Board of Commissioners (at large and District 1), Sheriff, Clerk of Court, District Attorney, District Court Judge, City of Fayetteville Mayor and City Council. Sen. Ben Clark, Rep. John Szoka, former Fayetteville mayor Nat Robertson, former police officer Christine Villaverde, high school teacher Denton Lee, DeVan Barbour IV and Cumberland County Commission Chairman Charles Evans have announced they are all running for the 4th U.S. Con- gressional District seat. Sen. Kirk deViere announced that he will seek re-election to the Senate District 19 seat for a third term. Rep. Diane Wheatley also announced her intention to file for re-election for the 43rd District of the NC house. e Fayetteville Mayor seat will also be contested. J. Antoine Miner, Nyrell Melvin, Efrain "Freddie" Delacruz and Franco Webb have all announced that they will run. e current Mayor, Mitch Colvin, announced last Friday that he will run again for the Mayor seat. Filing ends at noon on Dec. 17 at the Cumberland County Board of Elections. e primary will be held on March 8. Gunfire has claimed the life of a local teen A 15-year-old was murdered, Nov. 29. Police said officers who responded to a call for help on the night of the murder found the victim in the parking lot of a small strip mall at 594 South Reilly Road. "He had been shot in the chest and officers at- tempted lifesaving measures," Police spokesperson Lt. Diana Holloway said. "He was pronounced deceased on the scene." e boy's name was not released by police, but a family member identified him as XaeVion orn- ton. He was a sophomore student at Westover High School. Homicide detectives learned that a second person had been taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center with gunshot wounds. Holloway said he had non- life-threatening injuries. Anyone with information regarding the investiga- tion is asked to contact Detective J. Arnold at (910) 824-9539 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS. City of Fayetteville has a new official mouth- piece Jodi Phelps has been hired by the city to replace Kevin Arata as Fayetteville's Corporate Commu- nications Director which is a fancy way of saying spokesperson. Arata resigned earlier this year. Phelps will work with the news media and oversee strategic commu- nications and marketing plans. "I am honored by this chance to serve the com- munity my family calls home," Phelps said. "I look forward to working alongside City leadership and staff to ensure our residents are well-informed and engaged while we collectively work to build upon the strong foundations in place." e city said Phelps brings more than 20 years of experience in communications, marketing and organizational leadership. She previously worked at the University of North Carolina–Pembroke, where she served as Chief Communications and Market- ing Officer since 2016. Before UNC–Pembroke, Phelps served as Action Pathways Chief Operating Officer in Fayetteville. "We believe she knows this area well, which is one reason why she stood out," City Manager Doug Hewett said. "I'm sure she will develop beneficial relationships amongst staff, neighbors and at all levels of government."" Cumberland County School Board agrees to more bonuses by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - December 07, 2021