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Arrests lead to suspension of entire city's police force

One North Carolina town has lost its entire police department -- at least temporarily. The whole thing started with the arrest of the Southport's police chief and his lieutenant on July 26.

The two men, both in their 40s, were charged with falsely obtaining property, obstruction of justice and failing to discharge their duties. They're accused of driving for a trucking company while they were on duty with the Southport Police Department.

They were allegedly taking overnight shifts for the company. Their routes took them out of the county during hours when they were supposed to be patrolling Southport.

Both men have been suspended from their positions. The chief was the first to be arrested. He was released after posting bail. His lieutenant was arrested during a press conference held to discuss the case.

The entire police force was also placed on administrative leave. The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office is currently running the department. It wasn't reported what, if any, participation the members of the police force are suspected to have had in the activities for which their superiors were arrested.

Southport's mayor told residents that he had "a heart laden with grief for all these events…." He said, "It was a shock to me to hear all these, being a former chief and knowing the officers that worked in that department and hired at least half of them."

Any criminal conviction can have a significant impact on your life. Depending on what you do for a living, it can be a career-ender. It's essential to take any arrest seriously and to seek experienced legal guidance so that you can present an effective defense and work to mitigate the consequences.

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