04/06/07 — Wallace PD chief upset at arrest of officer

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Wallace PD chief upset at arrest of officer

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on April 6, 2007 1:45 PM

The arrest Tuesday night of a Wallace police officer came as a disappointment to Chief Bob Maready, but he's hoping it won't damage his force's reputation.

"It's disappointing to everybody and it's especially disappointing to anybody in law enforcement when something like this happens," he said. "But I hope people are open-minded enough to know this can happen in any profession.

"It's worse when it's a police officer because of the public trust, but I hope they wouldn't let this one very isolated incident tarnish their image of police officers. Most are good, hardworking individuals."

David Brown Jr., 31, was arrested at 11 p.m. at the Wallace Police Department, State Bureau of Investigation officials said.

He was charged with conspiring to sell cocaine, conspiring to deliver cocaine, conspiring to sell marijuana, conspiring to deliver marijuana, robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiring to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

On Wednesday he also was charged with receiving a bribe.

Brown was placed under a $350,000 secured bond and is being held in the Duplin County Jail. He is set to appear in court on April 13, at which time if he cannot post bail, he could be moved to another facility because of safety concerns, Duplin County District Attorney Dewey Hudson said in a written statement.

Brown, a uniformed patrol officer for five years, was terminated from the Wallace Police Department several hours before his arrest.

"He worked right up until the time of his arrest," Maready said.

Both he and Hudson stressed that throughout the SBI's investigation, there was no evidence that any other law enforcement officers were connected to Brown.

"We feel pretty confident (no other officers were involved)," Maready said.

He did say, though, that he is slightly concerned about the effect Brown's arrest would have on cases he was involved with, but added that was more of a district attorney matter.

The SBI's months-long investigation was begun at the request of the district attorney's office. It was joined by the Wallace Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"I asked (the district attorney) to do the investigation," Maready said. "Information came to me from a separate investigation that (Brown) might possibly be involved in these activities that took place in a relatively short time span in 2005."

He said he does not know what might have motivated this otherwise unremarkable officer to commit these crimes. Brown had passed the mandated background checks when he was hired and had never given any indication of trouble.

"I think I've described him before as an average officer," Maready said. "He did what was expected and required of him. I rated him as an average officer.

"I have no idea what would cause anybody to do something like this."