As the Chief of Police of a very talented police department, I think it’s important to make the necessary corrections to a story to not only was in our local paper, but made the Charlotte Observer and the local television news stations.
Several weeks ago, a double homicide occurred in Union County. Information was given out to the Wadesboro Police Department that the suspect in these two shootings was a white male on a red motorcycle and he was fleeing from the Highway Patrol here in Anson County. Minutes later, information was that the suspect was in Wadesboro in the area of Highway 109 South. Myself and other Wadesboro officers responded to the area and quickly found ourselves involved in responding for the trooper’s call for assistance. The last known area where the suspect was seen, with the trooper in pursuit, was somewhere on 109 just south of the city.
When incidents happen such as this (and with so many different agencies responding) it is common for police units to break off of the main road and check the various side roads. This is exactly what happened that night. I broke off in order that my three marked police units could continue on past me. This is simply good officer safety at work because in a chase, the public will more quickly see a marked police car over my unmarked unit.
On this particular chase, the SHP was calling the shots, and one of my officers, Sgt. Kyle Beam, chose to cut down City Pond Road and check it. He was followed by Deputy Rushing of the Anson County Sheriff’s Department. It was here that Sgt. Beam and Deputy Rushing found the suspect and the motorcycle. Sgt. Beam held the suspect at gunpoint and called for assistance. Closest to him and the deputy were two Wadesboro police units with rookie officers driving them. These young officers were Officer Brandon Smith and Officer Steven Goodwin. They both handled the emergency response called for as if they had been doing it for years. Smith and Goodwin got to their sergeant and they did it in a way that still protected themselves and the public. Soon thereafter, cops from every agency around seemed to arrive and the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
I came out to the scene in order to check on my officers. I took criticism from a few wondering why a chief would have been there. I was there because that’s where I think a GOOD CHIEF should have been. Once I saw that all my officers were fine, I spoke with SHP and left.
What Sgt. Kyle Beam did, along with Smith and Goodwin, cannot be complimented enough. They showed courage in the light of danger to themselves and the public, and yet they did their job. That is what it is all about when I talk about believing in being a cop. A good cop will always go above and beyond when it comes to protecting the public. I have seen this all too often with some good cops doing great things in the name of protecting the public. What quickly comes to mind from more recent events are Sgt. Kris Ray and Officer Jeff McCormick going into an apartment filled with smoke, at their own peril, and carrying out a man who had been overcome with smoke. Or possibly the time when two other rookie officers arrived on a disturbance call only to find one man stabbed and one man standing on a porch holding a knife. Officer Justin Clarke immediately rendered first aid to the victim by applying pressure to the areas that were bleeding until EMS could arrive and Officer Brett Mullis held a suspect at gunpoint until other officers arrived.
Now this, Wadesboro, is your police department in action. Though these are just some recent examples of heroic behavior, every Wadesboro officer here has given of themselves in the name of protection and service to this community and it’s because of this that I always feel the absolute necessity of making sure the facts that are given are the truth. Thanks to all the officers at the department for doing such a great job.
Wadesboro Police Chief, 2009-2012