Police department shut down after chief arrested

The entire police department in a small North Carolina town has been shut down after the arrest of the police chief and his second in command after an FBI investigation, according to United Press International.

Southport Police Chief Gary Lee Smith, 46, and Lt. Michael Simmons, 48, were charged with conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, willful failure to discharge duties and obstruction of justice, the Port City Daily reported.

North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation said in a press release that a joint investigation with the FBI revealed the men were reporting for work at a local trucking company where they were doing overnight shifts during the same hours they claimed to be working at the Southport Police Department.

UPI reported District Attorney Jon David said the trucking jobs required Smith and Simmons to be out of town for extended periods of time. It’s not clear how long the two officers are suspected of running the scheme, but officials said the investigation began in April after other officers called authorities to complain.