Belmont police chief can't make arrests

A local police chief has no authority to make arrests or carry a weapon.

Belmont Police Chief Skip Clark has been with the department since February and can only be on administrative duties.

Clark shared with FOX 46 that he doesn't have power to make arrests or carry a gun because he needs to get re-certified.

This is because he sat out for more than a year between jobs. Right now, he’s handling administrative duty and transitioning to get to know the city.

“I'm not necessarily out there making arrests and writing citations. The understanding of not being in uniform is I'm going to run the department and we're going to move forward,” he said.

Clark needs 600 hours of law enforcement training to get certified in the state of North Carolina.

FOX 46 contacted the City of Belmont to see if they were aware of his circumstances. They said yes, and added he was the best candidate for the job.

People FOX 46 spoke with are a little confused on the matter, but say it'll be a smooth transition.

"As long as he doesn't take forever getting it, it shouldn't be that big of an issue,” Belmont resident Jonathan Love said.

Belmont has 34 sworn officers. Clark said that's enough manpower to take care of the city's needs. He plans on attending a local police academy starting in the fall.

Chief Clark spent most of his career in Florida and also served as a chief in Georgia. He's hoping to finish his certification in the beginning of next year.

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