At a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, city of Asheville staff and police officers met with homeless activists and local nonprofit representatives to discuss a new law enforcement approach that focuses on more arrests in the city’s downtown. Responses varied, ranging from concerns about the impacts of a failing system to criticisms of the Asheville Police Department’s new strategy.
Information obtained by Xpress shows that out of 25 communications positions at the Asheville Police Department, 10 are vacant, leaving the department 40 percent short of its full number.
Mike Lanning, a former Asheville Police Department officer, filed for Asheville City Council last Friday. Lanning says recent controversies about the APD’s leadership spurred him to run, “because there needs to be someone on Council who questions city staff.”
At a special meeting today, Asheville City Council announced that an internal investigation had found no evidence that Asheville Police Department Chief William Anderson engaged in a coverup surrounding a March car crash involving his son, as alleged by an APD lieutenant. However, the inquiry also found that when Anderson ordered the officer to meet with him, he acted inappropriately. Council members promised improvements to the general management of the department.
After a season of uncertainty, Asheville City Council unanimously passed a budget tonight that includes the city’s first major property tax increase in more than a decade. Most of the increase will go to fund improved road maintenance and a wish list of projects intended to spur economic development. Photo by Max Cooper
After he was reported missing on April 29, William Howard Pack remains a missing person and the Asheville Police Department is asking the public for help. (Photo of Pack taken in 2004, courtesy of APD)
Former Asheville Police Department evidence room manager William Lee Smith has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for embezzling $10-30,000 in drugs from the evidence room, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On March 17, a man — reportedly shouting homophobic and racist slurs — stabbed a Club Metropolis employee. The crime has sparked a community reaction, including plans for a benefit. The APD is not qualifying the incident as a hate crime, and the suspect was released March 21.
Asheville Police Department Chief William Anderson publicly apologized today for “a poor decision” in directing the APD, rather than the State Highway Patrol, to handle the initial investigation of a March 9 accident involving his son, Chad Anderson.
Claiming that they’ve “exhausted all leads to this point,” the Asheville Police Department has suspended its investigation of the alleged hacking of state Rep. Tim Moffitt’s Twitter account last year. The legislator’s account sent out an offensive message that he implied was an effort by his political opponents to discredit him.
The situation of the Asheville Police Department evidence room has improved, with a new manager and better systems, Chief William Anderson told media today. He also says he’s better informed about what led to missing evidence, and who was responsible, but refused again to reveal further details. Photo by Max Cooper.
Police cars and fire trucks blocked off Walnut Street downtown this afternoon after the collapse of 15 Carolina Lane. Workers were already in the process of tearing down the building, and no one was injured.
The Asheville Police Department will not press charges in the Jan. 14 death of Dean Bush, a homeless man who was struck by three vehicles on Tunnel Road and dragged over four miles. The APD cites Bush’s presence in an area not meant for pedestrian traffic and weather conditions as the reason for their decision.
The Asheville Police Department has released more information about the horrific traffic accident on Tunnel Road yesterday evening that took the life of Dean Bush, 45. A homeless man, he was struck by several vehicles and dragged several miles. The APD is still investigating the case.
Asheville City Hall should see a new entrance and metal detector completed this spring, according to Building Safety Director Robert Griffin. The changes are the latest in a gradual increase in security at City Hall over the past few years.
Joint raids by Homeland Security, the Asheville Police Department and the Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson County sheriff’s offices targeted six Octopus Garden locations earlier today, carrying out a search warrant related to “bath salts” amphetamines and synthetic marijuana. (Photo by Max Cooper)
The Asheville Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a man wanted in a 2007 double murder.
The alleged hacking of Rep. Tim Moffitt’s Twitter account is now being investigated by the Asheville Police Department “because of the abilities of our cyber crime unit.” The case was originally reported to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
Lawyers representing a coalition of local media (including Xpress) have filed an affidavit to bolster the case for the release of an audit of the Asheville Police Department evidence room. The lawsuit goes before a judge Sept. 4.
It was a lengthy session for Asheville City Council on Aug. 28, and it’s not technically over: Council will reconvene Thursday, Aug. 30, at 4 p.m. to discuss changing the language of the water system referendum. At Tuesday’s meeting, Council appointed Joe Minicozzi and Holly Shriner to the powerful Planning and Zoning commission, among many other matters.
In March 2009, the Asheville Police Department gave a tour of the evidence room as part of the Citizens’ Police Academy program. Xpress has obtained photographs from one of those citizens, providing a glimpse inside what would later become ground zero of a major scandal.