you're reading...

Cornelius News

Sources Say Cornelius Losing Police Chief to Huntersville

Dec. 14.  It looks like Huntersville’s full-on raid of Cornelius municipal talent is taking another step forward. Huntersville Chief of Police has resigned effective Jan. 4, according to Huntersville Town Manager Anthony Roberts, the former town manager of Cornelius.

No one has been named to replace him, said Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla.


But Cornelius Police Chief Bence Hoyle, who reported to Roberts in Cornelius, is expected to temporarily fill the position created by Huntersville Police Chief Cleveland Spruill’s sudden resignation.

Aneralla would not confirm. He said there “hasn’t been any announcement on who we will be appointing as temporary police chief.”

Chief Hoyle notified the Town of Cornelius this week that he planned to resign effective Dec. 31, well in advance of his planned departure at the end of the current fiscal year.

Hoyle had been asked to stay on and assist Major Kevin Black with his transition to Police Chief. For the past year and a half there has been a “deliberate and systematic process of transition,” according to officials at Town Hall.

It all takes place earlier, of course, but Hoyle’s hop to Huntersville is painful to Cornelius which is notorious for low-balling salaries in Town Hall and at the Police Station across the street.

Cornelius’ municipal talent has been the equivalent of sitting ducks in Huntersville’s sights.

The first major recruitment was Jackie Huffman, the long-time finance director of Cornelius.

When Huntersville Town Manager Gerald Downs Vincent resigned after a domestic dispute, former Cornelius Town Manager Anthony Roberts was the next to go—at a considerably higher salary.

He remains a Cornelius resident, where municipal taxes are lower. He did not respond to a request for comment.

A source at Cornelius Town Hall said bringing Cornelius salaries in line with the competition could cost about a penny on the town’s tax rate.

The average retention of a new officer is around one and a half years before they are recruited to another town. That said, sources say it costs around $25,000 to adquately train an officer.

The matter will be discussed at the Town Board “pre-meeting” on Monday.

Chief Hoyle did not respond for comment. Sources said he will make more as interim police chief in Huntersville than he made as police chief in Cornelius.

In a press release issued by the Town of Huntersville, they said Spruill “wishes to spend more time with his family and pursue other career opportunities. He will be taking time off during the holidays, but will assist with the department transition between now and January 4. The Town anticipates naming an Interim Chief of Police in the near future.”

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Miltich said town officials are “very pleased” with Major Black. “He will make a great Police Chief,” Miltich said.