A Strong Source of Local Pride: Inside Rolesville’s Police Department

February 2016

By Mason Lipman

“I take pride in our department,” said Rolesville Chief of Police Bobby Langston, “and in our learned effort to make great strides over the last couple of years.”

Langston has been the chief of the Rolesville Police Department since March 1, 2015. His duties include planning out the division and operations of the department – essentially being in charge of long-term affairs for the department and the direction in which the department is moving. Directly following Langston in rank is Capt. Orlando Soto, whose duties include management of day-to-day operations and the sergeants’ work approval.

The department consists of 18 full-time officers: Langston, Soto, two school resource officers, eight patrol officers, four patrol sergeants, one sergeant investigator and one sergeant community resource coordinator. The duties of the sergeants are to supervise the officers on shift. The department also includes one administrative support specialist, 18 vehicles (a full take-home fleet), four reserve officers and two spare vehicles.

1st Coffee with a Cop

Mayor Frank Eagles and Chief Bobby Langston paude for a moment during the newly-launched Coffee with a Cop program
Photo by Kathy Fuerst

The great strides that Langston was referring to include the implementation of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program at Rolesville Elementary School, which will be supervised by Community Resource Sergeant Larry Franklin. It is possible, according to Langston, that the program will be implemented at Sanford Creek and eventually Rolesville Middle School, although there are no plans set forth for the foreseeable future.

Also among the successes of the department is a program known as “Coffee with a Cop,” which took place at the Rolesville McDonald’s on February 3. The program is designed to get members of the community and members of police departments to have real conversations and make real connections over a free cup of coffee.

In some cases, such an event might be held to ease growing tensions between the public and the police force. For Rolesville’s citizens and police officers, however, events such as Coffee with a Cop are efforts by the department to stay in touch or to get in touch with the population and to learn their concerns and desires, and for the citizens of Rolesville, to understand the police departments goals in keeping the many streets and neighborhoods of Rolesville as safe as possible.

“People want to come and work here,” Langston said, speaking about some of the sources of pride he experiences leading this police department. Crimes in Rolesville are not typically violent but usually consist of alarm calls, property crime such as vehicle break-ins and copper theft at construction sites, and domestic calls. Rolesville is not the type of community to have an irregular or even notable amount of violent crimes, he said.

“We have up-to-date technology,” said Langston, “and that’s thanks to the Town Board.”

Some of the new equipment, he said, includes body cameras for all officers, which will be making their debut with the Rolesville Police department this year.