Athens-Clarke County Police Chief Cleveland Spruill is one of two finalists to head the police force in Frederick, MD.
According to radio station WTOP, Spruill and fellow finalist Jason Lando, a commander in the Pittsburgh police department, will speak to the community Tuesday before the mayor recommends a candidate to the city board of aldermen.
Spruill is out of town and unavailable to comment, ACCPD public information officer Lt. Shaun Barnett told Flagpole.
Frederick is located about 50 miles north of Washington, DC. Spruill has roots in nearby Northern Virginia—he was raised as a teenager in Richmond and previously served 27 years in the Alexandria police department. Prior to coming to Athens, he was the police chief in the Charlotte, NC suburb of Huntersville.
ACC Manager Blaine Williams hired Spruill in January 2019 to continue implementing his predecessors’ community-oriented policing policies while also raising morale among officers, which had fallen under former chief Scott Freeman.
But Spruill has faced a few rocky patches during his tenure. In 2019, ACCPD officers shot six suspects, killing five, although all of the officers were eventually cleared of wrongdoing. He introduced new policies on responding to calls about people with weapons, and expanded a program that pairs officers with social workers to help the mentally ill navigate the system.
Last summer, Spruill also faced calls for his firing or resignation after police used tear gas and bean-bag rounds against peaceful protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.