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How can security guards stop traffic at the Sutton Plant on U.S. 421?

Brian Freskos

Q. How can security guards (not law enforcement) that have no power to control traffic stop traffic on U.S. 421 when the Sutton Plant shifts change?

A. For safety reasons, security officers stop U.S. 421 traffic during rush hour as employees leave the Sutton Plant, said Lisa Hoffmann, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

There are currently some 700 people working at the plant as it undergoes a conversion from coal to natural gas, and “we wanted to ensure the utmost in public safety while we’re undergoing this construction project,” Hoffmann said.


Why is the speed limit on U.S. 421 55 mph? Why can’t it be faster in certain areas?

Why is a sheriffs deputy parked in front an an industrial entrance on U.S. 421?

User-contributed question by:
Kevin Foss

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7 Responses to “ How can security guards stop traffic at the Sutton Plant on U.S. 421?”

  1. On June 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm K. Foss wrote:

    Mr. Freskos,
    You need to read the actual law in Chapter 74-E. Even Company sworn police do not have the right or the jurisdiction to stop any type of traffic on PUBIC roadways for any reason. These Custom Protection Officers are not sworn officers of any kind. These are company security guards. Please read the law before you give an answer.

  2. On June 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm Si Cantwell wrote:

    I hope you meant “PUBLIC roadways.”

  3. On June 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm Stone Tyler wrote:

    That’s right, Si, mock the guy with the correct answer.

  4. On June 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm Si Cantwell wrote:

    I didn’t intend to mock him. He put a misspelled word in all-capital letters, which made me wonder whether it was intentional. The word was a little off-color, and as moderator I don’t allow that. I would have killed the post but I believed he probably just made a mistake.

  5. On July 2, 2013 at 7:02 am K. Foss wrote:

    It is obvious to me that you are not going to answer the question. Truly these Security Officers are breaking the law and no one will do anything about it. I think that since Duke Power controls the electricity in and around the state of NC that all of “real” Law Enforcement will not do anything about these Law Breakers! The Sheriff’s Department has this jurisdiction and thus is responsible for the traffic control. Apparently Duke Power does not wish to pay for contract Deputies to work traffic control which is the law abiding thing to do. You as a reporter need to do your research into this matter and actually read the law and not ask the people that control this issue. Thanks for white washing this report! In other words thanks for nothing!

  6. On July 9, 2013 at 12:12 am John wrote:

    [EDITOR’S NOTE: This comment has been edited to remove personal information that could not be verified.]

    Well I stumbled across this by pure accident while looking up the history of a Fort in Brunswick County today. I glanced through this as I remember this has already been addressed on a previous article on my reporter site. I could care less who controls the traffic on this road be it a Deputy, Security Guard, Civilian School Crossing Guard or simply the the temp-agency guy who holds a Stop or Slow sign at a local construction area on the road. So i will go ahead with my break down of this thing.

    First off you and others are all upset that security guards are doing this but would you be on here if the poor old guy who stands there in a t-shirt and a reflective vest is standing on that same road with a stop sign while they pave the road or other similar construction? Maybe you do. Well Mr Foss I don’t expect much more out of you considering as a long time and recently retired Deputy of NHCSO I can say with confidence there is no legal violations here. You and many others who did your poor investigation failed to look into the fact that a Sheriff or Chief of Police can appoint a Traffic Control Officer. This is in fact what has happened, the people there, unlike the guy holding the sign took a class with the local jurisdiction about traffic control and completed the course under there their standards and granted extra authority to complete this task by the issuance of an ID card by that agency. That same group also posted a significant insurance liability insurance to also do this specific job that is far beyond the state requirement, I know I was there the day it was discussed with legal.

    Also if you were such a great detective the search engine would have worked out very well where all the NC General Statues were laid out in crayon over the last few years over this boring issue.

    Now how about we focus on more important stuff like, when will Wilmington get underground power lines.

  7. On March 20, 2014 at 4:30 pm Charlie Browne wrote:

    Similar situation with Duke Energy here in Florida. Apparently they are misusing there permit as if they are conducting work on an electrical pole. Using there State DOT permit to direct traffic on the state roadway to allow employee’s to leave and enter work.

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