All the full-time officers at a North Carolina police department resigned suddenly this Wednesday, ABC11 reports.
The resignations included five Kenly Police Department officers, the town clerk, and the utilities clerk. According to former Kenly police chief Josh Gibson, the resignations were partially due to severe understaffing.
He also said that the new town manager was making it difficult for officers to do their jobs.
"I have put in my 2 weeks notice along with the whole police dept. Sharon Evans and Christy Thomas with the town of [Kenly] after 21 years of service... the new manager has created an environment I do not feel we can perform our duties and services to the community," Gibson wrote in a Facebook post. "I do not know what is next for me . I am letting the lord lead the way.. I have loved this community.. it has become family and one of my greatest honors to serve."
Nancy Cates, who works at Davis Drug Company of Kenly, told ABC11 that the news left her speechless.
Another resident, Sandra Walston, told CBS 17 News that she’s worried about what happens when the police department is gone. “[Former police chief Gibson has] done a good job for our town, I’m a retired teacher from the area I remember seeing him in the schools and [it’s] just a little bit of shock,” she said.
But residents worried for their safety in the wake of the resignations were assured by the Johnston County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Services that they'll be safe.
"We actually have a unit stationed at Kenly fire department in downtown," Johnston County emergency services director Kevin Hubbard said. "So we do not anticipate any impacts to our ability to provide emergency medical services."
Sheriff Steve Bizzell said deputies will be assigned to patrol the streets to ensure public safety.
"I can assure you that we will be there for the people of Kenly," Bizzell said.
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