KING, N.C. -- The King Public Library was packed Monday night as residents discussed the idea of replacing police officers with Stokes County deputies.
The community meeting was called a week after council asked the city manager to work with Stokes County officials to determine how much such a replacement would cost.
County commissioners had their regular board meeting on Monday, but they didn't talk about King's request for information as it wasn't on the agenda.
Still, some residents of the town of nearly 7,000 let their strong feelings be known Monday night.
"This is the most asinine thing I've ever heard--I've ever heard from the City of King," said Crow McGee, resident. "We are not going to let the city of King get rid of this police department. I don't care what it takes."
"If we are having a money problem, cut everything across the board," said Hugh Trunick, a resident whose home was broken into.
"How could a city like King lure new business and say, 'Oh, by the way, we don't have a police department.' The same would apply to new housing subdivisions," said Julienne Ratcliff, resident.
But some residents like Darrell Calloway said they fear that residents jumping to conclusions are only hurting the community.
"I applaud them for having the courage looking for these changes to save the taxpayers money. There's no reason to get excited, no reason to get upset. Just wait to see what the numbers are, and choose a side. But picking a side before you know what the numbers are is premature, and I think it divides this town," Calloway said.
Chief Paula May was at the community meeting and shared what services the police department provides on any given day. She said the city actually needs more officers since the bedroom community continues to grow.