Gibsonville police chief says department faces a big need for officers

GIBSONVILLE, N.C. – In the small Town of Gibsonville, Police Chief Ron Parrish says his department faces a big problem.

“Most of these calls...practically all of your domestic violence calls require a minimum of a two-officer response. A lot of times we don't have that second officer in town so we have to depend on other agencies,” he said. “The number one rule of government is to protect its citizens and I think that we are failing.”

Parrish says with the increase in calls over the years, his department needs more officers.

“Last year we answered 10,322 calls for service. That's a 109 percent increase in just calls for service versus a 13 percent increase in our population,” he said.

Right now, he has 17 full-time officers, but says according to a formula from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the department needs 12 more officers to handle the workload.

Parrish says he's asking town leaders for $500,000 to bring on five more officers, which would also help provide them with equipment.

However, when FOX8 spoke with Mayor Lenny Williams he said next year`s budget could potentially only allow the town to fund one or two new positions.

“It's only one more officer on a shift. So, instead of two people I'll have three people that are assigned on a shift. But on most days, you won't have all three of them there because people get sick. They take vacation. They have to attend training, but that would certainly help alleviate some of the issues here as far as burn out. Our guys are tired,” Parrish said.

He also brought up to the town’s Board of Aldermen that his department needs a new headquarters building. He says the one they are in now is more than 80 years old.