KENLY, N.C. — The town of Kenly will soon be without full-time police officers. All of the department’s officers are quitting and now, neighbors have a lot of questions about what led to the resignations.
Kenly police chief Josh Gibson tells CBS 17 he and the department’s four full-time officers put in their two weeks notice because of the environment created by new town manager Justine Jones, who started in June. Gibson wouldn’t go into details about it and declined an interview because of legal concerns.
CBS 17 also spoke with Jones this morning and she said she could not discuss the situation and referred me to Chip Hewett, who is the town attorney.
Hewett said he’s still trying to figure out the path forward because this is a situation he’s never seen in more than 25 years representing towns.
“I’ve seen resignations from politicians and the mayors and the councilmembers. I have seen employees resign. I’ve never seen a resignation where it’s an entire department,” Hewett said.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office says it will respond to calls in Kenly so neighbors aren’t just left to fend for themselves but some neighbors said they are still concerned about their safety.
“Everybody is short-staffed for whatever reason and calls probably won’t be answered as fast as if you have someone who is in town,” said Crystel McGowan, who lives in Kenly and owns Iron Works Gym in Kenly.
An emergency town council meeting has been scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Friday. The agenda is comprised of closed session and adjournment.