‘It is somber’; an NC police department officially disbanded to save town money

North Carolina News

HERTFORD, N.C. (WAVY) — The Hertford Police Department is no longer: it has been disbanded to save the town money.

The Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office will now field all the calls.

“It is somber,” said Hertford Councilman Quentin Jackson.

It’s a mood felt by many in Hertford, North Carolina, on Wednesday. The police department has been around for more than 250 years.

“I think we should have kept our police department, because they are right here in the town,” said Hertford resident Mike Turksma.

“I feel like more police, the better, because every sheriff can’t get to each case,” added resident Linda Hall.

A couple of months ago, Hertford Town Council voted to disband the police department to save money. The mayor says it will save more than $300,000 a year, but some council members feel like it didn’t have to happen.

“How is it a money issue when our fund balance has been amongst the highest in North Carolina?” Jackson asked.

The Perquimans County Sheriff’s Office will now have coverage of the town streets. Sheriff Shelby White says four deputies will be always assigned to the town.

“We are going to be there,” White added. “We are going to be answering calls and do the best we can for the community and provide for the community.

Some council members are concerned what would happen should there be a deputy-involved shooting. They want to know if the council will get updates on what happened.

“He doesn’t have answer any questions that the town deems necessary,” Jackson said.

White says he plans to work with council members. In the meantime, he is focused on hiring new deputies to make sure the area is covered.

“I know there are reasons why the town needed to do it or wanted to do it and I’m here in support,” White added.

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