MOCKSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — The entire Mocksville Police Department will be shut down on Wednesday.
The Davie County Sheriff’s Office will serve as the town’s law enforcement beginning July 1. It’s a new responsibility to the 5,000 residents.
“I just didn’t think that my time at this agency was going to end like this,” said a Mocksville Police officer, who did not want to share their name in fear of retaliation.
Four full-time police officers and two staff members are staying with the police department until midnight on Thursday when services will officially switch over to the sheriff’s office.
The Mocksville Town Board unanimously approved a contract to transition in an effort to cut costs, increase their “boots on the ground” coverage by 75 percent and eliminate duplication of services, allowing the town to use resources more efficiently and effectively.
Town Manager Ken Gamble told FOX8 the three-year contract will save the town $1.3 million. Gamble said the town was able to keep $250,000 in the fund balance for 2021-22 because of the move. The money has gone to operations costs.
“It’s the highest liability area any town has and if they can give that away for a cheaper price and even if it’s cutting services a little bit,” said Brandon McGaha, a staff member with the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association.
“You’re really taking a one-stop-shop and subbing it out to different law enforcement agencies now to do what the Mocksville PD was already doing,” McGaha said.
The vote was met with harsh criticism from some residents and left around 20 people at the police department searching for a new job. Gamble told FOX8 officers did not receive severance pay.
“It’s frustrating that some folks have had to pay a price,” the officer said.
Since the vote, some officers have left for new jobs. The ones who have stayed have worked longer hours as the demand grows.
“We’re very busy right now,” the officer said. “Drugs particularly, fentanyl-laced everything, heroin, methamphetamine, all kinds of things are causing problems in this area.”
The greater coverage area for sheriff’s deputies could mean slower response times.
“Scaling up to be able to manage the town’s issues with the county’s issues,” he said. “Larger cases are going to the sheriff’s office since those folks will be the boots on the ground to work things here on out.”
Even after the last day, the work will still continue for some officers if the courts call. It’s an expense other agencies may not cover.
“We’re going to have to come in on our own time and testify on the cases,” the officer said. “The work that we’ve generated here in town, the arrests that we’ve made, following those up in the court system, it’s on us.”
For some officers it will take several months to officially start a new job at another law enforcement agency.
“Some of these processes can take months to go from, I’ve dropped an application to I might actually start a field training process and get on the road and work,” he said.
Mocksville Mayor Will Marklin told FOX8 if the board feels the sheriff’s office isn’t meeting the town’s needs, there are parameters that would allow them to amend the contract or potentially bring back the police department.
According to Gamble, there is currently no future plan for the Mocksville Police Department building on North Main Street.
FOX8 reached out to the Davie County Sheriff’s Office several times for a comment and have not heard back.