The North Carolina city has hired a black town manager. After that, the entire police resigned.

Kenly's police chief, four full-time police officers, and two town clerk (all white) resigned on July 20 two months after hiring a new town manager whose town is black. It happened in less than a minute.

Kenly’s police chief, four full-time police officers, and two town clerk (all white) resigned on July 20 two months after hiring a new town manager whose town is black. It happened in less than a minute. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; Photo: Kenly Police Station, Getty Images)

Less than a week after the entire police station in Kenly, North Carolina announced their resignation due to a “toxic” and “hostile” working environment, officials elected from the town of about 2,000 residents were legal. I was silent about the execution plan. .. The mass resignation of a police chief, four full-time police officers, and two town clerk on July 20 after the town hired a black new town manager questioned many critics. The race was at the heart of the sudden collapse of the division.

According to the town, Justin Jones, who has worked for 16 years in local governments in Minnesota, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, was selected as the town’s manager after a “national survey” of 30 candidates. rice field. press release.. She started her work on June 2nd.

Kenly 36% black20% Hispanic and 36% Non-Hispanic Caucasian.

Kenly Town Manager Justin Jones.

Kenly Town Manager Justin Jones. (City of Kenly)

Police Chief Josh Gibson, Resignation He told Jones that he was pleased with the progress in his department over the past three years, but the “hostile” work environment that Jones created made it impossible to continue. 21-year police veteran Gibson hasn’t expanded the alleged details because of legal concerns, but added that he would consider returning to work if Jones was fired. ..

He repeated these feelings on his personal social media page.

“I put in a two-week notice with the entire police station.” Gibson Written on Facebook Last Wednesday. “The new manager has created an environment in which we do not believe we can carry out our obligations and services to our communities.”

In other resignations, Obtained by WRALTwo town clerks and other officers quoted “toxic,” “hostile,” and stressful working conditions.

No employee in the department expanded the alleged working conditions.

In Jones’ new position, the roles and responsibilities of town managers are widespread, including overseeing the day-to-day operations of local governments. Town managers often manage internal affairs and plan city budgets, including police budgets, for city council approval. The mayor and mayor have similar duties, but the mayor is elected and the mayor is appointed.

Gibson Insufficient staff quoted As one challenge that ultimately led to his resignation. There should be eight full-time police officers at the police station, but in the last few months there were only five. There are also three part-time officers.

But critics believe the problem goes beyond the challenges of personnel.

“They don’t want to be led by blacks. It’s Kenly,” said Cynthia Kirby, who has lived in Kenly for many years and is also black. News & Observer Late last week. “They are always harassing blacks. It’s race.”

Kenly's police car.

Kenly’s police car. (Facebook / Josh Gibson)

“One of my questions is what happened between May and July. It takes time to get a new boss,” Kenley resident Dennis Bennett told a local newspaper. .. “We just want to make sure the process is fair, and this ultimatum of her vs. him as police chief is not a good process.”

On Friday, Kenly Town Council A private meeting was held just two days after the members announced their resignation to understand the rapid changes, but it appeared without a decision on how to move forward.

Mayor Kenley Herbert Lewis “Toy” Hales II did not return multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News. Neither was the four city council members that Yahoo News tried to reach.

Police supporters say the town should stand by the people who have been there for the longest time.

“We have a great police station. [Jones] It’s not for police stations, “said Christel McGowan, who lives in Kenley. Said outside Friday meeting.

Chip Hewett, a lawyer in the town of Kenly, said Nexstar WNCNA local television station, the current situation is different from what he has witnessed on behalf of the city for over 25 years.

“I’ve seen resignations from politicians, mayors, and members of the council. I’ve seen employees resign,” Hewett said. “I’ve never seen a department-wide resignation.”

Mayor Hales said Another emergency meeting This week will be held on Wednesday or Thursday — and it will be open to the public.

To alleviate public concerns, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has already stated that it will respond to calls in Kenley as needed.

“I will appoint an agent to patrol the streets to ensure public safety, if necessary,” said Sheriff Steve Bizel. Hill..


Cover thumbnail photo Illustration: Yahoo News; Photo: Kenly Police Station, Getty Images)