KENLY, N.C. -- The Kenly Police Department is returning to full operations with 24-hour police service.
Chief Tony Ayers told ABC11 the department is almost fully staffed. He said his budget allows for seven full-time officers, and he is in the process of running a background check on the final officer to join the ranks.
Ayers said is also looking to hire three to four part-time officers at the department. His focus is on men and women who are community-oriented.
"We are not here to just serve our community. We want to be part of the community," Ayers said.
Ayers was hired as chief at the Kenly Police Department in February after the entire Kenly police force resigned in July 2022 citing hostile work conditions under former Town Manager Justine Jones.
He is continuing to build the department from the ground up, and said the department is focused on community policing;
On Saturday, the department will host its first-ever "Happy Meal with a Cop" event to build positive relationships between young individuals, law enforcement, and the community.
Children 12 and younger are encouraged to attend where they will meet officers and learn more about their role in keeping the community safe.
The event is being held on Saturday, June 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the McDonald's parking lot at 400 S Church Street in Kenly. Children 12 and younger will receive a free Happy Meal at the event. Click here for more information.