Kenly police officers hand in badges, uniforms two weeks after tendering resignations

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Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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Four full-time Kenly police officers and long-time Police Chief Josh Gibson fulfilled the resignations they put in two weeks ago

KENLY, N.C. (WTVD) -- One by one, Kenly police officers handed in their badges, uniforms and holsters Tuesday.

Four full-time officers and long-time Police Chief Josh Gibson fulfilled the resignations they put in two weeks ago.

The officers and two other town employees resigned because they said they could no longer deal with what they called a "hostile" work environment created by new Town Manager Justine Jones, who spent 16 years in public service in other communities.

"I can imagine a lot of people have heard of us now from places we don't even think about," said Bill Lawson, who has lived in Kenly for seven years. "I just hope that everybody can come to an agreement and turn back around to where we were before to start."

Johnston County Sheriff's deputies will be patrolling the town in the meantime.

There will be two officers assigned to the town at all times to ensure people are safe.

RELATED: Kenly officials hold closed meeting after police chief, fellow officers resign

Mayor Tooie Hales said an outside firm is doing an independent investigation into the allegations and that might take several weeks.

Calls to former Chief Gibson were not answered late Tuesday.

No numbers were listed for the town manager either but Hales said she continues to work.