KENLY, N.C. (WNCN) — People packed Kenly Town Hall for Monday night’s council meeting, after nearly one week without a staffed police department.

A new interim town clerk was sworn in, but there still isn’t a single police officer on the force.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said it continues to have two deputies in Kenly per shift to help cover the area.

According to Town Manager Justine Jones, from August 3 to August 7, those deputies responded to 113 calls for service.

Jones received those numbers from the sheriff’s office

The breakdown of the calls is as follows:

  • 94 resident/business checks
  • 2 breaking and entering (motor vehicles)
  • 2 disturbance
  • 2 unknown calls
  • 2 burglar alarms
  • 3 calls of attempt to locate a suspicious vehicle or person
  • 5 suspicious person/vehicle
  • 1 trespassing
  • 1 follow up
  • 1 child custody case

Jones does not know if this is a typical call volume. A town council member asked if there’s been a change in response times.

“Because this is our first report from Johnston County, I have to then go back and compare it to the police department’s numbers,” Jones said.

In resignation letters obtained by CBS 17, the officers cited a hostile work environment and decisions that jeopardized their safety.

Mayor Herbert L. Hales II said the county is forming a committee to hire a new police chief to then build the force. He said the county is assisting in those efforts.

“We’re more concerned about getting the right person,” Hales II said. “We’re not gonna put a time limit on it, obviously it’d be beneficial the sooner the better, but we’re gonna reach out to different candidates. We want to find the best fit for the town of Kenly.”

He estimates the investigation the town attorney is overseeing will be completed in about two weeks, at which time it will be presented to the council.

“We will most likely have a special called meeting or emergency meeting as soon as that information is available so that we can evaluate and decide what if any action to take,” Hales said.

An outside firm is also temporarily helping the town with payroll matters.