Entire Police Force Quits Over Manager Who Held ‘Progressively Responsible Positions’

The entire police force for the small North Carolina town of Kenly tendered its resignation in protest over a newly hired town manager. 

Kenly Police Chief Josh Gibson announced the resignations and cited a “hostile work environment” that ensued since the hiring of the manager, who began serving in her post back in June and had been touted by the town for previously working in “progressively responsible positions.” 

“In my 21 years at the Kenly Police Department, we have seen ups and downs. But, especially in the last 3 years, we have made substantial progress that we had hoped to continue. However, due to the hostile work environment now present in the Town of Kenly, I do not believe progress is possible,” Gibson wrote in a resignation letter

Kenly town officials announced an emergency meeting for Friday evening to discuss the drastic move. Prior to the torrent of resignations, the town’s police department had been short-staffed. The force had five officers on board, down from eight, Gibson said, per WRAL. The town has a population of roughly 2,000 people. 

Gibson also took to Facebook and gave an even more pointed rationale for his resignation than in the letter, saying, “The new manager has created an environment I do not feel we can perform our duties and services to the community.” 

Neither the Facebook post nor his resignation detailed specific gripes against Justine Jones, the new town manager. 

Jones began her post on June 2 and was celebrated by the town. 

“Jones has dedicated her career to public service over the last 16 years during which she worked in progressively responsible positions with local governments in Minnesota, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina,” the town said in a press release, according to Fox News. 

The Washington Examiner reached out to Jones for comment. 

Gibson expressed a willingness to reassume his post if Jones leaves. In the meantime, neighboring Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell has pledged to assist the town as it grapples with the fallout from the mass resignation. 

“I will be there for the people of Kenly, and they can rest assured they will have deputies patrolling the streets,” Bizzell said, per WRAL.

Reporting by The Washington Examiner.