Last week the entire Kenly police resigned, just months after the hiring of its Black town manager.
Kenly is a small town in North Carolina where the entire police resigned quoting the stressful working environment with the new manager.
The New Manager
Justine Jones was chosen after the search for 30 candidates nationally. He came to a city of around 2,000 people with 16 years of municipal government experience in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Minnesota. However, on Wednesday afternoon, two months after Jones was employed, Kenly Police Chief, four officers, and two clerks stopped working mass resignation.
The Kenly City Council held an emergency meeting in front of 50 residents of the area on Friday night but had not yet announced the next step after the resignation. Before the council meeting, several city residents held their closed session with Mayor Kenly Herbert Hales-from where journalists were limited by Hales- to a local music place.
Views Of Kenly Residents
Denise Bennett-a resident of Kenly said she did not believe that Jones, who began his work on June 2, had the opportunity to build relationships.
Bennett asked: “One of my questions is, what happened between May and July?” “It takes time when you get a new manager. We just want to make sure that the process is right, and this ultimatum of her against him as a police chief is not a healthy sign”.
Another resident, Christel McGowan, had a signboard outside the meeting that said: “Save Kenly, Fire Manager.” According to reports, she expects the City Council to support the officers and discard Jones.
“They have been here for 20 years. This woman enters and I have a lot to say, but I can’t,” McGowan said. “She sued Virginia, she sued South Carolina and she can sue us as well.” She added: “We don’t need … let everyone leave because this woman has difficulty in managing, and I know that.” McGowan did not share details about how Jones is a poor manager.
Jones has two delayed lawsuits against the previous employer for racial and gender discrimination after being fired in 2015, according to the news.
Other residents say that the whole problem is racial because the officers who resigned are white men, and Jones is a black woman.
“I hope they can professionally solve this,” said Heather Johnson, “and we can get away as a community and without resentments and with anyone dramatizing or an agenda.” We just want to be safe in Kenly”.