Former fire chief: Rocky Mount needs auditors to ‘peel back that onion’

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 Rocky Mount is already investigating six murders in the first 50 days of 2019.

“We need help. It’s almost hard to keep up with the latest controversy,” said former fire chief Keith Harris.

According to Harris, the flashing lights of police cars have become way too common in the city of roughly 55,000.

“Since the beginning of this year, we’ve had six murders so far,” Harris said. “It’s almost a murder a week.”

While Harris praises the city’s police force, he said it has a glaring hole.

“We’ve been without a chief of police now for 15 months,” Harris said.

Capt. George Robinson has been filling the role on an interim basis, but Harris questions why city leaders can’t find a permanent fix.

“We’ve got some very well qualified, able, dedicated police officers on our command staff, but for whatever reason, we will not fill the chief of police job,” Harris said.

Rocky Mount’s website lists 18 vacancies across the city, but the police chief job isn’t among them.

“They are trying to fill some positions, but nonetheless we’ve got a lot of vacancies,” Harris said.

Our sister station CBS 17 went to city hall to find out why only to be told that no one could comment because the mayor, city manager, and entire city council were out of town an at retreat.

“We need a state audit,” Harris said. “We need state auditors to come in here, start peeling back that onion, and find out what is going on in this city. “

While the city council has hired an outside firm to perform a city audit, Harris said the timeline isn’t fast enough.

“We’re losing too many good people,” said Harris.

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