MOCKSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — The entire police department in Mocksville will be shut down, effective June 30.
Tuesday evening, the town board voted unanimously in favor of letting the Davie County Sheriff’s Office provide all law enforcement services in Mocksville.
“JD is a great sheriff. He’s doing a great job for the county. I think he will do a great job for the citizens of Mocksville. I think he’s going to come in and blow everyone away with what he’s going to do,” said Mayor Will Marklin.
The divisive vote in favor of dissolving the police department is being met with harsh criticism by some.
“It was more of a political issue before it ever became a budgetary issue. They are using the budgetary issue to get rid of the police department for other reasons that started long before the budget was on the table,” said Brandon McGaha of the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association.
The new three-year contract with the sheriff’s office will save the town $1.3 million. Town leaders say it will increase their “boots on the ground” coverage by 75% and eliminate duplication of services, allowing the town to use resources more efficiently and effectively.
“In a perfect world we wouldn’t be here, but this is where we are and again, I think in a business sense this is what’s best for the town. This is what’s best for the taxpayers, and I think we are going to move forward with this decision,” said Mayor Marklin.
The mayor says dissolving the police department will eliminate roughly 20 jobs. He says Mocksville officers will still have the opportunity to be law enforcement officers in Davie County. The sheriff has agreed to consider all qualified officers who meet the sheriff’s office standards for open positions.
Critics of the town’s decision say they’re worried small town politics will prevent officers from getting a fair chance.
“There’s no reason to think they wouldn’t be great at the sheriff’s office but the well has been poisoned by this council to the sheriff and I don’t think there is any real chance the sheriff is going to hire them, and I hope other agencies do because they are going to get fine officers,” said McGaha.
Mayor Marklin says, if the board feels the sheriff’s office isn’t meeting the town’s needs, there are parameters that would allow them to amend the contract or potentially bring back the police department.