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BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Bald Head Island has suspended its public safety chief with pay pending an internal investigation.

A town spokeswoman says Jerome Munna was placed on administrative leave today. She would not discuss the nature of the investigation.

When reached by phone this afternoon, Munna said he was not exactly sure why he’d been placed on leave.

“They haven’t said anything, and I can’t say anything,” Munna said.

Munna becomes the third police chief in Brunswick County to find himself under investigation this year. Leland fired Tim Jayne in February. Boiling Spring Lakes fired Emmett Ballree this week for abuse of power after a two-week investigation.

In Columbus County, Fair Bluff fired Police Chief Marty Lewis in May after he was arrested on drug charges.

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41 Comments on "FIRST ON 3: Bald Head Island public safety chief suspended"

Really ??
2015 years 10 months ago

Residents of BHI, do you really feel that Chip (He is furtherst thing from a Chief except by title) is worth $94,000.00 – $97,000.00 a year when he is only on island an average of 10-12 hours a week. And let’s look, Public Safety did not fail him, he failed Public Safety. It was Chip that pushed the Public Safety concept because he wanted control over the law enforcement as well, but he got in over his head. He also said, that there would not be turnover becasue of the slow economy, people couldn’t afford to leave and we will have more applications than we have positions open and will never have to advertise for open positions. If you look at the Village website at the qualifications for an applicant, it says they must have 2 of 3 fields of experience in police, fire, or ems and he has no fire or ems so they are not able to fill current openings that meet their own requirements, as the last person they hired only has law enforcement experience from Leland. How many openings does Public Safety have right now anyway? Chip also told council that there would be 5 PSO’s on duty at a time and this would greatly reduce the amount of money paid to part time employees. How many days this summer did each shift work with 4 PSO’s and maybe we need to ask how much money has been paid out to hire part time help due to being short staffed and let’s also look at the exploding amount of sick hours are being used. I know the folks of Bald Head Island want to think Chip is a great guy but but don’t dare blame this only the Village Manager or Council, instead of giving him a scape goat in the Village Manager, make him accept his responsibilities and FAILURES. To work for him is much different than to see him at the occasional meeting or in passing. Morale is low, production is low and interest in working for Chip is low. If the island is lucky, Chip will be terminated and a new Chief can come in and build relations with other departments to where they once were, build morale in the department to where it once was, and be a positive leader and take Public Safety and the Village of Bald Head Island in the right direction. Village Manager and Village Council, do the right thing your your employees (all departments) and your community and get rid on Chip. This action is long overdue.

2015 years 10 months ago

I think issues have been brewing on BHI for sometime now. I believe it all started with the merger of LE into Fire/EMS. I know Chief Munna and believe he is definately a professional and competent Firefighter and Paramedic. I do believe he is somewhat arrogant and a bit vindictive which could be catching up with him. I am not saying this to hurt him or his reputation but simply making a point that Chief Munna’s form of leadership and his personality probably isnt working well with the Village Manager. When 2 people with similar characteristics (strong headed and arrogant)come together it is usually fireworks. I personally feel Chips personality is a bit abrasive but it is what it is and I respect that. With that said, I will also say that Chip has encountered some serious issues on BHI. Through the rumor mill (I hate rumors) it has been said his Deputy Chief has been working behind the scenes to cause him serious damage. In these type situations if you look closely you will find the root is usually someone who is jeallous and wanting to do it “their way”. It is unfortunate this mess is going on but drama is drama and someone is always creating it.

2015 years 10 months ago

That seems to be a better description of one of the current shift supervisors, and not Chief Munna. Chief Munna more than pulls his weight and helps get things done, unlike some of the supervisors that whine behind his back and then try to kiss his butt to his face. If we are cleaning house then there are plenty of others that need to go before the Chief does! Two police supervisors did a similar scam on the previous police chief, and they almost took over the department for their deeds. Thankfully that did not happen!

2015 years 10 months ago

First of all, I have worked for Chip, I have worked with him, and he has worked for me. I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but to indict the man simply because he’s been suspended is ludicrous. Anyone who has spent any time in the political and public safety atmosphere in Brunswick County knows that ethics are questionable, at best. Simply being accused of something around here doesn’t mean you did anything, AT ALL. People spread rumors about others in this business constantly and then have the gall to call themselves a professional.

I have found, in my professional experiences with Chip, that he’s been moral, ethical, and fair….to a fault. He is the original rule follower. Have I had disagreements with him? Absolutely. But we always came to a compromise and we always worked together to get there.

This man has been a public safety leader, an instructor and a servant of this community for years. And regardless of what all of you think, he has sacrificed for his chosen career.

Let me tell you a story about the kind of guy he is: an instructor at the college had to step out of a Paramedic course in the middle because of illness. Chip stepped up and worked with me and another instructor to finish that course for the three remaining students so they would be able to finish their education and get certified. He did that even after some of the students spread rumors of a takeover and he held the confidence of the personal business of the sick instructor. He stuck with me and the other instructor to do the right thing by the remaining students. He also did that without recognition and during the Public Safety merger, while he was still in school to finish a degree. Nobody knows about that because we didn’t seek praise for overextending ourselves; it was just the right thing to do.

That’s just one example. Think of how many others there are and dont judge. You have no idea what’s going on, and you’re all just speculating. How about supporting one of our own as he is persecuted for something that he may have not done? When did he become guilty of anything? And by the way, leadership is NOT like-ship. He doesn’t have to be your best friend to be an effective leader. And if he didn’t give you what you want, that also doesnt make him corrupt. His job is not to make everyone happy, it’s to serve his community effectively.

This community needs to grow up.

2015 years 10 months ago

He is worth every penny. Nice speech Calvin.Calvin is worth about 98 cents.


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